Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There's always a Weatherly....

I am at a workshop all week. I think I mentioned that. Yesterday, I had to put in 13 hours of work. I'm playing two roles at the moment, one as a trainee which means I forced to cram a lot of information into my brain and the other as an employee of my company since they're providing the training. This means that I am expected to retain the learning.

I'm trying. I mentioned I wasn't good at meetings yesterday. I probably should mention today that I've never been particularly good at listening to lectures. I don't mind if it's a good lecture for which I have an interest in the subject but if it's remotely dull, I don't do to well.

This is not to say I don't keep trying. It just means that if the lecture is slightly dull or boring, i'm doomed.

Take yesterday for example. I had to learn some rather complicated stuff about how the software our company develops works. I managed to take in almost all of the first session. After that...well, it was spotty.

I did spend some rather interesting time observing people. I have learned in every training session, there's always one person whose head you wouldn't mind chopped off and served on a platter. Um, wait, maybe I should make that less barbaric lest you think I'm some kind of weirdo. There's always a person you would like to throw something at. Yes, much better.

In my session, we shall call her Weatherly for that is almost her name. Weatherly has used our software for a few years and thus, is an expert. Or so she claims. My first interaction came when I sat at her table for the obligatory welcome-and-introduce-yourself-by-saying-something-witty session. Bad idea. I didn't have a name badge on so she had no idea who I was. I got to listen to Weatherly talk about how tiny this training was compared to last year. I discovered afterwards that she hadn't been to the training last year and that she was thinking of a conference from two years ago. The conference is an annual event with over 200 people. Trainings average about 10-15 people. This one is 25 people.

She also managed to bad mouth several staff members who I know and like and respect. After a few too many moments, I reached across the table and introduced myself, pointedly. All this did was earn me a somewhat condescending sneer and meant that she began to whisper to her companion instead of talk full voice for the rest of the session.

She also likes to talk. A lot. Except it's never about anything useful, just very much about what a wonderful and fascinating person she is. She also likes to read the New York Times during the training sessions and then, during the exercises in which we apply what we've just learned, she spends the whole time asking the trainers questions because she's confused.

Fortunately, she's not the only distraction. We get a lot of breaks. I have a computer. This is dangerous as I'm a chronic surfer. I'm actually supposed to be listening but Weatherly just asked a question. She just arrived. 20 minutes late. She missed the discussion that would have answered her question. I'm trying to be patient but it's first thing in the morning. If the people who are from a time zone that's 3 hours behind can be here on time, I don't get why Weatherly, from a place within this time zone has to be late.

So I surf. I've read my Entertainment Weekly for the day. Normally, I like that website. Lately, it's been all about the Twilight movie. Once upon a time, I was curious about that movie. Then I read Breaking Dawn and I've retroactively reformed my opinion of the Twilight story. I hate it now. I'm so thrilled that teenage girls are fainting at the site of Robert Pattinson whenever they happen to catch a glimpse of him. He's playing the lead vampire in the movie, the swoony, perfect Edward Cullen. I say that with full sarcasm.

The funny thing is, in reading the Entertainment Weekly, I realized that Mr. Pattinson doesn't seem to care for his role much. Stephanie Meyer, the author of the novels, seems to think this movie is going to set him up for Leonardo DiCaprio levels of fame because it's such an amazing role. She makes a few slightly disparaging comments in the article about him disguised as compliments. I found that amusing.

More amusing, I found that both Robert and his costar, Kristin Stewart, don't seem to be taking their roles as seriously as both Meyer and the fans would like. They both seem to want to make sure that this isn't the defining role of their careers, that they'll be able to be actors without forever being able to be referred to as "Bella" and "Edward." I'm glad for them. It's quite a commitment they've made and neither of them seem to have known exactly how insane the fans and their mothers are.

So, seeing that they have teenage girls swooning before the movie comes out, makes me smile. I think it's good to have that sort of passion. It worries me a little in their mothers but...well...maybe it's a bonding thing. Maybe those mothers don't really fancy themselves a seventeen year old vampire. Granted, he's been 17 for a long time now but, well, that fictional character...he's still seventeen

Anyway, along with that surfing, I've also managed to read my email, make a move in my online scrabble-type game and read WAY too much on Facebook. And I still manage to get all my work done.

I'd say I'm proud of that but I'm really not. It's just the way I get through the day. I can't help it...I really want to be a good little student but I'm not. Not really. After all, I am the one who, in high school, tried to read Moby Dick, read the first page and then decided I could not read that book. I managed to do quite well in the discussion and on the paper; it's amazing how much deep thought you can make up when you read the back cover of a book. This is even before Wikipedia.

Anyway, I'm just babbling today because I don't have the usual time or brainpower to be able to write anything too funny or deep. Besides, Weatherly has sucked what little brain power I had away. She's currently asking why she can't connect to her home network on her personal laptop. My response would be much less polite than the instructors. Then again, her office only paid a few hundred dollars to send her here; why on earth would she need to learn anything?

Clearly, Captain Monkeypants is feeling snarky and crabby today. I apologize. I promise to be perkier tomorrow. Well, maybe not perky, perkiness in me is a little alarming. But I don't have to work quite so long today so maybe I'll this will help.

Then again, Weatherly is here all week. I can't wait.

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