The Workshop Blues

Julie Andrews
This week, to my endless displeasure, I am stuck in a workshop,
which is not quite work and not really a shop. We break up into
little groups and do things called "exercises" or "projects."
Some people are there to somehow enhance their résumés. Some,
like me, just want it to be Friday already. And some are there
to actually learn something. Those are the scariest ones. They
are so full of enthusiasm and wonder, you just want to strangle
the sh!t out of them.
Some people enjoy "group projects." Me, I absolutely hate them.
Lock me up all alone in a room with an ashtray, a computer, a
coffee pot, and maybe a good revolver, and I can probably solve
just about any problem you throw my way. That's simply how I
operate. I don't want to participate in discussions. I don't
need to brainstorm. I don't want any feedback. I don't feel
the need to create an atmosphere of openness by which we can
develop protocols for addressing issues affecting our collective
objectives while quantifying our goal-setting standards and
incrementally disintervening in the stake-holders' perceived
Makes ya wanna puke, don't it?
I think maybe the answers to most things is:
1.) Just do it.
2.) Get her done.
3.) Phuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
It seems like there are a gazillion people who spend their whole
lives talking about how things should get done without actually
getting anything done. It might be called The Perpetually Useless
Jag-off Style of Management
. People hold roundtable discussions
about it. People write books about it. Some people are basically
Anyway, I did not sign up for this workshop. I did not volunteer.
I do not say much. I do not have much to add. I am not really
materially participating. I just want the week to end.
There are two positives to this boring workshop. One is that
we start at 8:30 AM, take an hour and a half for lunch, and
usually cut out at 4:00 PM or so. I calculated that out. It
means that this 40-hour workshop only has to be endured for
30 hours. That's a real plus.
The other positive aspect of this stupid class is the brown-eyed,
dark-haired twenty-something girl who sits in the row ahead of
me. She has very long (and real) eyelashes that I can see when
she turns her head to the side. Her long Mediterranean hair
struggles to free itself from the ponytail and hair clips
that hold it all together. The edges of her lips, which I
actually get to glimpse once in a while, sometimes harden
themselves, telling me that she is secretly very serious
about what is being discussed in this silly workshop. Uh-huh.
She is cute as a button, but like twenty years too young.
And oh so serious. But oh so scenic.
Below is a Life magazine photograph of an author named Jeanne
Rejaunier, who wrote a 1970 novel called The Beauty Trap,
which was some sort of tell-all book about the modeling
business. That's irrelevant, of course, but it gives you
an idea of the girl sitting in front of me at this deadly
dull week-long workshop. Bless her heart!

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