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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Training

During October my co-worker and I spent two weeks away from our regular jobs. A vacation? Hardly the word I would choose. We were in training. Boot camp so to speak. Learning and implementing a new accounting system for our school district. 

I do a lot of accounting work. It’s my job. I even enjoy it most of the time. There’s something about making the numbers balance that gives my heart a tiny thrill  (I know – doesn’t take much). Working on the computer is a nice thing too. I do it every day. Work, home, wherever I am. I can’t imagine being away from my keyboard. But…

This training was NOT fun, nor could it be described as pleasant. While Deana and I sat at the training table for two weeks, we didn’t do our regular work. But then, no one else did it either. It just kept piling up until even glancing toward my desk became painful. I would get there early in the morning, stay late at night and even worked a few evenings just to keep some semblance of order with the stacks of paper. Pretty much unsuccessful. Thank goodness for my friend Tammy who came to sit at my desk those weeks and answer phones. I'm sure anybody walking into the office thought all those piles were hers.

So, not only did the regular work not get accomplished, but we were hit with so much new information, new procedures, new methodology in every one of those days lasting into perpetuity, we were brain-fried by lunchtime. Try to imagine how it felt by 5:00 because I can’t figure out how to describe it.

And there we sat, ten days of torture. Now I need to make one thing VERY clear. Our trainers, Jeanne and Lynette were wonderful. It’s not their fault we had to cram so much into 10 days. And they have my utmost admiration. This is what they do – all the time – not just for two weeks. After training us they were gone to someplace else to train for two weeks. I have no idea what their paychecks say, but it’s not enough.

So we learned our new accounting system (sort of), got most of our data input (right or wrong) and sent out our first payroll under the new system. Worst payroll of my career.  Everybody got paid and mostly the right amounts, but the stress it cost me could not possibly have been worth it. 

But, now it’s over, we’re sailing along with a few hiccups here and there. Ever notice how when you get the hiccups it’s usually one after another after another until your gut aches?  Drink a glass of water or get scared – that’s how to stop them. The water didn’t work as well as the being scared part.

When I finally made it through these ten days of torment, I had a strange thought. I think all of life is a training ground. Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in at the moment is simply preparation for what is to come. All our thoughts, dreams, hopes and experiences are part of the master plan for our lives, always readying us for what is to come. The Master Artist has the blueprints all drawn out. Everything has a reason and a purpose.

So if this is true, let’s all mire ourselves into the training put before us, get all we can grab from it and learn everything we can. Sometimes it’s seems easier to stick my head under the covers and ‘skip this lesson’ but in reality that would only make me farther behind. Remember in high school when the teacher assigned a research paper due in a month or six weeks? How many of us went home that very night and starting working on it? OK – I always was one of the weird ones. But really – think about it- many of our experiences aren’t fun or pleasant. But when you’re through, you’re through. The building blocks stack higher and higher, just like the papers on my desk and soon you’re ready to tackle whatever lies ahead in the strength of what you left behind.  

Go ahead, dive in head first, the deep end in the coldest part. No point in sticking your toe in first. And remember – there’s usually someone around somewhere nearby who’s already been through that training program in some fashion or another. I bet they won’t let you sink. 

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