Today is the last day of Orientation Week. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it’s almost over. Yesterday we were given a scenario like this: You’re in a plane crash in the sub-arctic region above the Newfoundland-Quebec border. The pilot and plane sank into the river/lake/some icy body of water, and you’re left with 15 items (sample: hand axe, compass, rope, sleeping bag, bottle of Bacardi 151 rum, etc.). You have to prioritize them in order of importance. Then you’re divided into teams, and your team has to collectively rank everything in order of importance. Then you have the official expert opinion on the most important items, figure out your score, then the team’s score and realize that (here’s the point of the exercise) you did better as a team than as an individual. Nevermind the fact that we’re all dead because we tried to walk 50 miles to the nearest town and we should’ve stayed put and kept our fire going to signal passing planes. But my team survived longer than the other 2 teams, so there you go.
This morning, however, we reached a new high (low?) in Consulting Suckiness. We have to come up with an actual scenario from our lives – preferably a consultant/customer scenario, but you could use anything from your life where you were dissatisfied with the outcome due to your own personal lack of communication (i.e., you wish you had said something, but you didn’t). Then we get to act this scenario out with our partner ON VIDEO!! Aacckkk!!! I couldn’t think of anything work-related, except one project where I was the only girl and I felt like the team secretary, and I really didn’t want to talk about that because I don’t like playing the gender card. So I talked to the group facilitator to try to get another idea, and he told me to use something non-work related, like maybe a bad experience with a customer service person or something. Here’s what I came up with: A few years ago, I was at the vet’s office, I saw a guy abusing his dog, I didn’t say anything to him and I wish that I had. So this poor other guy from Singapore has to act out the role of the dog-abuser, and I have to (calmly, mind you) ask him to treat his dog more kindly without killing him (which was honestly my first instinct when this happened in real life). We just finished acting it out, and it was so awful that there are no words.
Then a little bit later, I had to play the customer for this Australian guy, but all I had to do was act closed off and unresponsive, so that was pretty easy. Then – here’s the best bit – we’re about to get to watch all of ourselves on tape IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE GROUP and evaluate how we could improve our communication skills. I think I’m probably going to crawl under the table and die.
I cannot WAIT to get back to actual work.