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A microcosm of the American workforce.

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Feb. 10th, 2014 | 11:20 pm
music: Freddy Fender "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights"

If the world had ended while we were in there, we could have repopulated a small corporation.

On Wednesday of last week I attended a daylong class as part of my long-anticipated "professional development" plan. I put that in quotation marks because, while in some sense the plan in question details how I can gain skills I'll use for myself, the majority of the benefit will go to my company. With that understanding cleared up, I was still looking forward to 1) being away from the regular office and in fact at a location much closer to home, and 2) learning something from these folks.

The course was taught by one woman with a very obvious Southern accent. I had intended to attempt to guess over the course of the day where she grew up, until she blurted out that she was from Asheville, NC. Guess I should have warned her I wanted to guess, eh? And the fellow classmates numbered about 28, in a lovely demographic rainbow of many ages, races, and genders. I didn't expect to learn much about them in the course of 7.5 hours, but there were multiple instances in which folks shared common experiences with the whole class and a few one-on-one exercises so I did in fact get to know some stuff.

The mix included: a traveling pharma sales rep, two managers of group homes, a call center manager, a postal inspector, marketing muckety-mucks, a multimedia producer, and a medical equipment salesman. I did short one-on-one chats with the latter two and it was pretty fascinating to learn the intricacies of their dayjobs. Another excellent takeaway is that I'm generally happy with what I do and there is no way in hell I'd want to trade with some of the folks in the room. :)

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