The people you meet in the meeting room
In every workshop I run, the following characters appear in the room. Are you one of these?
Norman know it all
Norman should not be on the course. Someone has made him attend. He knows far more about the topic than the trainer and will ensure everyone is aware of his knowledge. Norman challenges every comment you make and says “That wouldn't be applicable in my industry as my industry is unique”.
Murray the mint eater
Murray unwraps his first mint before the program commences. He then starts to build his little pile of wrappers during the first hour. Avoid asking Murray any questions as his mouth will be full of mints. He sometimes fills up his pockets at the end of the day with extra mints to sustain him on the way home. Murray always mentions that he only eats a lot of mints when he is on a training course. The positive about Murray is at least his breath is fresh, even if all his teeth have fallen out.
Wendy the weather girl
Wendy the weather girl is easy to spot as she arrives. She wears an outfit that covers all temperatures. Wendy will have a poncho, sarong, scarf, cardigan, jacket and umbrella with her, even though it is the middle of summer. She will carefully scan the room before she takes her seat. Wendy the weather girl is looking closely for air conditioning vents or air flow patterns within the room. Wendy always asks you this question. “Is it possible to change the temperature settings in the room”?
Big Ben – The clock watcher
Big Ben greets you with the following question. "What time do you think we will be finishing today”? Big Ben’s whole day revolves around ensuring he can leave early to (select from any of these): Pick up one of his children, catch an early flight, attend a personal appointment with his therapist. Ask Big Ben if he would like a shorter lunch break so he can leave a little earlier and just watch his face light up.
Lenny normally arrives 15 minutes after the scheduled start. She has been caught in terrible traffic. It's funny how everyone else managed to avoid the traffic because they left earlier. Lenny will always be late back from her breaks. Not sure why, that is just how Lenny operates. She is also always about 3 pages behind the group in the folder.
I am seeing more of Facebook Fran these days in the room. Fran wanders in with her IPhone, Ipad, laptop and her hard drive tucked under her arm. Fran boots up her lap top, hacks into a local wireless network and starts updating her Facebook status, tweeting and emailing as the program commences and continues to do so throughout the day. Fran thinks she is so important it would be a national disaster if she disconnected from her 9461 friends for the day. Fran often comes back late from breaks, with late Lenny.
Con the caterer
Con’s main focus of the day is the menu. He enters the room clutching his bottle of Fiji water. Con greets you with the following question, “Are there any vegetarian and gluten free options for lunch?”. Con is allergic to nuts, eggs, air, wheat, tap water, coffee and is lactose intolerant. Con is far more concerned with the catering than with the learning. On the feedback form Con always comments that the catering was a little disappointing as there were not enough options that catered for his dietary needs.