How many of you work in industries or businesses that involve mindless training? You know the stuff, teaching how to lift boxes or find your way to the office. I have been lucky in my career to have the label of too hard to train. This does not mean that I am stupid or have some inability to learn, far from it. What it means is that I am a pedant, in the right places of course.
By all means train me if it will educate me, make me safer or even if its a reasonable requirement. I struggle when ill informed people decide that training is a requirement. Some well intentioned misunderstanding of law or rules results in a statement like ‘we have to train you because’. At this point the poor trainers world falls to bits as the pedant within me fires up. I debate the reason and the benefit of the training, I have a wealth of detail to support my argument, and chaos descends.
If you started these courses with ‘the boss told me to do it’ you would take away my argument but sadly few have discovered this. And so it is that, by means of some unwritten understanding, I generally suffer only the minimum of such exercises. Today was one such day.
I should be grateful for the fact that the course lasted a day rather than the normal two. With a mandatory start time of 08:30 and requirements to bring certain documents and equipment clearly stipulated, I complied and arrived at 08:00. We assembled in the training room, 3 Nepalese security guys, a tech from one of our sites and me. At 09:00 another arrived and at 09:10 his colleague. Their excuses for being late held no water, even less so given that they failed the same course last week.
I won’t bore you with overrunning time slots spent trying to teach maths to adult men. I won’t tire you by recounting a mass of blank faces when challenged by simple questions. I think far more of you than that of course. I will,though, mention in passing the stupidity of bringing answers with you, when the question papers are random.
I hate that after over 20 years in this industry I have to suffer a 2 hour course dragged out over 6. If you don’t know trains are heavy and fast or that electricity kills then you need some sort of ladybird course. Alternatively those of us that have survived all these years should be declared exempt from these courses.
Well at least I have my certification. It has been confirmed that, with regards to work, I am not an idiot and I can do basic maths. Oh how I look forward to the same in two years time.
On a slight detour, is it just me that detests the modern need to give praise for everything? When I was in education you worked for your certificates, they meant something. Today you get a certificate for everything. I actually received a CV when I had the pub that proudly boasted a ‘get clean stay clean’ award amongst other odd titles. In fairness I had to research the training provider to discover that one was drug related. Originally I had thought it was some laundry course!
In sports we had first,second and third the rest were losers, now they are finishers or attenders. They are actually talking about a certificate of completion for high school. So exams are not enough. Surely your grades are dictated by your attendance. So a high school completion certificate simply says ‘he came,he saw, he did nowt’. Will completing high school inply a certain attendance record or will it simply mean you have achieved the correct age?
From what I see we are creating generations with less education but more ‘qualifications’. An adult numeracy certificate by any other name is a ‘dropped out but read a book later’ certificate is it not? But the next stage will be legislation to stop you discriminating against adult qualifications. So an 8 week numeracy course will have to be treated the same as a high school maths diploma. Not only does this not encourage kids at school it positively discourages them. Simple efficiency says its better done when your an adult.
Can we please go back to issuing certificates only for meaningful achievements? Perhaps a tax on certificate paper would help?