Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's an "I hate my job" day.

So, I have inservice coming up next Tuesday. This time I get to choose three of the following:
  • How to do data analysis of SBA scores (I taught data analysis. For two years)

  • How to use Power Point (been using it since 1997, and taught it at the university level)

  • How to use Excel (Again, been using since 1997, taught to college freshmen)

  • How to use a document camera (I don't have one)

  • How to use a Smart Board (I don't have one)
Then I got an email saying that crisis intervention training was being offered that day to counselors and social workers and certain special education teachers. Now, there's something I could use! Mental health issues are rising among teenagers.

I wrote the principal and asked her if I could take this instead.

Her answer?

According to district, it's not training that teachers need. I must take the "approved" training for teachers.
Crisis intervention will be offered again, so I can take it then, I was told,

I've been given this same answer the last four times I asked to take this training. "No. Just wait. We have far more useful things for you to learn to do, like use programs you already know how to use, or how to use items that we can't afford to buy for you."

Your (and my) tax dollars at work: mandatory, useless training.
I know this is a common problem in a lot of workplaces, so I'm curious...

What's the dumbest mandatory training you've ever had to undertake for work?


  1. Probably the stupidest is the legal "cover our rear-ends" corporate training. The concepts these classes teach are fine (workplace harassment, valuing diversity, workplace violence, secure computing practices) but they are dumbed down to the point where you watch some slides, listen to a narrator, and answer some multiple choice questions with painfully obvious answers.

    Your record gets little tick boxes checked, you've complied, and the company's butt is covered for another year. And then you get to take them again.


  2. Ladder Safety Training. Required training for my engineering position at the WIPP site - but since there is a maintenance group that is a union, I would violate union rules if I even touched a ladder.

  3. We have fire extinguisher training twice a year where we have to go outside and handle an extinguisher and put out a small fire that they set in the parking lot. This was useful the first time we did it but now I've been through it about a dozen times.

    I work in an office. All we do is sit in our cubes and type and talk on the phone. There are no strange things going on around here that might put us at advanced risk for fires on the job. I just don't get it. Nobody else that I know goes through this kind of thing.

  4. Anonymous9:26 AM

    I'm currently a stay-at-home servant (hehe), but I've discovered that sometimes my "domestic training" has been beneficial. Say, when I'm on a bike ride and my son calls and tells me he forgot his football pants and if he doesn't have them in time for practice (30 minutes) the whole team will have to run...my sprinting home on the bike, changing out of bike gear, grabbing his stuff, and heading to the school is great practice for triathlon transitions. And, even though it may help me, he will pay in some way later for the inconvenience ;)

  5. Okay, I love that Demotivator. It's by far my favorite of the entire collection. I had a big, blown-up printout of it tacked to my wall at my last job (like 4 years ago). Every time this one co-worker and I looked at it together, we couldn't help but giggle incessantly. :)

    Sorry to hear about your inservice woes. I guess that's your reward for being a public servant. Maybe you can bring a nice pillow and at least catch up on your sleep during class?

  6. I once worked in a ten-story building and was required by law to take a high-rise fire safety class.

    The "class" consisted of looking at pictures of burning buildings and being told to call the fire department if we smelled smoke or saw flames.


  7. Great poster. I'd order a copy for my boss right now but I'm off to one of his meetings.


    Stay tuned...

  8. What a sad story. Around here the in-service days are used for cross department or cross grade curriculum coordination and stuff like that. Your district sounds like a nightmare.

    If it were me I'd write a second letter explaining that you would be wasting your time in any of those classes and you will be checking into crises management as you have been promised the opportunity to do so several times. Unless that would get you fired and then maybe not.

  9. My favorite was phone training. I worked for a very large bank and we had an entire 8 hour day devoted to answering the phone. It was not to learn to use their phone system. No, that would have made too much sense. It was literally what to say when you answer the phone. 8 hours!!! I could not believe it. Of course, to this day I can answer the phone at First Hawaiian Bank :)

  10. They can't fire me for that; I'm tenured. The problem is that it's not offered to teachers. It's designed for counselors, social workers, and people who work with behavior disordered kids. I maintain, however, that there's lots of kids with bx problems, they just aren't diagnosed. I'll do the power point and excel and sit in the back and grade papers. At least the time will be productive.

  11. My job decided that it was a good idea for me to take a 3 days Microsoft Access class. One month after the class they took out Access on my computer saying that I didn't need it!!! What a waste of time!!!

  12. I TOTALLY feel your pain!!! I've had to go to two different seminars this year over software that my boss told me up front that we will not be buying. I get to see all these great features that I won't have....yea!!!

  13. Probably the mandatory lab safety training required every year. It's a powerpoint presentation given by people who have never worked in the lab.

    I learned more about lab safety in my high school chemistry class.

  14. My favorite is "How to Properly Navigate the Internet." I have a background in research, went to college, and a huge chunk of my job is about utilizing the internet to research. I think I have it down.

    The best part about the training is that I was forced to attended after being employeed over a year. So I had everything down pat. Efficient....

  15. I remember being irritated one company sent me to mandatory Microsoft Word training when I was already an advanced user. I ended up teaching the teacher several things.

  16. Just think-only 8 more months until summer!

  17. We are required to be inserviced annually on foot assessment (from a podiatrist) and oral health assessment (by a dentist). This will be the 11th year I have watched the exact same presentation, along with my team of nurses whose time I also have to mandate to be there to meet a silly, random requirement for Joint Commission accreditation, which is a required element of performance for my area.
    Many of us have seen the same pictures of gross toenails and icky teeth (or lack thereof) enough times to do the presentation verbatim ourselves.
    I think it is stupid and have a real hard time justifying the requirement to my nurses, let alone myself.
    Whats the bottom line? If you see something gross or unusual, call the podiatrist or the dentist. Um, DUH.

  18. Office Evacuation Training - for the 17th year in a row. Sigh...

    And I can't believe they teach powerpoint. It's not THAT hard to figure out.

  19. Don't you love it when others tell you what you "need" to be taking for your benefit?

    Speech Pathologists have had to take the SEI courses, or Sheltered English Instruction, until we fought and argued the point that we all know how language develops and is taught, as it's what we DO for a living....they finally waived it.

    And every year we had to take a "test" stating that we know how to dispose of possibly infected blood/bodily fluids and how to prevent spreading of blood borne pathogens. The same test every year. I started flunking it on purpose, writing snide little comments in the margins.
    I don't think they sent me one last year.

  20. In our office we are required to comply with the OSHA regs that we know apply to our office. Being an environmental consultancy, all of us actually know quite a lot about OSHA compliance (which fits in with a lot of what we do),so this is pretty easy.

    Our OSHA training consists of posting a sign which says, "do not set yourself on fire." And then we be sure to remind each other not to set ourselves on fire.

  21. Oh I almost forgot! I have a mandatory training next Tuesday about a computer program where we enter data for medicaid money reimbursement...BUT the program isn't "in place" yet so we can't use it! ...not just yet....! SheesH!

  22. I work for the gov't like your Sweet Baboo. We probably have some the most in quantity and time-wasting required course-things. Too many to list. And we always have to take stupid annual safety tests, with stuff, like Duh, don't unplug the pt's ventilator in order to plug in your coffee pot.


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