27 01 2009

As I write this I ought to be preparing training, documenting the AGSP scholar database I’ve produced or building the “partners” database that ISODEC have asked for. But I’m not. Instead I’m typing away at my personal blog and looking to see whether anyone has either read my blog or left me a message in the two minutes since I checked last time. I’ll admit that this partly because I’m a lazy narcissist with the attention span of a two year old, but it’s also because I know that I’ve got to stretch those tasks out so that I don’t run out of things to do (plus I hate doing documentation).

My main role here is supposed to be as a trainer, but the challenge is that the two key members of staff I want to train are rarely around, really busy when they are around and unwilling to commit to times. A typical conversation goes:

“Tim, when would you like to give some training?”
“Well, when are you available? You’re much busier than me”
“No, you give a time and we’ll fit it in”
“OK, how about next Thursday afternoon?”
“OK, next Thursday afternoon it is, great”
“So you’ll be back from Accra by Thursday then?”
“So you won’t be here next Thursday”
“So next Thursday is no good for training?”
“OK, how about Friday?”
“Yes, Friday is better”

I later discovered that they wouldn’t be back by Friday either. I’ve got the office to myself for the whole week.

I’ll admit as well that the training itself can be frustrating. Computers are new here and my colleagues are not natural technophiles, added to that is a very didactic tradition to teaching. All this results in my colleagues wanting me to teach them what key to press or button to click, but don’t want to explore. Also English is not their first language and they find my accent difficult plus they’re still getting used to some of the mechanical aspects of computers means they can find it hard when I say “Move the mouse pointer over the cell and click on the right mouse button”. In some training I’ve done (not necessarily to colleagues) I have had to choke back the desire to shout out in frustration “Are you deliberately doing this to wind me up? The File menu is the one that says ‘File’ at the top left of the screen, not the one that says ‘Edit’!” or “Is the word ‘Between’ complicated? Not on, not next to but between!”. They want me to teach them how to build a database.




3 responses

27 01 2009

Tim – you twitterred the other day saying ‘ what was the point of twitter’ and I used to think like that. The key thing is to start to follow some other twitterrers so that you can see what they are going through. As a newcomer to Ghana you can see some of my experiences and questions. Some of yours match mine! Oh – my advice give the goat stew a miss but the red-red (bean stew) is ace.

28 01 2009

passo per caso nel tuo blog
un saluto from Italy, ciao

31 01 2009
trainer's point of view

Training to train…a trainee?…well sounds it could easily roll off your way but it isn’t really…whether you’re training people to be technocrats or just teaching them that ‘hitting a child with a cane!” is not one of the teaching strategies in Maths!… its all not easy!…so best thing is just…more patience…and more waiting …when trainees are in a trainable mindset they’ll get you no matter what…yeah red red does taste great!…

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