A training manager’s diary

21 June The longest day of the year, so the TV weathermen keep saying. And it feels like it. Reports from yesterday’s team-building day for maintenance are beginning to filter through.

Rock Hard Training, which organised the shenanigans, called me to give me what it calls a “client helicopter overview”. It seems the day was going swimmingly until the diversity actor-led drama-based workshop.

Darren, head of maintenance, was asked to imagine how, were he of a different sexual orientation, he would feel being part of the maintenance team.

His answer “don’t even go there, mate,” did not fully reflect the Prangcaster code of conduct on this issue, upset some of the luvvies and so the session was terminated.

“This prompted us to bring the programme forward,” said my man at Rock Hard, “and we moved quickly on to acting out age diversity issues before taking an early lunch”.

22 June E-mail from the maintenance team, the crux of which is that morale has never been higher. “Those luvvies – what a scream! And they can sink a few. Best laugh we’ve had in years. Can we do it again next year?” No Darren, you can’t.

3 July Our monthly training and L&D meeting. The HRD’s had a brainwave.

Well my horoscope did warn of a novel event. He wants us to explore the possibility of getting external accreditation for some of our courses.

“What, you mean like a GCSE in assertiveness?” I said in what could be a career-threatening moment.

He threw me one of his withering “you’re-pond-life-under-a-stone” looks.

“No,” he intoned sternly. “I thought some of our more senior and serious courses might well meet some of the stringent academic criteria laid down by a prestigious academic body, such as, for instance, the University of Prangcaster. I’d like the training team to talk to the appropriate people there and see what synergies can be achieved which will be of mutual benefit.”

Thus it was that university challenge came my way. Looks like I’ll be a casualty of university expansion.

17 July A stay of execution – the layabouts at Prancaster Uni have gone on their summer vacations and the place has been overrun by aging Open University wallahs looking for a cheap thrill and an easy essay.

This has given Lynda and me time to analyse the uni’s management course syllabuses and compare them to Prangcaster’s flagship management learning programme: the Academy of Leading and Management (Alarm).

It seems having a degree in anything bar deckchair management gets a few credits and completing Alarm will get a few more.

By my reckoning, a bit of tweaking and a couple more Prangcaster Uni study units will leave us not too far short of a Masters. Given the senior management’s penchant for pieces of paper this could be a career-enhancing opportunity.

Roll on September when we’re due to meet the uni’s head of business, Barry Buck. I believe the students call him “fast”.


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