It’s a been a tough week and I haven’t much felt like writing. I have been training an employee from another department how to do my job as he will be doing it for several months. He is on light duty with nothing to do in his department while in my department we are all totally overwhelmed with a workload that we simply cannot catch up with. Having this person to help out for a few months will free up more time for me to do other things in need of attention and also the opportunity for me to learn new job responsibilities.
As good as all this sounds the process of training someone one on one can be a daunting task. There are so many different functions that have to be played out in the proper sequences that can only be taught through one on one instruction. My hopes are that we may be able to wrap up all of this training by the end of today but I suspect that it may require another week.
As I deal specifically with parking issues in the role of Code Enforcement Officer most of my day is working in the field. The situation right now is me sitting in the back seat of my own rig and acting as a coach as my student performs the job.
This all makes me think about the question that is asked many times in social settings: “What do you do?” This question is always about one inquiring about what another does to earn money each day. As I go through actually teaching someone else to do my job I realize that I am truly answering that question in full detail.
The most difficult aspect of training another is that we are all different and not only think about things differently but also physically perform things differently based on past experience. While in a vehicle we must work with a laptop computer. As I perform certain tasks each day my fingers create their own memories of going through specific sequences of keyboard commands and mouse pad actions to get through the menu systems of several different computer programs. After repeating these actions over and over again they seem to become second nature. Watching someone else perform the same tasks seems both daunting and slow. I have to really think about understanding that I was in the same situation not long ago as I was learning to perform this job. It literally took months to develop the patterns I use today. While in the role of trainer or teacher I have to be constantly mindful of this understanding and try to encourage my student to develop their own patterns to accomplish the job each day.
It is too easy to think that just because someone else does things different than we do while performing the same function they are wrong and we are right. The teacher needs great patience with the student to be successful and as I am pretty much working in a hurry up to keep up type of job sometimes having patience can be difficult. The test falls into the teachers lap just as much as the student.