I generally like what I do, but sometimes I am slapped in the face with the flaccid, pee-dripping dong of truth: I am not suited for training. It’s not that I don’t get the material, or that I have trouble verbalizing instructions or even that I hate presenting – rather, it’s because I fucking hate stupid people.
I am not known for my patience, and that annoyance goes from 3 to I’m going to explode and take you all with me in a matter of seconds. I realize that some people just don’t get it, or they’re bad with computers, or they’re in a medically-induced coma to relieve brain swelling, but I can’t handle their non-compliance of my explicit instructions. I am fortunate enough to “get” things very quickly, and can turn that “getting” into useful information for others .. but if I have to tell you how to do something nine times and you’re STILL clicking on the left menu instead of the top menu, then I hate you and start dripping with contempt and incredulous superiority. It’s frustrating, and maybe it’s all my fault – maybe there’s a better way of saying “click the ‘open calendar’ button on the menu at the top of the page; it’s about half way across and right next to the buttons that say ‘day’ ‘week’ ‘month’ ‘year'”. Maybe I’m accidentally speaking in tongues again. Or maybe you just have no business being in a job where you have to work with computers doing dead simple things that you just. don’t. get. no matter how many times you’re shown.
It’s times like these that I question my accidental career as a technical trainer. I love the documentation side of things, and most of the time I don’t mind the training (I’ll never love it, but it’s better than a lot of other things I could be doing), but my patience for hand-holding and catering to the lowest common denominator is lacking. I’ve been told before that I am not nearly as patient and understanding as I should be to those who aren’t as quick as I am, and I’ve tried – oh lord, how I have tried. It’d be nice if, instead of complaining, they flipped the situation – let’s say you’re the in-house expert on sharpening pencils, and you’re showing me how to sharpen my own pencils so I can be self-sufficient in the art of pencil sharpening. Pretend we’ve had multiple conversations and training sessions on pencil sharpening, and you wrote me some step-by-step instructions for me to print out and leave by my desk, and you gave me some quick tips that’ll make pencil sharpening as easy as possible. Pretend you’ve spent probably ten+ hours on helping me learn how to sharpen pencils .. and for some reason, I still don’t get it. I’m still putting the eraser end in first each time, or using a pen, or trying to sharpen the pencil with my teeth. Pretend my boss is asking you questions as to why I’m still doing this wrong, even though you’ve got above and beyond to help me figure it out. Pretend my lack of understanding is creating work for others, as everyone has to pick up my slack. How do you feel? Are you frustrated and baffled? Do you think I’m some kind of idiot? Are you upset because you’ve done everything right, but I’m still doing it wrong and now management is involved because you’re being blamed for my failings?