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Posts tagged ‘Training’

14
Dec

and that door slammed so good

It was a marvelous day!

I thought I would wake up with some regret at resigning yesterday from my “real” job.  I didn’t!   Not a one.

Well, the paycheck…. ?   Nope.    Not even that has me worried.

I did the absolute right thing by resigning.  The moment I decided to stand up and walk out was not something I even thought about doing before it happened.  It was as if my entire being, all of my senses, converged in that moment and empowered me with a certainty and a conviction that I rarely have experienced.

It needed to happen.  If I were a man, you could say I’d “grown a pair” in that moment.  Hah!   🙂

That workplace had become far too toxic.  It has been from the beginning, five and a half years ago, but I always hoped it would change.  Waiting …. Waiting…. Waiting…. Nothing……….

After five years, I think it’s a forgone conclusion that change won’t happen. Employees will continue to be treated horribly, nothing will ever change until the leaders are held accountable for the messes they make.

The leadership is old-fashioned and ultra conservative. But, it doesn’t fit with what’s going on in the academic side of the university.  I always wondered how the administration  could be so backwards and old-fashioned when the university is so forward-focused…

The Vice President of the university I worked for, has a conservative 1980’s mindset.  She’s stuck there too.  The kind of training and development she expected was what we were doing in the 1990’s, when we didn’t have any tools, and our (the industry’s) understanding of Adult Learning in the workplace was just beginning to make sense.

When people don’t know what they don’t know, it’s one thing, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ignorant.  It means they have a deep refusal to change, or improve or adapt.  It may mean that they have not been exposed to new ways of thinking…. maybe.   But, when people know they don’t know something and still make no effort to change, or understand, it’s either ignorance, stupidity, or laziness – probably it’s all the above – in toxic amounts.  Regardless, it’s not an effective way to run a business in today’s changing world.

At my level in the organization, to be “written up” for being two to three minutes late, when I work well over 50 hours a week, is beyond the pale.  I guess I have come a long way, baby…..   I’ve taken a big step with regards to self-respect.  No one will demean me the way they’d demeaned so many other employees for such a long time.

Can you imagine?  They have actually fired people for being a minute late more than three times?!!!

I kid you not.

Maybe that’s why they thought it was no big deal to write me up?  I think that’s why they tried to talk me into staying.  Did they think giving me a “write-up” is the best way to handle an issue that happened more than a month ago?   It’s true.   They actually think it’s a positive thing!

You see why I had to resign?

If I had stayed there, my self-respect would have flown right out the door.

I slammed the door behind me as I left.  Like Nora in Ibsen’s The Doll’s House.  I did it.  I had my say.

And that is why today was a VERY good day!

7
Nov

whack on the side of the head #1

The Internet has gifts that inform, delight and definitely enlighten….There is so much to learn in its vastness!  (I wonder how big the Internet is now? I wonder can it be measured?)

It’s funny how often I’ll be reading something on the Internet, and click on somethings else that seems interesting, and then find something I never intended to look for, that I never knew I needed or wanted, but suddenly HAVE to have!   It’s kind of like going to the grocery store for milk and eggs and coming back with $200 worth of things I never realized I wanted!

That’s what occurred a couple of days ago when I was reading The Chronicle of Higher Education.  One article led to another that led somehow to an article about Roger von Oech, who developed the “The Creative Whack Pack,” a 64 card deck of inspirational and innovative ways to encourage creative thinking.

by Roger von Oech

I enjoy using brain teasers and fun games in the classroom when I teach – it breaks the monotony and livens things up.   This Creative Whack Pack is terrific!  There are interesting and provocative messages in the 64 cards. Oh, and the artwork is divine!  Fantastic stuff!

The intent of the 64 cards –  each containing a different message – serves to coax people out of old, habitual ways of thinking to see things with fresh eyes.

I’m going to share all 64 of them here.  I think everyone will find something thought provoking to use in daily life.

The first one is titled “Give Yourself a Whack on the Side of the Head.” Since it may be difficult to read the message on the card (pictured below), I’ve included it here for you:

The more often you do something in the same way, the more difficult it is to think about doing it in any other way.  Break out of this “prison of familiarity” by disrupting your habitual thought patterns.  Write a love poem in the middle of the night.  Eat ice cream for breakfast.  Wear red sox.  Visit a junk yard.  Work the weekend.  Take the slow way home.  Sleep on the other side of the bed.  Such jolts to your routines will lead to new ideas.  How can you whack your thinking?

Doing this kind of thing might be easier said than done – but it also makes perfect sense!

Aren’t we such creatures of habit?   There’s no doubt about the rituals and habits in our daily lives….routine things like brushing your teeth before bedtime, paying bills – mundane things that we need to repeat as part of our routine. (I don’t think you can make teeth-brushing very creative, do you?!)

I think the message of this card is about how freeing it is to do something totally different from the norm because it can be invigorating, eye opening, and definitely a learning experience.  And, learning is like air…  can’t live without it.

Using these cards in the workplace to encourage new ways of looking at old practices, is terrific.  This is a helpful tool for a project team to use as a tool to challenge people to think outside the box – get away from the tendency to relax in a “group-think” type of complacency – which is a dead-end and boring way to approach new challenges.

What will I do to whack my thinking?  Hmm….

I’m sure I could eat ice cream for breakfast!  How about you?!

19
Aug

gotta dance!

Friday night with Elizabeth, getting her hair braided

Friday finally came!

I had an intense couple of weeks at work.  I have been in the classroom for the last two weeks, all day, training the newest University Call Center employees.

I took mom to her hairdresser tonight, and Toni, mom’s hairdresser, wanted to braid Elizabeth’s hair. It was adorable!

Elizabeth is still here, entertaining us, which is why this is such a quick post!

