It’s confession time and I’ve had a couple of things I’d like to address but both arenas warrant prudence. After all this is public space. Once you put it out there, it’s out there.
Let’s go with the micro-culture I’ve been sequestered in for the last ten weeks. For eight hours a day, I am in classroom with eighteen other people listening to an instructor who must cram our brains with industry jargon and teach us how to successfully navigate multiple screens. We must learn to readily recognize groups by id numbers and keep policy terms straight for multiple products that are amended regularly enough that keeping all this straight is challenging.
And what about our environment and the dynamics that impact this learning? We are fifteen women and three men. We range in age from twenty-two to fifty-two. I suspect some of us have never worked in a corporate environment. For some it seems their interests outside of work consists of shopping, particularly shoe shopping and or waiting to shop. Everyday, two topics dominate: shoes and what’s for lunch and oh, checking boyfriends’ phone messages and Facebook accounts because all men are dogs. If openly chatting isn’t an option (can’t be disruptive an entire lesson), don’t fret, technology is wonderful. Simply rely on an incessant flow of text messages which often leads to missing something said and therefore the texter asks questions she wouldn’t have to ask had she been paying attention but so what, she is convinced, she’s got this. She and crew rush through their work then become bored so they carry on sidebars across the table and the rows two tables on the other side.
Never mind, this particular organization is old school conservative. Never mind we have been told upfront about the corporate culture and what is unacceptable behavior i.e. no texting, no Internet surfing, no reading or writing or any activity outside of handling company business. Tardiness and any other unprofessional behavior are frowned upon. In fact, so many of us were hired because eighteen unfortunate souls were fired for these very offenses.
So on to my confession: I’m an ageist and a snob. I have a low tolerance threshold for banality of their conversations, and I sometimes want to strangle the squealing voice that emanates from a young woman sporting six-inch high spikes more appropriate for shake your thang Thursday than the office (is she serious?). The fact that my senses are bombarded with data eight hours a day is almost insufferable alone but add that I’m denied access to online resources (I love technology too) and individuals who can talk about more than shoes and lunch for the entire work day for makes one cranky, middle-age woman.
When our instructor reassigned seats I was relieved and glad.