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Tuesday, October 9, 2012


As you may know, I used to train telephone customer service employees for a large banking corporation. The hours spent in the training room could be fodder for any number of stories, every one of them true. Recent events in the political arena made me remember this particular experience.

When you spend numerous hours training less-than-exciting, but necessary, material to a group of people, sometimes you have to do a little something extra to keep their interest. Let's face it, since you are training the same things over and over, sometimes you have to take extra steps to make sure that YOU don't get bored. One of the dangerous energy slump times is right after lunch. A full tummy and a chair can sometimes make a person sleepy. 

For me, however, it seemed that my early afternoons were when I experienced a bit of an energy rush. After all, I had eaten some good food and had a few laughs with my fellow trainer, so I felt ready to roll. On one afternoon, as I was training some probably boring procedures, I was trying to make the session less dull by speaking in different voices for the different customer examples I was using. As I scanned the training room to see if everyone looked like they were catching on, I noticed that Jim, one of my favorite trainees, was shaking his head. Worried that he may not have understood the procedure, I asked him what was up. "Katrina," he replied, "watching you train is like Sesame Street on crack!" I don't know if anyone in the class thought it was as funny as I did. I was laughing too hard to notice!

The next day after lunch, I was feeling particularly wacky. My class and I were both having fun with the learning experience. In the midst of a burst of laughter, I caught sight of Jim, sitting at his computer with a little smile on his face. "I know," I said, "Sesame seed on crack!" I actually managed to make Jim laugh out loud that day. And I had to laugh at myself as well. My mouth had betrayed me once again, but it ended up being something that was pretty funny. The whole class had a good time with it, and we were all energized enough to make it through the afternoon.

I hope that my friend Jim remembers that day as fondly as I do, and can still get a chuckle of two out of it. Thanks for helping create one of my favorite training memories. Have fun with your kids on Sesame Seed Street!