There are many things to learn upon starting a new job.
- The names of the other people in the office
- What all the acronyms mean
- Which is the toilet nobody uses and what the reason for this is
- How strict people are regarding breaks
- Who is that person, who has been there for decades and can’t deal with even the smallest change while talking about how ‘social’ it used to be here.
However, alongside this, in the current era of lawyers, a whole new set of obstacles are put in our way. Compulsory training that has to be completed the moment somebody passes through the door, yet will not actually be arranged for months until just before the auditors are due. Fire prevention, manual handling, first aid, data protection, health & safety are inevitable among the list of torture.
Of course, these things are important but the focus is often on making sure the company is ‘in compliance’ regarding the myriad of government regulations rather than any benefit to the employee. The training will need completing no matter how relevant it is to the position held within the company. It is unlikely that anyone would be bribing a cleaner with trips to Silverstone but if that cleaner works in big business the anti-bribery training will need to be taken. When working with the cruise ships, I was ordered to spend a whole day on sluice pump training in case I accidently dumped sewage in the ocean half way through the bingo, even though I had no need to know what a sluice pump actually was nor where to find it.
Larger companies may have a designated training provider, a poor soul with whom nobody makes eye contact and spends their time telling people that ‘it is a company requirement’ that they learn about the Manual Handling Operations Regulation Act of 1992 even though they are a phone operator. They will tell you it will be brief yet drone on for hours and will accompany the presentation with a series of information videos from the late 1980s that will take ages to find on their computer and will be too dark/quiet.
Other times it is undertaken online. This is far more preferable. There is usually a test at the end with a pass rate needed of about 80%. Based on my experience, here are a few tips.
- There is no need to read the information. It is likely to be very straight forward and you will save about two hours by skipping to the end.
- TILE stands for Task, Individual, Load, Environment. For some reason, this is always a question in computerised training.
- Be careful, sometimes it records how long the course has taken to complete, so don’t go too fast. Open the page, then go and watch TV for a bit, come back later.
- Read the questions carefully, how many answers are they looking for? Don’t forget, you can always Google it.
- The emergency assembly point will be on the far side of the car park (it is always there).
- When the test is over and you get your congratulations screen, print it out. The last thing you need is for the connection to fail and have to do the whole thing again.
Then just when you think it is all done, somebody with a spreadsheet informs you that it has expired and will need doing again. Just remember, far side of the car park.