Training SessionPosted: September 16, 2014
Today we were supposed to have a software training session at my workplace. I was unlucky enough to have to attend this event. The software is for inventory, finance and purchase order management. The basic package is about 10+ years old… maybe older (although the company I work for has added a lot of modifications). The guy running the training has been with the company that supports this application for years. It’s one of those ‘green screen’ applications (like so many companies and banks use as their business intelligence backbone) where you have to press a series of numbers in order to go from ‘module’ to ‘module’ within the system. Most of the people who work with it really have to do only 1 or 2 things within the system… most of them don’t have the access to do more than their jobs (and the admins probably want it that way). The presenter started his presentation with a detailed description of EVERYTHING this system can do. I would estimate that 90% of what he was proposing needed to be explained would actually never come up for the people in the room. Eyeballs were already starting to glaze over and hands were groping for smartphones. Two of the managers saw the direction this presentation was going. They interupted and suggested that perhaps he was preparing to give us a more detailed presentation than was required. The second managerasked him to just cover the material that the people in the room will need to enter and process a purchase order.
“I can’t explain the system unless I explain the functions,” he responded, petulantly. He stuck out his lip, like a five year old trying to look tough.
“Well,” she offers, “Just stick to the functions that these assistant buyers will be using.” She names a small number of functions — entering purchase orders, adding vendors to the system, etc.
“I can’t teach people who don’t have a fundamental grasp of programming,” he says. The guy’s face is turning red. He’s getting mad. What the hell? I guess he really takes purchase orders seriously.
Even though the room is dark, I can see the manager who is doing the talking is rolling her eyes. “We don’t need them to do any programming,” she says, her voice flat. “We are just trying to get them started out with purchase orders. Can you do that? Show us how to make a purchase order?”
The motherfucker sighs, as if to indicate this request is quite outrageous. “I will try,” he says, sulking, “… but this really isn’t the right way to go about it…”
“Thank you,” she responds, cutting off any chance he has to add further comment.
Fortunately for me, there was suddenly some actual work that required my attention and I escaped the training session.