I’ve never been that great at training people. I just don’t have enough patience. Other than where my kids are concerned, I always preferred to just to the job myself - the person I’m supposed to be training can watch. I know, not a very productive method of operation in the long run. But, it beats wasting time explaining things and demonstrating, only to have the trainee not pay attention and mess something up. Then, I end up having to re-do it. That’s not exactly productive either - and very frustrating.
Despite my aversion to training, I’ve had quite a lot of experience doing it (maybe that’s why I don’t like it) at a number of jobs. When I worked as a dental technician, we seemed to go through quite a few people in the plaster department. With many jobs, and especially something such as dental technician work, the job is an acquired skill that may take months - or longer - to master. I know this, but that didn’t lessen my frustration because every few months, just when the person was beginning to get the hang of things, they would quit and I’d have to start all over with a new hire.
One Monday morning, I was dreading going to work because, once again, I had a new person to train. I was prepared for the usual slow routine. But then, I got a welcomed surprise. My trainee was not the normal beginner. She actually listened to what I said and then did a fairly decent job of replicating it! Not bad for the first day! Over the next few weeks and months she continued to be a fast learner and did quite well. I was impressed, as was my co-worker, who helped to train her. Unfortunately, we came up with a strange way of showing our appreciation.
And now, it’s confession time.
While she was out on a delivery run one day, we melted down a few Hershey’s candy bars, pouring the chocolate into little paper cups and adding different toppings: peanuts, granola, or crushed hard candy - and to a few, fresh sawdust. Yep, sawdust. Not much, just a light sprinkling.
Our homemade candy had just enough time to cool by the time our victim returned. And yes, we did convince her to try our special “treats.” If I remember correctly, I think she said they “tasted kind of good but were nearly impossible to chew.”
A cruel trick, I know. We felt bad then and told her what we had done. She took it pretty well - sort of. But for some reason, she never really trusted us much after that.
And just so you know, she didn’t just let it go. No, she managed to get back at us in various ways - several times in fact. Guess you could say she’d learned the “trade” well. Apparently, I’m a better trainer than I thought!