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Annie Ward


Editor, HR Zone

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Trainer’s Diary: What Do You Do To Unwind?


Byron Kalies dreams of dropping the ‘halo’.

Byron Kalies
It's a strange old job we've got as trainers. We're expected to be on our best behaviour, acting as role models for seven hours a day. Then, if it's a residential course, we're expected to carry on that behaviour through the evening.

I can't think of many people that have that weight of expectation put on them when their 'off duty'. Reading the newspapers you'd think it was the reverse. When rock stars or footballers are 'off duty' it seems to be compulsory to smash a hotel room up or get into a fight.

I'm not advocating we resort to that type of behaviour, well not every night, but there must be some form of release for us.

What I found useful was going out with fellow trainers during long residential courses to a computer arcade. There we would happily pay money to shoot course participants. This was a great 'shoot? em-up 'game where you had computer guns and could line up the baddies and ‘waste them’. It was great therapy.

One time myself and a trainer colleague took all the course participants to the 'Zap Zone'. This consisted of a large darkened room with various pieces of equipment to hide behind and an electronic gun each. We split up into two teams and went to war.

I'm not sure what the actual objective of the exercise was but we basically started shooting each other. My colleague ambushed a senior manager who happened to fall over. The rules say something about only shooting someone once when they fall over but my colleague decided to keep shooting him. The senior manager was most upset and began pleading with my colleague:

"You can't do that. You're only allowed to shoot me once."

Zap, zap, zap.

"Stop it. You really can't cheat like that? You're a trainer".

The tone of incredulity in his voice was as if he was saying "you're a priest".

I guess we've got that power that comes from knowing what's on the next page in the day time. So, it's no real surprise that people assume we know what's going to happen next in the evening. It does annoy me at times though when course members want you to entertain them in the evening as well as the day.

But that’s for a different rant.

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Annie Ward

Editor, HR Zone

Read more from Annie Ward

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