The worst workshop ever

I’ve sat through my share of corporate workshops and training, in the US as well as here in Peru. Some I found valuable, others less so, but at the school where I teach we had a workshop this weekend that took the cake in a bad, bad way.

It was long – 8 hours with no more than 1 hour of interaction, the remaining 7 hours you sat and listened. It was in Spanish – knowing full well there were several gringos in the audience (including me) whose Spanish ranges from mediocre to non-existent. It was boring – by the end of the day even the Directors of the school looked exasperated. No schedule – There’s never a schedule for our academic meetings, you just sit and wait for whatever comes next.

A friend of mine said “It’s like a D-version of Dr. Phil.”

It was offensive and demeaning. The parts I did understand were about psycho-analyzing yourself, but in a very “in-your-face, you’re life is all bad, let me tell you how to live” kind of way. The facilitator yelled at grown adults like they were kindergartners.

To top it all of this workshop was held at the Royal Inca Hotel in Pisaq, an absolutely beautiful place with outdoor recreation facilities and a spa. The weather was beautiful… yet we spent the better part of the day inside listening to a condescending fool.

I usually skip the mandatory -yet unpaid – monthly academic meetings, but I thought I’d sign up for this one since it was supposed to be a fun weekend to get to know each other. The only fun part was when we took a break after lunch to check out the pool, although swimming an olympic size pool after drinking rum and coke was a bit tricky. That’s how bad it was… I resorted to drinking hard liquor in the middle of the day.

And this is going to help me how?

And this is going to help me how?

Even the Directors on the far end look bored

Even the Directors on the far end look bored

Unfortunately I don’t deal well with situations such as these, and I said some choice words as the day went on. I didn’t want to play the gringo card and leave, because I’m getting really disappointed at how our Peruvian teachers are treated, they don’t enjoy the same liberties us gringos do. Even though the school receives US taxpayer money, I would bet no US lawmaker would want their son or daughter to be treated like a Peruvian teacher here.

The plan was to stay overnight and “have fun” the next day, but I decided to skip out and head back to Cusco at night. I might have said things I would regret if I had stuck around to get drunk with the rest of the teachers and the Directors.

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