Thoughts for Friday – 3rd July 2015

hang-in-thereI rather left you all hanging at the end of last week’s Thoughts post, didn’t I?

How mean of me to tease you with my wares and then snatch them away at the last moment, but hey, I have to give you some sort of reason to come back each week…

After a trying week ‘up north’ (let’s be fair, anything north of Watford is considered to be northern England to me), I was able to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home, catching up with friends and family who had hoped their efforts the week previously would mean that they wouldn’t have to see me for a fortnight or so.

Batteries charged, makeup applied like war paint, I strode toward the new week like Naomi Campbell striking her assistant with a mobile phone. I had a target in my sights, I took aim and I was going to knock them dead in my local area with my delivery skills.

That had been my intention although I have to admit that it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good bit of banter with my delegates, but there is having a bit of fun and then there is just blatantly taking the piss. I tried to remain good natured throughout the first day, while wanting to wring some of the necks of a few choice delegates. Had I not kept my temper in check, I fear that Kate Loveton would once again be roped into helping me bury some bodies.

I had much the same group on the Tuesday and I’m not sure whether it was the free sweets and candies laid out on the tables or the fact that I had a small selection of children in adults clothing, but a section of the group were determined to push my buttons.

f39e65adb87bfa2bc769aac2cbb48d4aOne particular delegate kept interrupting me and I had to resort to bitchslapping her (metaphorically speaking, my manager frowns upon actually hitting people during training sessions) and all but shaming her in front of the rest of the group. She seemed to have taken on board that I wouldn’t take any more of her crap and was relatively quiet for the rest of the day.

I have to admit that by lunchtime some of the delegates were just being plain rude by returning from breaks when they felt like it and so I continued the session without them and refused to help them catch up. When I pointed out that our finishing time was dependant on people coming back from breaks on time, lo and behold, everyone arrived back from the afternoon break bang on time!

5c1110542c95ce5cb1ee6ed96fd468b0It’s hard work to remain calm and composed when some delegates seem to have no other reason for attending your sessions other than to get a rise out of you. All the while, you stand there taking it, smiling and not letting everyone see that you could quite happily garrotte the annoying shit who causes as much pain, misery and discomfort as a haemorrhoid on Christmas Day.

kirk-yelling-at-kahnThis is why after-session debriefs are always needed. These debriefs are the perfect opportunity to really let rip about some of the awful delegates you’ve had to put up with that week. My poor other half (and yes, I kept that very quiet!) listened intently as I stamped my feet and shouted obscenities about certain delegates and made disparaging remarks about everything from their hairstyles, dress sense, to which strange planet they came from and how quickly I could reintroduce them into the Earth’s orbit and far, far away from another of my training sessions.

After a couple of tough days what I really needed was a three and a half hour drive to Birmingham, battling some of the most idiotic and dangerous drivers that I have seen for some time. What was it about mid-afternoon on a Wednesday? Is it a special time of the week where you’re allowed to leave your common sense and driving skills at home?

Somehow I made it to my hotel in Birmingham, shaking slightly but still relatively in one piece. This week had been sent to try me, I knew that much for sure, but how much more would I be expected to take?

god-s-love-clipart-Love___Be_Mine_Vector_ClipartGod must have answered my prayers, for who should be on the reception desk but Jermaine, the hunk of burning love that my colleague and I fought over the last time we stayed at the hotel! I think Jermaine was being coy with me when he asked me if I’d stayed before and I answered him by saying that it was my third visit in six weeks.

“You just can’t stay away, can you?” he responded.

Oh, Jermaine, you sexy hunk. If only you knew…

I hadn’t just randomly driven up to Birmingham to see Jermaine, I was actually there for a specific reason which was to attend a Fire Theory ‘Train the Trainer’ course. I had imagined being trained by a fit and hunky fireman while I fanaticised about the size of his hose, but it actually turned out to be a retired, middle-aged fireman who sat and talked us through the theory of fire, how it starts etc.

