Monday, April 25, 2016

Computer Training Day

Today was Computer Training Day for my new job at an undisclosed grocery store chain. Computer training is something I have done before, when working for another chain food service establishment. But I have never done it for six hours in a row. Let me repeat that. Six. Hours. In front of a computer being presented with what is usually information you already kinda know. Like how to be a decent person. How to wash your hands. How to wipe a counter. Etc. 

Here are some of the symptoms of sitting behind a computer being trained by animated people using rigid hand gestures to point to checklists which illuminate as you scroll the mouse over them and click and endless "Next" arrow button.

1) You become emotionally attached to the cartoon characters who are administering your training. By the end of the segment entitled something like "Poisons You Should Keep Off of the Food Preparation Surfaces" I had grown to really care about Megan, my cartoon instructor. Her stylish hair and clean cut suit exuded power, but there was a twinkle in her warm brown eyes, which showed me she could have a good time and a hearty laugh. I think this is comparable to some mild form of Stockholm Syndrome.

2) You begin frantically searching for something, anything to take your mind and eyes away from the screen. You scan the cubicle. Aha! An inspirational poster which reads: "Make Today The Best Day Ever!" OK, so it is not much, but it's something to feed your rotting brain.

3) Bathroom breaks are incredibly valuable. You get to a) leave your seat, b) look at things that are not a computer, c) see human faces and, if you are very lucky, make brief verbal contact and d) you get to move around a bit. You begin to ration your toilet visits in order to savour the whole experience.

4) Memories from the outside world and your former life fade. Your identity shrivels up like a piece of plastic on the fire. Not that I would know. I have never, ever put plastic onto a camp fire. Soon you forget about trees. You forget the sky. What is love? I don't know. My heart has ben replaced by corporate jargon and slogans.

At the end of the night, when I had finally worked out my 6 hours, I dragged my hollow body outdoors to walk home. The sky was amazing after a brief rainstorm. There was still heat lightening flashing behind the clouds every few seconds. It was warm and humid. It felt so good to be outdoors again and remember creation and its Creator. I have hope that this job can only get better. After computer training it can only go up, right?

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