Coming clean about training

Student life
Off campus

I'm a man with more fibre than a bowl of Alpen. One of my unwavering morals, whether at home, work, or in my romantic dealings, is to exert as little effort as possible. I'm an economist and maximum output for minimum effort is the kind of ratio I thrive on. Going by that rule alone, I'm probably one of the most efficient people my last employer ever had the good fortune to hire. Day after day, week after week I'd do less real work than a Big Brother winner but still show my face for just long enough to get that pay cheque each month. But alas, for the prince of procrastination even that became too harsh a bargain, and so I quit.

Sailing through the calm, clear water of unemployment for only a few days makes you realise that in that vast ocean of free time, infinite options and possibilities float all around but actual decisions and activities remain mysteriously absent. The intense boredom is all too fast punctured by the crushing realisation that sitting around doing nothing in your bedroom as opposed to an office really doesn't pay that well. For someone like me who has absolutely no drive to deliver anyone else's passion or vision, the only real answer is to run my own business and hire some staff to do the donkey work. At the moment I'm in the early stages of entrepreneurship so I don't want to be too specific, but I'm currently raising finance to progress my empire to the next level: hiring someone to come up with a business idea. So far it's feeling pretty good. I'll probably be bigger than Google soon.

So far there is one large international firm who are actively investing in me, but only in that they're employing me as a graduate in an entry level role. It's not the Dragons Den style chair arm's worth of cash I was looking for, but even from the first five days of training I've managed to decipher the one secret required to manage and run a global, multibillion pound business - good staff. They don't come from top universities or with years of experience. They are not born, or created. They are brainwashed. And as a Chief Executive of it is your duty to delegate this brainwashing.

Hire some extra-lively HR staff to run the operation for you. Ideally you are looking for someone sickeningly upbeat, who smiles so much that MI5 should be aware of them as a threat to national security. Qualifications really don't matter as it's a hindrance if the brainwasher actually understands the technicalities of the business. Ideally their Facebook page should indicate that they have studied drama at college and still be involved in it at an amateur level, but certainly not any higher. They will look forward to pantomimes, cite ITV as their favourite TV channel and believe "everything happens for a reason."

Now gather your new employees in a ballroom of a respectable hotel; your business will seem affluent and classy. The ironic truth is that within the confines of the earth-toned prison, a ball will most certainly not be had. The hotel brand is just to cover up atrocities which occur inside. It's the equivalent of telling that bloke who just got released from Guantánamo that "at least the weather was nice." Your bubbly people leader will now deliver the most tenuous metaphor-laden script possible, constantly referring to the business as an "international family." The response to any query or comment should be prefixed with "great question", "awesome point" or "thanks for sharing." Before moving onto each and every single paragraph of the million page script, make sure "what questions do you have?" is thrown to the room before introducing the next subject and asking "Are you ready to follow me?". The idea isn't to make the staff feel welcome but to confuse them into accepting the interminable monotony of working life through the mix of hypothetical and literal questions.

Don't forget the "fun" exercises. I can attest that these really accelerate the onset of Stockholm Syndrome, the real aim of training. Training isn't designed to mould graduates into free thinking, idea belching leaders of tomorrow - by day five they should be quivering wrecks just grateful that you, Cheif Executive of Empire Ltd, has let them live.

If you have an assessment centre or training session soon, it'll be painful but at least you get paid to sit around and do nothing. Don't like it? Well thanks for sharing - have you ever thought about gathering your ideas and coming to work for Matthew Reeves Ltd? Think of it not as a business, but as an international family - are you ready to follow me?

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