The worst part of the training I wrote about yesterday was that, even though nobody wanted to be there, some of the other people in attendance took the attitude that they ought to make lemonade out of the lemons they had been handed.
This was fine on principle, except it meant that they shared.
“Who can tell me what they think an optimal experience is?”, asked the leader of the session.
Silence for a brief while. Then, from somewhere in the room: “The BEST!”
“Good, good,” said the leader. “Anybody else?”
Silence for a briefer while. “An experience unencumbered with frivolous baggage!”
The trainer was taken aback for a moment, but then recovered himself. “Excellent! That’s definitely a very specific definition. An optimal experience is . . .” and kept on talking.
It got worse; people started raising their hands unprompted and contributing anecdotes from their own personal experience. “The other day, I had an awakening,” they would begin, and then they would describe the tedious awakening.
And I was like, excuse me, don’t you realize that the more we talk, the later we’re going to go home?
But by the afternoon, I was so beaten down and demoralized by the whole experience that I actually started to buy into the rhetoric. I saw what the trainer was doing and yet, despite all my efforts to resist, I felt motivated. “Gee,” I thought to myself, “that does sound good. If I do a really great job [which my mind refused to translate consciously to ‘if I sell more of our product’], the clients can feel understood and be happier and I can be happier too.” I was revolted to find myself thinking such thoughts, but I was powerless to stop myself.
Thank God I was locked out at the beginning of day two. Maybe I should quit the gig while I’m ahead and count myself lucky to have escaped relatively unscathed.