July 9, 2007

Class Rebellion

It's early. And instead of getting in my car and heading to work, I have to attend the first day of a week-long training class. This is a professional thing. It will increase my marketability and add to the bottom line (my salary). Those are the only two reasons I'm doing this.

There are no combinations of words which adequately convey how much I am not looking forward to the next four days.

Based on the literature for this program that I obtained in advance and only recently perused, I am afraid the course is run by the same goody-goody asshats who were the most annoying classmates in elementary school. You know, the ones who outfitted themselves with a flashlight and pick-axe and climbed up teachers' asses the first time the mighty orifice presented itself and never managed to get dislodged. Reading about the course was a frightening experience. First, they encourage wearing comfortable, loose clothing (which I'm all for in the place of a suit and tie any day) because of all the deep-breathing exercises I'll supposedly be participating in. Now, I'm not a professional deep-breather. I don't see any reason to do it in a group setting. Then there was the spiel about "embracing the class", "maintaining a positive attitude" and "committing yourself to success". I want to be as successful as the next guy but I'm sure it's obvious by now that I'm already pretty much fucked on that second point. The best part, however, was the request that students refrain from consuming coffee or other caffeine for the duration of the class. I laughed so hard I blacked out. When I came to, I could only imagine the headline plastered above the fold on the front page of The Washington Post - Student Slays Instructor, Class of Twenty: Barricades Self In Starbucks

Long story short: No matter what you find yourself doing this week - sitting in a drab cube, pouring coffee, inspecting the genitalia of cattle, recording Britney's "comeback album" - remember, there's someone out there having less fun than you. And that would be me.

Excuse me now. I'm heading to my local Dunkin Donuts to find the biggest cup of coffee I can find. Fuck The Man.

Posted by Chris at July 9, 2007 6:01 AM

"refrain from consuming coffee or other caffeine" What are they nuts? Do they have NO concept of what would happen if we didn't HAVE our coffee. Pfft, whatthehellever. Down with the man. Get TWO extra larges! =) I think those ijits have a death wish. Refrain from consuming coffee my butt.

Posted by: Lauren at July 9, 2007 7:15 AM

Good god sounds like our "team building retreats" -- "Tell us your favourite colour and why?" (Black like my soul.) Luckily I missed the last one due to a norovirus outbreak.

I wish you much luck, as I look at the forms to get me into leadership academy... ack.

Posted by: Nat at July 9, 2007 7:56 AM

You have my deepest sympathy. They are obviously not committed to having a successful program if they want students to refrain from caffeine.

Posted by: Maria at July 9, 2007 8:08 AM

How can you survive a workday without coffee? Their logic is ludicrous. I find myself in a predicament this morning as well. A friend of mine at work always makes coffee. Every. Single. Day. And it's perfect every time. When I make it? It tastes like mud. For the next 6 business days, my friend will be in Hawaii. I will have to make the coffee. I'm pretty sure it's going to be excruciating. I have been given instructions - the ticket to a perfect cup, if you will. I hope your Dunkin Donuts cup was full to the brim and that you savor every last drop. Let's hope I can make something other than mud today. :)

Posted by: Emily at July 9, 2007 8:09 AM

omg...no COFFEE? my mom tried that once at a family reunion... (she drinks only decaf - why bother?) the rest of the family? well when I made the coffee (the rule was...first one up) my uncle got up and said "who made this tea?" we are talking a scoop and a half/per cup! it almost walked outta the pot! and when it was at moms... everyone had a headache and couldn't figure out why...until they went to dinner and got a REAL cup of coffee! they were all suffering caffeine withdrawal...and you have an instructor who wants to deal with a room full of these addicts going thru dts? I say take a lot of excedrine extra strength...nodoze... and a shotgun... everyone would understand... extenuating circumstances donchaknow?

Posted by: the unicorn at July 9, 2007 8:16 AM

Have fun embracing the class! Seriously, who do they think they are, trying to forbid sweet, sweet caffeine?

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 9, 2007 8:29 AM

Sounds like the beginnings of something far stranger than any previous cult before it.

Posted by: august at July 9, 2007 9:13 AM

Sounds like the beginnings of something far stranger than any previous cult before it.

Posted by: august at July 9, 2007 9:13 AM

Exactly who is running this program? Do they have any idea what asking your typical committed to success professional to give up caffeine will do? It will leave them with a room full of zombies with really bad withdrawal headaches. That's conducive to a positive attitude :)

Good luck with all the breathing. And, fight the power, my caffeinated brother!

Posted by: bad penguin at July 9, 2007 10:18 AM

I'll be watching for the headlines. Class swarms instructor.

Posted by: ann adams at July 9, 2007 10:53 AM

Just to be upfront, I'm not a faithful viewer of Country Music Television. It sits between ESPN and Comedy Central and, therefore, Dukes of Hazard reruns catch me occasionally. This weekend they had a sort of marathon of the 70s show Hee-Haw. I used to watch it with my grandparents when I was little. Watching it now, though, with it's corny everything? So horrible.

I tell you this because I think CMT's little exercise in nostalgic ass-rape continues throughout the week, so if you're looking for something that makes you feel more uncomfortable than 'corporate yoga', you should definitely tune in. That way, you can remind yourself throughout the class that, "At least I'm not watching Hee-Haw reruns on Country Msic Television."

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at July 9, 2007 11:12 AM

rubbing hands gleefully... this week on Rude Cactus is GONNA BE FUN!

Posted by: aimee/greeblemonkey at July 9, 2007 11:28 AM

Oh man, few things are worse. Scooping dog poop may be the only thing, in fact, and I usually delegate that to my daughter.

My sympathies, dude.

Posted by: Candy at July 9, 2007 11:32 AM

Are you sure you're going to a professional training and not some odd mind-washing cult thingy? Or maybe they think it'll increase their evaluations if all the class sleeps 90% of the week? Good luck, my friend.

Posted by: JamesMommy at July 9, 2007 12:52 PM

Well, um, it could be worse! Could be MOI going to that professional training thingy! ;)

Honestly, though? At least you don't WADDLE everywhere you go.... ;) In this HEAT!!!

Posted by: Haley-O at July 9, 2007 1:26 PM

"climbed up teachers' asses the first time the mighty orifice presented itself and never managed to get dislodged."

If this is, indeed the case, can they really dictate your caffeine intake from down there? OR peer over your shoulder to see if those doodles of the instructor in a choke-hold are really your notes? I don't think so. ;)

Posted by: smoness at July 9, 2007 1:40 PM

What if you tell them it's Chai, and that your yogi recommended it? Think that would work, or is lying forbidden in the name of embracing the class?

Good luck!

Posted by: Julie at July 9, 2007 4:15 PM

Dude, The Man does not survive without caffeine continuously greasing the wheel!

Posted by: Beth at July 9, 2007 4:37 PM

I'm not a consumer of coffee, but I still fail to see how doing so could negatively impact a training session. Is the leader's name Koresh by any chance?

Posted by: wordgirl at July 9, 2007 4:48 PM

I don't even get it. Why?

Posted by: Leah at July 9, 2007 6:57 PM

They can request in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster.

It would be my cup of coffee.

Posted by: Peggy at July 9, 2007 6:57 PM

Is it one of those seminars where you have to complete the Myers-Briggs assessment and build widgets? If so, I feel your pain. But no coffee? Not in a million years.

Posted by: coolchick at July 9, 2007 7:45 PM