Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Better days ahead!

A couple of months ago I started working at a new place, in a position I'd left YEARS ago and came back to because I was corporate-woo'ed.  Not like "WOO!" but more like, 'come here shugah, we NEED you.'

That bit felt nice not gonna lie.

Concerned, in a sexy way
Then the party started.

As is to be expected, the first several weeks were loaded down like a middle-Eastern donkey cart with training.  Module after module, with scintillating titles like 

"How to apply paint properly so you can thence set about watching it dry (and how to document the process for the later inevitable audit" and 
"You, management, and the company.  A threesome designed to succeed."  

Like many companies, my new/old one offers training in four basic flavors.  They are 

  • 1) modules that involve mere reading of SOPs and clicking 'DONE' at the end (my favorite), 
  • 2) some with animations and no audio (an OK presentation, but lacks pizzazz), 
  • 3) shows with animation and sound with intermittent quizzes to trip you up (I happen to excel at this type of module, having learning long ago that if someone's going to put all that work into the training they're damned sure going to want to you pay attention and not feel complete fool in the midst of it because you can't answer a simple question like 'in what country can you NOT take a contact out to dinner but you can offer them sporting tickets?'), and 
  • 4) my most hated type of training: the 'Marci.'

The Marci is a type of training that involves animation, sound, intermittent quizzes, and the ultimate turn-off: stock photos of 'colleagues' in 'conversations' about the driest of the dry materials.  Think compliance, and audit readiness, and document retention.  THAT dry.

((DISCLAIMER!!!  I am of the opinion that compliance, and audit readiness, and records retention are important topics, but they do not need the Marci.  Nobody needs to hear conversations (also captured in speech bubbles on-screen) between two people pretending to be corporate employees but who are really only doing it for 50 bucks a shoot and access to the craft table carrying on this chat (see below) while being featured in a static display of one of four poses:

  1. stern
  2. curious
  3. concerned

The chat goes like this:


Marci, curious (dressed in a polyester suit that would make an Eskimo sweat at -20F):  So James, I see you've completed the corporate training for 'How to keep fish from rotting at your desk, SOP-FSHSTNK101.'

James, curious (in Dockers, an Oxford, and a tie): Yes, Marci, I finished it two days ago, as per the requirements in our training system.

Marcie, concerned: I also noticed that you had to take the assessment three times in order to pass.

James, stern: Yes, I did.  Some asshole in marketing kept pinging me on IM wanting those figures you said I'd give him two days before the deadline, and I had to split my attention between the tasks.  At 8 p.m, on a Friday.  DURING my wedding rehearsal.

Marci, stern: Pat of being a good employee, JAMES, is learning to budget your time.  Didn't you take that 3-hour training on organizational systems and using the e-mail janitor like you were supposed to (TRN-IMSKRWD-203)?

James, concerned and stern and curious (now THIS is acting!):  Marci, you know I've been here for only two weeks and that it normally takes the average employee 4 weeks to dive so deep into the prescribed training that they get to those flabby stupid CYA modules that even Satan himself has avoided assigning Hell's occupants.  I simply haven't budgeted the time on a daily basis to get the modules done much faster than I am right now what with the shit-ton of work you're throwing at me and trying to learn all the systems that go along with the crap work I have to do which is NOTHING like you said it would be, BEE TEE DOUBLE-YEW.  I TOOK A ONE-DAY HONEYMOON BECAUSE OF THIS COMPANY AND YOU, YOU HARRIDAN, SO BY GOD IF YOU ASK ME ONE MORE TIME ABOUT FRIKKING TRAINING YOU'RE GETTING MY RESIGNATION AND A CALL TO THE 'ACTION LINE' (which I learned about on Day 1 and haven't yet forgotten about because I figured I'd need it sooner than later).  Back off, 'mentor,' because once I'm DONE with training I am your BOSS and you will have to suck it up so hard your head might juuuuust cave in.

Marci, fully aware: OK James, that sounds like a plan.  Please ask me anything about any other training module in which I appear, as I'm so bland yet flatly passive aggressive in a shiny lip gloss and sensible haircut kind of way I might have fooled you into thinking I'm a powerless automaton in a skin suit but I think I might just be able to TAKE YOU DOWN, PUSSY with my robot powers and THEN who's the boss, HUH?!?!

James, fully aware: Touche, Marci.  But remember, I approve your paychecks.

Marci, concerned: Touche, James.


That's the Marci.  

Kind of.  The corporate version involves less swearing, surprisingly.

Next up?  Let's talk about do-it-yourself 'onboarding.'  It's the fun thing none of the kids are doing!

Tiff out.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Been a while

When I log in to Blogger to update this site-lette, if helpfully tells me when I last posted.

This time?  It's been since 30 September.

More than 2 months ago.

Oh, I've had things to say, but so much of that ilk of drivel gets spilled in Facebook, leaving me semi-top(ic)less for any real bloggery.

EXCEPT, I don't put nearly as much on FB as I'd like, because I practice impulse control on occasion.  So, in case you're interested, here are some of the things I WAS going to put on Facebook that I decided not to because I am selective about where I overshare:


I don't think I am anybody's best friend at the moment.

I don't think I've been anybody's best friend for many years.

Not having or being a best friend doesn't bother me as much as it probably ought to, but it does get lonely around holiday time.  A nice big circle of friends to celebrate with is great for the holidays.

All too often I have songs from the '70's on the mental jukebox.  Olivia Newton-John, anyone?  No?  How about some Carpenters, or BTO?  Or would you like a slice of 'Afternoon Delight' to quench your hunger?

I too am shocked by all the gun violence, and think owning a semi-automatic weapon is senseless.

I do not believe that quote you've attributed to the Muslim in Chief is accurate.  Perhaps you should do a little fact-checking before posting lies.

Just because I am of a certain political bent does not mean I hate Jesus and want to give all your money away to people who refuse to work.

Just because I'm a Christian doesn't mean I think you have to be too.  I don't even think that some CHRISTIANS should call themselves that.

I love bacon.  Yes, I know it's made from animal flesh.  I like chicken too, and beef.  Lamb, goat, fish, shellfish too!  I do not believe that milk is poison, and cheese is one of my favorite foods.  You have every right to feel proud of yourself if you do not eat those foods, but that is your choice.  Please do not try to convince me on Facebook that  I need to completely overhaul my (delicious) eating style.

Global warming / climate change is a real thing.

It's possible that GMOs are as safe to have in this world as a dachshund, a creature also created by modifying genetics.


Do you happen to see a pattern in my holdbacks?  Possibly that they are attention-seeking and/or provocative?  Maybe that they would tick someone off, or come across as self-pitying?  This is not the profile I want on social media like FB, I like most of my FB buddies and want to, at the core, not piss anybody off.

Even when I have something to say.

There's enough trauma in the world.  Nobody needs to get in a shouting match because they disagree with someone else's opinion.

Though I do offer up the occasional Snopes page if I think someone can handle it.  Not everyone wants their assumptions and warm cozy rut to be disturbed.

Even me.

So I will leave these things to my dim and dusty corner of the internet, hoping to expunge my wee rages here instead of fanning any flames on a huge social media site that should be nothing more than shares of cute animal videos and photos of people at parties.  We'd all be so much happier that way, wouldn't we?

Shaking my tiny passive/aggressive fists of rage,
Tiff out.