Thursday, March 13, 2003

It’s Thursday of Spring Break. By now, you would think I’ve used my time wisely, and gotten a lot done. And, in a way, I have. But in other ways, I haven’t. I haven’t done much work on the trial-level brief, which means I’ll be very busy this weekend. And forget reading, which means double the work.

On the other hand, my bathroom was absolutely disgusting, and is now clean. There is a definite measure of satisfaction in that. And I feel much better than I did last week, although the cough and sneezing are still there; I’m attributing at least some of it to the changing weather, which is expected to hit the 60’s by the weekend.

I spent Monday and Tuesday at a training session designed to familiarize us with the new accounting software that debuts in a few weeks. What an eye-opener; despite the illusion that the entire world is on the internet, there were at least 3 people out of a class of 12 that openly admitted to never having even opened Internet Explorer. Considering the new software is web-based, this is alarming. I was one of the more technologically advanced people there. As a result, I wound up helping the instructors with those who weren’t up to speed. The whole experience underlined one of the fatal flaws of my company – an unwillingness to make a full commitment to anything.

My initial suggestion to the instructors (one of whom was a former coworker who switched divisions) was that there should have been a skills test, so that everyone in a class was learning at the same pace. They agreed, and said one had been suggested, but people such as my boss’ boss had torpedoed the idea, saying they knew their staff’s skill levels, and no such test was needed. Needless to say, they were very wrong. In addition to the 3 who never used the internet, there was at least two more who didn’t belong in that class because they had no idea what accounting terminology such as depreciation, expense and asset meant. When you have remedial people in a class with advanced learners, you lose. The advanced people will get bored, and the remedials will get frustrated, and neither will accomplish what they could if they were handled separately. Additionally, the remedials will likely wind up leaving the company in a year or two. Or doing their best to totally sabotage the transition. Apparently, this type of thinking never occurred to the higher-ups.

To make matters worse, some supervisors were totally against sending staff to a two day course, claiming (a) they didn’t need it [wrong!] and (b) the department couldn’t spare the staff [too bad]. Based on what I saw, there should have been a push for a whole week of learning, not just two days. And any supervisor who complained should have been fired on the spot. Harsh? Sure, but this transition is costing the company millions, and supervisors with attitudes such as indicated aren’t supporting the company; they’re supporting their own self-interests. And in the long run, they hurt the individual and the company. There should be no place for that here.

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