Okay, gotta run, Elizabeth is still up and asking me to dance!

 

13
Jul

this is my symphony

It’s Wednesday, which means there are only two more days until the weekend….and sleeping in.

I live for weekends!

It’s not that I don’t like to work, because I do, but it’s not my favorite thing to do – it’s not my symphony, it’s not my passion, but it’s okay.

I like working at a university – it’s both a lovely and fun environment.  The campus is beautiful, too: www.nova.edu

The work I do is called Instructional Design.  I write training for employees of the university, not for students, though students are the ultimate benefactors of trained employees.

My work entails analyzing what learners should learn, and how they will learn it.  So, I design and develop curriculum that I break down into relevant chunks, i.e., small sections of learning activities.

Most times, I deliver the material in the classroom, too.  I call on my acting skills to get me through that, as I’d rather be writing and creating curriculum than teaching it. It’s because I’m an introvert, but can easily go into “showtime” mode and turn into an extrovert when I have to, though it’s exhausting at the end of the day.

I have read that it’s fairly easy to tell if you’re an extrovert or an introvert by determining if you feel energized as a result of working or being with a large group of people.  If other people energize and make you happy, chances are you’re an extrovert.  If, on the other hand, it’s exhausting to work with groups of people, chances are you’re an introvert.

What got me started on this?  LOL!  Oh! (I had to look back), I was talking about the kind of work I do and then began to ramble.

I’m tired tonight.  And I don’t really want to talk about the Casey Anthony case because there’s nothing new!

Well, that’s not entirely true…. I read a couple of things.  The law firm handling the Zanny the Nanny case, Morgan and Morgan, concerned that Casey Anthony will skip town as soon as she’s released from jail, want her to be deposed at the jail, before she’s released.  There will be a hearing to determine if this can occur, maybe as early as tomorrow.  I believe they want to depose her on Friday.  It’s an emergency motion that will be heard in front of the Judge in the Civil trial –  Judge Jose Rodriquez.

So, that’s it for tonight, though I did want to leave you with this lovely thought:

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common — this is my symphony.  –-William Henry Channing, clergyman, reformer (1810-1884)

Don’t you just love the line, “This is my symphony?”  I do.

Days are always better when I hear a symphony – real or imagined.

15
May

on writing & blogging; training for real life

As a writer, I am constantly humbled by the depth of thought and experience that  my Casey Anthony case readers/bloggers share here.  Frankly, some of the writing blows me away because I see such talent – talent that I only dream will one day show up in my own writing (I have only been blogging for a few months an have much to learn).  I hope that as I become a more experienced blogger, what is inside my head will make it to the page with increased depth of thought and with passionate clarity.  Thank you for coming along with me on this journey of mine.

I would love nothing more than to make this blog my full-time job….lately I’ve been dreaming about doing just that – but I’m only dreamin’ for now.  Someday. Maybe.

I have a full time job that is pressure-filled.  I write and teach for a living.  The technical term for what I do is called “Instructional Design” which means I analyze what Learners need to learn and I put it down on paper for trainers to use to train others in a classroom setting.  I develope elearning, too – it’s my favorite venue. Most of the work I do involves writing for a classroom setting.  However, in my job, I am also the trainer.  What I write, I also train.  It’s two jobs in one.

I have been an Instructional Designer for over ten years now, prior to that, I worked as an actor (that’s another story for another day).  I loved working as an actor and miss it terribly but I couldn’t keep up with the bills with any consistency (some months the pay was plentiful, other months not so much).  I miss the theatre terribly, but I’m on stage in the classroom, too.  So it’s all good.

I currently work in a university setting.  The people I train are university employees who need to learn new systems, new procedures, etc.   On Monday, I am training new employees “New Hires” we call them.  I’ll be in the classroom with them for three weeks.

So, right now (write now!) I don’t have the time to police this blog and I never dreamed that I’d have to.  But, when people are disrespectful to my readers, insulting their intelligence, demeaning their efforts to express themselves, then I have to take action and I did last evening.  I was forced to ban a person from continuing to write here.  I gave this person fair warning, but they wouldn’t stop blasting away at the people I admire – my friends who post here.

I am told this person also uses other email alias’s to post and disturb others.  Please accept my apologies if this happens, I will do my best to monitor this situation during the day.

So, what’s this post all about, you may be asking!  Well, it’s about writing and blogging, and training myself as as writer, using this blog as my laboratory.   I am passionate about the law and justice and would like to follow every missing person case in the news, write about all the injustices that I see such as the great horror we’re experiencing right now with the oil spill… I wonder if words can really express the enormity of what the environment is ultimately facing via this travesty in our glorious sea?  The wildlife that will be destroyed is too much for me to think about because when I do think about it, I want to scream in anger and rage against BP.  All I can really do is drive right by their Gas Station when I need gas.  That’s my punishment.  But, then I think – well that won’t work, really, BP needs to keep working and earning money to fix this mess they caused.  And THEY caused it.  Haliburtin and others have blame, don’t get me wrong, but BP’s name is blazed on the brand that makes the money, so I hold them accountable.

I’m all over the place here!   Let me close this by telling you how in awe I am of your writing – I am talking to the people who write here.

After reading what you share here, I find my self constantly saying: “Oh, I want to write like that!”

You have taught me so much and I thank you for investing your time here.  And, you know, judging by the consistent rise in readership here (I see the stats and more people are visiting every day), it’s not just me they are coming to read, it’s you.   So, thank you for what you give.

Thanks for putting up with the occasional mean commentator.  I won’t let them come here and destroy the good camaraderie that we have built and that we enjoy here.

I love blogging…. If I could afford to, this would be my full time job…. Maybe that will happen one day!

Dreams do come true every now and again.

Thank you again.

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