19 May 2012
I have survived a week of exciting workplace training! Technically, it wasn’t really workplace training, more “generalized hey you supervise people” training, and thus, there were many non-research emporiumists there. This is usually the kind of situation that brings on the hives, but I was sort of distracted by getting myself packed for the week and Spike packed for the week that I didn’t have time to get all torqued up about it. See, I supervised the situation by ignoring it! That is what I plan to do with my staff when their behavior threatens to give me hives.
As always, put me in the room with 50 other people for a week, and I will write down all the weird stuff they say. This group did not disappoint. (To be honest, they didn’t disappoint in any way. I had a good time, made some pals, thought some people were weirdos, and all was well.)
–In an exercise, we had to choose which animal we identify with — St. Bernard, fox, or lion — then list the qualities of those animals. I was in the fox group, and after the group listed craftiness, cunning, they love chicken (that was my answer), etc, this girl said, “They’re chic.”
–A lady in her 60s appeared to have a nosering. It kind of suited her, as she was talkative and quirky and reminded me of a stock character in one of those chick lit books where the main plot is that everyone likes Jane Austen. I noticed it, but didn’t say anything. Later in the week, I heard someone ask her about the nosering. She then explained, “It’s not a nosering! It’s a…what do you call it? Oh, it’s a mole. Or maybe, I don’t know, it’s a wart.” Girl, you got something on your nose! You should be able to identify what it is. Jane Austen would.
–A lady who I THOUGHT was in her 50s but is, in fact, MY AGE wore a shirt with a fake vest attached to the front and a Pat Benetar purse. She was super nice and had a great laugh. She also had the most ineffective bra I have ever seen. I made a point to look at her shoulders for tell-tale bra strap bumps, and lo, I saw them. I have spent too much time wondering about her bra. Is it just an old bra, or does she prefer to keep things swinging low? Does she buy her bras at a store where there’s not a salesperson there to help, like Target, or does she go to a department store and listen to the terrible advice of one rogue undergarment consultant? Maybe everyone in her town wears their boobs like her! Seriously, I need answers.
–The keynote speaker for one of the events quoted George Eliot. Except she thought George Eliot was a man.
–A girl misread a statement containing the word “morality” as “mortality,” then delivered a treatise about how that statement, I don’t know, just seemed kind of negative to her. It went on for a while before someone corrected her. This person also claims she sleeps on two box springs and a mattress. I’ve never heard of such a thing, and I can’t understand why this would be something you would a) do or b) talk about. Is there some advantage, comfort-wise? I understand that it makes her bed taller, certainly, but besides that, I’m perplexed. P.S. She was the one who said foxes were chic. I need to follow her around and write down everything she says! She is fascinating.
–One of my favorite moments of the week was this one, in which this outwardly nice person’s dark innards were revealed. There were some handouts being passed around the room. The guy next to me tried to take one, but the staples of two were stuck together. He fought with them for awhile, then just took two and passed the rest. He got them undone after a few seconds. The speaker said, “Did everyone get one?” The lady with the nosering mole said, “I didn’t.” The speaker started to panic and had to shuffle around looking for one. I looked at my seatmate’s two copies sitting in front of him. He didn’t say anything, but was fingering the staple of the second copy, watching the speaker scrounge up another copy.
–At lunch, a group of us were talking about fried stuff on a stick at the fair. Apparently, people have negative views of eating fried stuff on sticks at the fair! I had lots of opinions on the Snickers, the Twinkie, and the Oreo, and expressed them (the Oreos are really the best, as the outside is crunchy with fried, and then the chocolate cookie, which is USUALLY crunchy, gets melty; delicious). Then I said, “Yeah, I could go on and on about this subject!” The lady sitting across from me at the round table just looked at me and emphatically shook her head no.
–For the most part, the week was free of politics, but there was a bit of a discussion about gay marriage. One guy was very much against it, and gave a long speech about how his rights would be taken away if gays could marry (?), how one man/one woman is the only way, et cetera. I think the main reason no one challenged him or even asked a question is that he had a very thick lisp.
–A lady I ate dinner with told the table very matter of factly that she does not have a sense of humor.