Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SHOCKER: Insurance Trainings are Really Boring

Last summer I did some writing about sitting in trainings and considering feigning choking to get out of them (at least that's one solution I didn't previously think of).

After joining a new company, I've learned that regardless of the company you are working for, these trainings do not vary in the level of boringness. That being said, usually the subject matter is probably of some importance to the job. The whole challenge is that 99.9% of the time, the individual presenting the material wouldn't be able to talk about adult entertainment without being boring.

Being in trainings, especially when you're new to a company, is terribly more boring than a typical training session than if you've been with a company for some time. It also makes for several awkward introductions with those sitting in your general vicinity. This is also common when a professional is attending a conference alone. These introductions typically occur right at the beginning of the class when everyone goes around and says their name, what they do at the job they hate, and their best sexual experience. Ok, not the last one but usually the presenters usually request some "interesting" fact about each person. Interesting is subject to interpretation of course.

Oh and training with lunch provided is the worst. Forced to sit in the training room and listen and watch people eat has got to be the worst punishment a person could receive. Especially strangers. I can't really think of anything more awkward and socially disgusting than eating with a bunch of strangers who are learning about insurance. You definitely find yourself thinking, "oh, well judging by what you're putting in your body right now, I'm not surprised at the size of your pants" or "OH, that's definitely going to be coming up later. Would you like me to give you my girlfriend's business card? She's an eating disorder therapist".

During lunch, the unthinkable happens. It just so happens that several of the women sitting nearby are pregnant or had recently given birth. Now, just so we're clear, I'm a big fan of kids (no seriously) and healthy nurturing families (again, I'm being serious). What I don't necessarily care for is a gaggle of women talking about their personal experiences at length in the ear shot of people who could easily be offended or made to feel uncomfortable.

Oh, morning sickness? That sounds wonderful. Oh, that's your favorite baby book? I'll be sure to write that one down. Oh, three centimeters dilated? Shouldn't you be going to the hospital? Oh, your husband is putting on weight too? Great! This is your third child? I guess you're not from China...

It never ends.

Until, of course, the Power Point presentation continues. At which point the maternal blabbing stops and the stimulating conversation of premium financing continues. Power Point. I'm sure Microsoft's intentions were genuine when thinking, "what kind of product can we create that will make presentations less unbearable?" At least they disposed of those awful overhead projectors that would use transparencies or had to be sprayed every 10 minutes after the presenter used colored marker...It was a noble task they undertook in Redmond and I would largely say they succeeded in terms of the actual medium used to present material.

Again, but once subject to average human use, that's when it became a failure. Slides with too much information on them for starters. Nothing better than sitting in the second row and suffering from chronic eye strain because the creator of the presentation thought it was imperative to get all the information on one slide.

Oh and the fancy bells and whistles. The text fades in to Star Trek beaming audio. OOOOOHHHHHHHH. There's a "choo-choo" sound and the text rolls in like a Union Pacific into Omaha. Fancy. This makes me more apt to be interested?

At one point, I make the mistake of participating in the discussion by answering a question. It was a simple question that obviously no one knew the answer to. Apparently the majority of people who work in insurance have barely gotten out of high school. I must have sounded like a know-it-all because I felt some subtle ridicule after I answered. That's the last time I participate...

The presenter tells bad jokes. Really bad. They might be funny if he had any sense of comedic timing. Any comedian will tell you that timing is everything. This guy didn't have it. Not only that, he told the jokes flat. No change in the tone of his voice, no pause in between the lines, punch line was a lame pun. Footage in the Gaza Strip is more amusing.

I guess my final question would be, why the hell are there games? I understand that presenters are trying to make things interesting but playing games that are insurance related are not really games. They are sleeping aids, disguised as quizzes that are disguised as a "game". Just because they're keeping track of points doesn't make it a "game". UGH.

I guess I should be grateful that I have a job in this economy. And maybe these people that I was in training with aren't so bad after all. Or maybe I'm just bitter because I haven't been discovered as a blogger. Hmmmmmmmmm Sphere: Related Content

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