I’ve been in certification training this week which isn’t an excuse for not posting but the homework I’ve been given at night is.
Anyway, I caused a bit of a moment of panic and disorientation at the beginning of day two. All I did was one simple thing. I changed seats.
We are creature of habits and when we walk into a situation that requires us to live and work in a particular environment, for an extended period of time, we tend to carve out our own space for the duration. We mark our territory. We post up signs, in the form of name card tents and materials that we’ve been given. We huddle in our little bunkers and wait for rescue, or at least a bathroom break.
This past week was no exception and the universe broke, twice.
It started out on Monday. We had training for a certification class and I wandered in at the last minute. Those I know and work with were already flanked by other people, so I was forced to take an end seat next to someone I did not know. At the end of the first day, all was well.
The next morning, I got an Instant Message from a coworker I spend a significant amount of time working with on documentation and other stuff. They asked me to sit by them and I said, “Doesn’t that inherently break some kind of universal law about seating in multiple day meetings?” They felt I was silly, so I complied with the request. It wasn’t like we were dividing by zero or anything, right?
When the guy that was sitting next to my coworker came in and saw the situation it was like ants off the path. There was discussion about the switching between the two of us and the person that I was sitting next to the previous day. It was like an awkward moment. I felt like I had to reinforce the fact that I wasn’t moving because of the person I was next to but because I was asked by the person who I was going to sit next to. It came off like some bad Dear John letter and here I was almost apologetic to a complete stranger.
Then it became a sense of awkwardness for the person who now took my old seat because I inadvertently said, “Oh, she asked me to come sit over here.” I threw my coworker under the bus which then makes it seem like the person, who was there previously, was somehow an undesirable element in the seating scheme. Now, we’ve got two people’s lives in upheaval all because “I accidentally the everything”. So, after awhile I felt as if it was no longer an issue and went on about my way.
Yesterday was the final day, which included testing. Our once happy outpost of sanctuary was thrown into flux as we turned the tables to face another wall to give us a better spatial format, conducive to a testing environment. Now, in a 90 degree angle difference, everyone ended up choosing different seats and the entire world came crashing down around us. Now, 100 monkeys at 100 calculators were dividing by zero.
And that is why I probably failed the test miserably. I angered the seating Gods with my initial blasphemy of switching seats. By day three, they went all Noah and the flood on us and said, “Throw their world into chaos and have the proctor turn the tables on them!”
OK, so that’s probably reaching a bit. However, when I read that first question and could actually hear a pin drop in the back of my brain, complete with an unending echo, I knew this was going to be a long hour. I don’t want to be the only schmuck who fails the certification. I just want to test in my safe little meeting room compound, under my name card table tent, secure and ignorant of the dangers out there. That scary world where people stab at you with highlighters and mechanical pencils, emblazoned with the logo of whatever company you have there to train you.
Death by schwag!
Never change seats.