Pam, over at Butterfly Sand offered a Daily Quip yesterday that stuck a nerve. She said:
“The day we stop learning is the day we start dying.”
I agree. Her message isn’t what struck a nerve, but she invoked a most frustrating memory (which, of course, I’m going to share with you now). I’ll try to be brief, but you know how that goes.
Over twenty years ago, I was assigned the task of providing training for our company’s employees, in the hopes of improving the degree to which we could benefit from having given everyone a computer. I tried to convince my boss that I was good at selecting and providing technological solutions, but training was far from my forte. Still, it became my assignment. An assignment at which I failed – multiple times, but not for lack of trying.
We tried in-house training. We tried sending people to off-site training. We tried computer-based, self-paced training. Fail – fail – fail.
This was a goal on my official goals, and I was getting tired of failing, because most of my coworkers were “too busy” to learn. My boss saddled me with this goal one last time. He gave me a bigger budget and free reign to design a program that would work.
I enlisted the help of a colleague at a previous employer. We analyzed the situation and developed a program to provide in-house training specifically tailored to our individual needs and designed to accommodate every employee. I’ll spare you most of the details. Suffice it to say that over the course of seven years, we prepared over 65 unique one-hour training sessions that were offered in our conference room and over the Internet and repeated once or twice to accommodate every employee who wished to attend.
One employee chose not to attend. Of the 65 course we offered, he only attended the two on cybersecurity and only because attendance was mandatory. When I asked him what I could do to make him interested, he said “nothing.” His exact words were:
“I am fifty-five years old, and I am done learning.”
He added that he was planning to retire when he turned sixty-two and that he saw no benefit in learning how to better use technology that he was looking forward to abandoning.
This sad memory is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.
PS – if you’re looking for the photos, I forgot. They are over here.