Monday, October 03, 2005

A Class Unto My Own

It seems that my otherwise lacking career as a disgruntled wage donkey slaving away in the heart of Corporate Hell may have taken a turn for the better and definitely for the welcome lately. I have been recruited recently by my infinite-powers-that-be in the office to serve instead among the ranks in the Training Department. Now, I know immediately what you’re all probably thinking: “They’re really going to put this opinionated, embittered, and possibly homicidal jackass in front of new employees”?

Yup! They sure is! And I for one couldn’t be more thrilled.

After nearly three years of indentured servitude in Ground Zero, tethered to a headset on three-and-a-half ft of stretchy cord - I’m finally movin’ on up the corporate ladder. And the best part is, I didn’t even have to get down on my knees once! Now if somebody had told me three weeks ago that not only would I be having fun, but actually looking forward to going to work in the morning as well, I would have bashed in their skull with a soup ladle and be serving a life sentence at Sing-Sing by now. But thankfully, it’s all true and this is not just another daytime hallucination of mine.

So things have progressed nicely in my new temporary position until the other day when I was actually given the open floor for the first time to deliver one of the simple drafted-out lesson plans to the class. I had initially figured that with my total acquired two decades of customer service and dealing directly with your average John Q. Dipshit, that I would have lots – scads – oodles – shitloads even – of useful and helpful experience to pass on to these new recruits in order to help them survive once dropped in the eye of the corporate hurricane. There just isn’t enough time in the day to allow my boisterous nature to spew forth with all its biased opinions and barbed sarcasms. If you're going to shape impressionable minds and shamelessly distort them in your own twisted likeness - then do it RIGHT! But surely, even if only just being professional, I could manage to eat up more than a just a few minutes of the morning class time before the first bathroom break - working them over like Demi Moore with wet clay. I mean, who wouldn't want to listen to me?

However, I was wrong. Dead wrong!

Not only did they not particularly give a shit about what I had to say, but when the opportunity came, I discovered the horrible realization that standing and speaking at the front of a classroom is, apparently, about as natural to me as platform high diving to a Bedouin sheepherder. Suddenly, I’m standing there in front of two-dozen expectant faces and I’m instantly transformed back into that terrified little Grade Three schoolboy trying to get through his homework assignment at the front of the class without pissing his corduroys. My cheeks became enflamed as if I had stuck my entire head in an oven; my mouth felt like I had been chewing cotton balls; and my mind went as blank as a newly hatched sea turtle. The only thing running through my mind at the time was this desperate instinct to crawl for my very life and seek out any nearby cover. Had any of the students present had an available briefcase or knapsack conveniently located anywhere nearby, I may have inadvertently attempted to stuff myself into it to escape further torture in front of my mute audience.

I think you must have a really sadistic nature to actually want to teach. Someone who might think nothing of base-jumping off remote Alpine mountain cliffs or leaping out of a plane at 30,000 ft, would still be reduced to a warm sack of pink jelly if ever they were required to deliver an entertaining lecture to new employees on proper dress code and professional office etiquette. It didn't come naturally to James Belushi in the 'Principal' either at first until he armed himself with a Lousiville Slugger.

I’m just going to have to step it up a bit if I’m ever to survive this classroom experience and prevent myself from being banished back to the office killing floor with the other broken wage donkeys. Perhaps I’ll take the edge off the stress of having to be consistently funny, likeable and entertaining by just being the normal, everyday, common schmuck that I am. The same doofus that somehow managed to eke his way into this lofty position in the first place. I'm no Anne Sullivan - I admit. But I do have the same out-dated fashion sense of Gabe Kotter. So I can't be altogether that bad, can I?

And if that doesn’t work, I’ll simply bring down a reign of terror the likes of which haven’t been seen on this planet since Genghis Khan came down with a severe case of jock itch. Speak out of turn, or dare flunk any of my pop quizzes, and I’ll take their ass out with a stapler from the front of the classroom like a modern day, pleated William Tell. I'll go all 'Lean On Me' on their newbie asses!

2 Comments:

Blogger Superhappyjen said...

I flunked out of teacher's college a couple years ago so I know exactly where you're coming from. No matter what anybody says it DOES NOT get easier. Sure, they'll be easier days, sometimes enough in a row that you'll convince yourself that it has gotten easier and then POOF! we're back to the whole thing being a hellish ordeal.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Claudia said...

I would be terrified too. They are a tough audience. Just be yourself. You are not there to impress them, you are there to do a job, to tell them what theirs is going to be. Somewhere, someone once told me that it only appears as though no one is listening to you when you speak, but they do.

You'll be fine. You are just working outside your box right now. It will be a good thing, one way or the other.

4:45 PM  

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