Saturday, November 18, 2006

Usually in this nightmare I'm not wearing any pants.

My manager informed me on Thursday that, in a meeting with two other office managers, our boss, and our soon-to-be boss, she volunteered me to give an "accelerated training" session for the temps. Basically, this would entail me writing up a training packet to do the job that I've already trained them to do. Oh, and a presentation in the conference room downstairs.

I was a little taken aback, since my history of "public speaking" usually involved "passing out in front of a projector." Well, I exaggerate. Usually I go through one of those spells and keep it together long enough to rush through my speech and run back to my seat before I fall over. (The best public speaking moment: I volunteered to compete in forensics senior year of high school. I chose to read "The Macbeth Murder Mystery" by James Thurber, this big production that involved accents. During the first of the three readings, I started to lose it. I remember reading the beginning and the ending of the story, but I have no idea what happened in the middle. I came in last place.)

I spent most of yesterday writing up the three-page handout on Microsoft Word, which, I'll admit, was kind of exciting since all I wanted was a job that required some writing skills. (Yes! I MADE IT!) When I finished, I went to show my boss and do a quick run-through to make sure I remembered anything. After she praised me for being "so thorough," I asked, "So, is anyone else coming to this thing?"

"Oh, yeah," she said. "Everyone will be there."



Then I started freaking out. I can handle "training" the temps over again, but suddenly I'm training my co-workers who have all been here for about four or five years. That's only potentially awkward. Also, that involves more public to speak in front of. Oh, and did I mention that the conference room is on the first floor and has a huge window facing State Street? Yeah, so the homeless men outside could also enjoy my performance.

I quickly emailed my mom, who responded, "See? They think you're smart enough to do this! I'm so proud of you!" Well, thanks Mom, but being (incredibly) intelligent is not going to keep me from wanting to die in a professional setting. When I told Christina last night, she had a similar reaction: "That's great!" she said. Uh, right.

In a perfect world, I would try to have some fun with this. Katy and John were trying to give me suggestions like having an animated Powerpoint or wearing a funny hat. I jokingly told one of the other managers that I could always force an icebreaker upon everyone, since the people in the office are notorious for not speaking to one another and not acknowledging the temps. Even though forcing awkwardness upon others for my own benefit sounds hilarious, it'd also involve extending the presentation. So, no. They aren't going to get anything fun; instead, they're going to get an hour of me shaking and speaking in a monotone voice. At least they might get a nap out of it.

I'll have to remember to buy some glucose tablets that morning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tyler, Tyler, obviously they think you have mad skills, or else they wouldn't make you do this.

Anyway, the best way to go about speaking to people you don't know is to look mainly at the project and pointing to thinks and making minimal eye contact. Always works for me.