210201_1Our trainer asked us what we knew about fire, to which I piped up, “Uh…it’s hot?” which definitely raised a few sniggers from my colleagues but probably didn’t win me any points with Mr ‘I Used to be a Fireman’ who looked at me like I was actually as stupid as I look.

I’d had a 300 mile round trip to be trained in the theory of fire, a lot of which I knew anyway, but at least I got a free lunch (sandwiches and crisps) and an opportunity to flirt with Jermaine again. Plus, I got to see my colleagues who joined the team at roughly the same time I did. I think they’ve realised by now that I have the biggest potty mouth out of all of us.

If I thought the week I’d just endured was challenging, nothing compared to the following week in London. Stay tuned to find out what happened next…

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 3rd July 2015

  1. Another fun post, Heather. What are other halfs for, but to express the anger we have to keep to ourselves when in role? If you have time you might find this one pertinent and amusing: http://derrickjknight.com/2012/08/16/coping-with-violence/

    • I really enjoyed reading your post. Training can be a draining job, especially when the people who attend courses are sometimes less than thrilled to be there.

      My other half is getting used to my ‘decompressing’ techniques! 🙂

      • Thanks, Heather. I once began giving a talk to student nurses on the role of Social Work. Very soon I sussed that they were bored. I asked them why they were there. They said it was because they had to be. Hoping to stimulate animated discussion I asked why they stayed. They all walked out leaving me alone in the tiered lecture hall. 🙂

      • My apologies for taking so long to reply, work has been hectic to say the least recently!

        I’ve never had a mass walkout before, but I have had quite a few people who resented having to come on the courses as they felt that they knew everything already. 9 times out of 10, those who thought they knew everything had some of the most outdated views on social care 🙂

  2. You tease! We’re on the edges of our seats to find out what galore end in London.

  3. I’m amazed at how difficult it can sometimes be to keep adults in line when they are showing up for training that they need in order to do their jobs effectively. It must take a lot of patience and skill to handle a challenging group – but I know Heather B Costa is always up to the challenge! It’s good to have someone to unload with after a tough session – I’m glad you had that.

    Those of us not in the teaching field sometimes fail to understand how difficult teaching can sometimes be. I always assumed adults would be easier than children, but I can see that isn’t always the case. Each week you face a new group of delegates with different life experiences, personalities and motivations. It has to be both exciting and a bit daunting to know not only do you have to face such a group, but that you’re responsible for cramming into their sometimes reluctant brains the knowledge they need to pass the course – and to be effective in their roles as caregivers.

    I’m always impressed with your good humor when things go wrong and with the grace you display in challenging situations. I’m guessing older delegates can sometimes be a bit hostile, thinking they already know everything. When they see someone younger than they are, I’d be willing to bet that they sometimes cop an attitude. Rant all you like to your colleagues (and your best pal 🙂 ). At the end of day, I know The Traveling Trainer is doing a fantastic job at handling her unruly groups and helping them be more effective caregivers.

    Great post, my dear; a nice combination of humor and honesty.

    • You’d think that adults would instinctively know how to behave, but you’d be surprised how many don’t!

      It can be hard to keep your temper in check at times and some folks just seem to want to push your buttons and get a rise out of you. Considering the field of work these learners are in, their juvenile attitudes don’t bode well for long careers with the organisation…

      The first session of an induction block is always the most nerve-wracking as you never quite know what kind of group you’ll get. Sometimes you get a good feeling about groups and other times you just get that sinking feeling and that the week is going to be a long one.

      I do try to win people over with my humour, even if I want to throttle some of the people in front of me. Some of the older attendees do seem to have a bit of an issue with a ‘young gun’ training them and they tend to need some careful handling to keep them on side.

      It’s great to know that I can offload to you and you’ve already read some of my ranting in regard to some of the more ‘difficult’ groups in our DM exchanges, I just tend to have filtered most of the profanity before I hit the send button! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

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