Monday, September 13, 2004


Descent Into Madness

So I'm busy trying to get myself a Business Administration certificate, seeing that the Powers That Be (the fourth word, Assholes, is implied but not articulated here) have decided that my 24-year-old Applied Business certificate coupled with my 26 years of office experience counts for about as much as the wart on my Auntie Mabel's ass.

So, obediently, back to school I go.

I would just like to take a few moments to share with you the utter horror of the three hours I spent in class this evening.

I'm taking Business Computing Basics. Three credits for finding the "on" switch and formatting a document. Oh yes, and doing a Power Point presentation. (gag)

Simple, think I, in my innocence.

Ha! I would like to ask that if, in future, there is a course that has been designed by the denizens of the seventh level of Almond-Scented Hell, that it be advertised as such.

Thanks In Advance.

To start with, I don't think I've ever seen such glaring disrespect in any classroom in which I have been unfortunate enough to do time.

Now, this instructor is not an asshole. Far from it. He is a kind, articulate, educated and caring person. He may be a little less dynamic than some of the instructors I've studied with but dude, he actually knows what he's doing, so Shut The Fuck Up! It's not his fault that you aren't entertained by an instructor who chooses to teach without the aid of sock puppets or a clown suit and a pony.

During my three hours there I witnessed:

* three instances of people playing solitaire instead of listening;
* one instance of someone surfing the web looking for a job
* two instances of people playing minesweeper (and losing badly, may I add)
* one instance of someone reading shitty comic strips
* one instance of someone reading blogs (and not mine, the bitch!)
* one instance of a person studying for another class
* three people eating (in a computer lab)
* three people drinking (also in a computer lab)
* one young man looking at cars he will never be able to afford
* one young lady sending text messages about how boooooored she was

The evening went something like this:

6:30 pm. Everyone arrives, all bright and shiny, ready to be filled anew with the wonders of the computing world.

6:35 pm. The instructor starts to read the course outline to us, as all instructors are required to do on the first day, as that is their legal contract with the student.

6:40 pm. Everyone realizes that they're trapped here for three hours and starts to act like complete twats.

7:30 pm. The instructor finishes droning on about the course outline and the cost of the books and lets us all take a break.

7:40 pm. We're all back in our seats, hopelessly waiting for something, ANYthing, to happen. An explosion would be good. At least it would be interesting.

7:45 am. A young lady who seems to have dressed up for a date rather than a class gets up and abruptly leaves the classroom, apparently close to tears. I don't know if she just realized that the average guy in the room makes George Bush look sorta hot, or if she got a text message telling her that she was missing something exciting somewhere else. Either way, one down ...

8:00 pm. I think my ass has gone to sleep. My teeth are starting to itch with the appalling boredom of looking at a blank Microsoft Word screen while the instructor explains about how to figure out what the icons on the tool bar mean. Um, if you hold your cursor (that's the little arrow thingie) over the button, the name pops up. It's not brain surgery.

8:10 pm. My sciatica starts acting up. The only surprising thing about this is that I didn't have sciatica before I signed up for this course. This can only bode ill.

8:15 pm. Instructor is still droning. Oh look, there are two different ways to display your document five different ways. I'm thinking that might be math so I stop listening immediately. I wonder if the sciatica is in part caused by the odd little plastic midget chairs that make me fold up like Gumby. Although at my age it is always an exciting discovery to find that you CAN still fold up like Gumby, I've gotta say that I had always anticipated discovering that while sweating under the poolboy or doing Salma Hayack or something, certainly not while listening to the ... oh look! If you push that button that looks like a paragraph symbol you can display the non-printing symbols on the still non-existent document. Be still my heart.

8:18 pm. Instructor gives us a "twelve minute" break.

8:31 pm. Having stolen an illicit extra minute (if he asks me I'm gonna say I had to pee) I return to the class to discover that we've lost at least two or three more of our eager little students. Seemingly the bloom is off the rose. Shortest honeymoon phase I've ever witnessed.

8:40 pm. I continue to eat Skittles (yes, I was one of the three people eating. so sue me) and wonder what sort of diversion would be created if I started dropping them down the unfortunately public ass-crack of the great billowing woman taking up two seats just across the aisle from me.

8:55 pm. Kurt Cobain, reappears on the playlist of the Disc Jockey from Hell and starts screaming "Rape Me, My Friend" at the top of his voice in my head. Sadly, I know just how he feels.

9:05 pm. I rummage through my purse and start licking the envelopes I find in there, using the glue thus recovered to stick my upper eyelashes to my eyebrows in an attempt to hold my eyelids open enough to appear awake until the end of the class.

9:15 pm. I give serious consideration to driving my favourite pen right through my eye and into my brain, just to make all of this stop. I manage to restrain myself only because a) there are only about 15 minutes left of class and b) I REALLY like this pen.

9:20 pm. The Dark Lord releases us from our bondage. He says we can use the last ten minutes to practice. I stand aside to avoid being trampled in the rush for the door.

9:30 pm. I explain to the instructor that I really know most of this stuff and am wondering if I should be in the class. He asks me my background. I tell him, and also tell him that I tested at 86% on the first third of the class, using his testing software, two years ago. He asks me why the hell I'm taking the class and says he would be happy to give me credit for work done. We work out a deal wherein I don't attend class but I do the assignments and the exams, seeing I'm doing this for credit and don't want a freebie. He also says he'll lend me the books, so I can return the ones I have (and fortunately didn't take out of the shrink wrap) to the bookstore and reclaim a much-needed $165.

9:35 pm. I consider hauling out the kneepads and expressing my gratitude, but instead have a lively chat about the history of MS Word, reminisce about the old days of DOS and then run away to buy beer and come home and put my feet up.

I have another class tomorrow night and have done little in the way of knitting. Fibre content will have to wait for Wednesday or Thursday.

Ciao, bellas ...

I think I took that same class last year, complete with the ass-crack! You know you wish you were one of the ones :)
Ugh school...I thought about it but I don't think I could go through another four years or so. But good luck to you!
Damn. No knee pads? I'd love that story, too.
This sounds like the average day at my workplace. Did I mention I work in a Federal (US) government office?
From my Thesaurus:

The powers that be: The idiots in charge.

Abbreviated: TIIC

Remember that!
Awww man! And I start taking a 'Continuing Education' class on the 27th. I'm nervous already. Wanna come take this class with me? heh.
So it's not just me.

I almost wasted a pen too!!

See ya.
I'm only going to come to your class if I can bring a bag of skittles with me ...
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