The old Life Story

My company has an outstanding directive that employees should get at least 80 hours of training time in a year. It’s a noble idea, trying to make sure that managers are looking towards the development of their employees and whatnot. Frankly I’m annoyed by it, mostly because I’ve never felt that this kind of training is as useful as sitting down with a technology and working with it. But also because of some of the odd ways managers try to get around that.

Case in point, the director I work under with my new position decided to set up a series of classes across the year for day-long “leadership” training stuff. I think I mentioned it previously. This is a class put together by the assorted managers under his control to shove the rather ephemeral concept of “being a leader” at us vis a vis silly exercises and obnoxious homework. And it is, of course, about some of that homework that I’ve fired up the old blogging whine-o-matic to complain.

They decided that what we have to do for the 3rd such session is write up our life story in a couple pages. This will then be presented to the group… by someone else. They say they want us to write about all the things that made us who we are.

The problem there being that the stuff that truly shaped me is radically personal. There’s not an adjective sufficient to explain how ‘not-their-fucking-business’ those things are to me. The whole thing isn’t helped by the example edition that they offered that one of the managers had done. I, for one, certainly didn’t want to know that he and his wife had been unable to have children. Who the hell would talk about that at the office?! 

I plowed ahead with it anyway and just left out the bits that were making me uncomfortable. The result, now that I read over it, almost completely glosses over the crap that truly screwed me up in life. Some of the stuff that did end up in there I’m still uncomfortable with but couldn’t manage more filler (with a large font and double spaced). So now in a couple weeks I get to stand up in front of the class and let someone else violate my privacy for a bit. 

… boss just stopped by to see how the holiday was, asked what I was working on so I mentioned the life story and the discomfort. He pointed out that he’d kinda figured it would bother me but asserted that everyone else liked it last time they ran through it because it gave them stuff to talk about with their peers that they hadn’t known. Except I don’t want to talk about that shit. Sigh.