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Trainer’s Diary: The Perfect Stocking Filler


Byron Kalies What's the must-have gift for those in learning and development? Byron Kalies puts on his santa hat and comes up with a few ideas...

At last it’s the Christmas season. It’s a time for taking stock, slowing down, winding down easing up and 100 other clichés. It’s a time to start considering the state of your career – reliving those ups and downs of the past year and wondering if you’ve got the energy to carry on in this bizarre profession for one more year.

It’s a time for thinking. God knows there’s plenty of time. Training courses in late December are rarer than an original idea in a Little Britain sketch. It’s also present time and unluckily (luckily) there’s no ‘easy’ gift for a management consultant (A writer colleague told me she received eight copies of ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ last year).

Ever other corner of every other market seems to have a dedicated industry selling those things at this time of year (or rather selling it to people who think this is what people want). Do you think any keen angler wants the Play Station 2 game of ‘Fisherman’s Challenge’? Or taxi drivers will be queuing up (sorry) to own ‘Taxi Driver’ for the X-box?

Maybe I’m wrong. There may well be a need out there for a ‘Virtual Management Trainer’. I can see it now. It’s a mixture of a ‘shoot 'em up’ game and Championship Manager. You get to skilfully plan all the tactics but if things start going wrong…

You start off on level one, running a nice easy straightforward induction course. The attendees are all new, it’s their first real job, apart from the three weeks of work experience they had in the dry cleaners, and are keen, interested and not at all cynical.

By the time you get to level six you’re running strategic away days for a group of 50-somethings who have seen it all and done it all (this could be when that laser gun comes in useful).

Or perhaps there’s a market for Trainergotchi™. It’s all about a little creature that exists in a small ‘watch-sized’ universe. Your job is to look after it and see that it stays alive as long as possible. Looking at the instructions it sounds pretty much like every trainer
I’ve known.

Development of the creature:
1) Early stage: It is very timid and does not move around much. It will make frequent demands for your attention.
2) Rebellious stage: It will often thrash about wildly at this stage. It also learns to communicate.
3) Adolescent stage: It becomes able to play alone, take baths of its own accord, etc.
All it needs is some care and attention (feedback and praise).

When your creature starts crying or calling out to you select a "care" icon and give it the care it needs. If you don't take appropriate action while the sign is flashing, your creature could develop the habit of pestering you, or its development could become stunted. The care you give it will affect its future development, and determine its adult character.

Maybe it’s not for me. Sounds like the ideal gift for my manager though.

2 Responses

  1. chalk gun
    I’d certainly vote for a chalk gun in the place of a laser gun. You risk upsetting the H&S guys when you start throwing marker pens at sleeping participants and the lids just don’t have the same ‘thud’ impact!

    On a serious note – my number 1 ‘trainer’ present last year was a USB memory stick with a remote gadget that lets you change the powerpoint slides – all my SMEs insist on borrowing it for their presentations now!

    Happy Christmas!

  2. Champ Manager
    I’m loving the thought of the shoot em up meets championship manager concept – I’d definitely buy it!

    In our training team we have done the usual secret santa but with a twist – all presents must be bought at ann summers! I can’t wait to see the look on my boss’s face when she opens hers!

    Watch this space……

    …. by the way does anyone know of any other training jobs going just in case I don;t get the reaction I’d hoped for!?

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Claire Savage

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