Under the Radar

The 5 People Always in the Room During Mandatory Training


The fiscal year started in October. By now, you’ve landed on every training hit list in the Department of Defense. That hit list comes with ominous warnings: you will be administratively separated or face command discipline if this training is not completed ASAP.

While you’re gearing up to be schooled yet again by sanctimonious blue sweater vest guy in the information assurance training video, we thought we’d take a look at the 5 people who always seem to show up at every training session:

1. The Question Asker

“Will this training deck be available online?” “Where can I find the closest SAPR representative?” “What if I don’t pass the cyber security challenge…will my clearance be compromised?” OMG stop. We’ve had this mandatory training forever and it doesn’t really change. And the guy giving the training? He’s READING FROM A SCRIPT. He doesn’t know. He’s only standing up there because he pissed off his department head and this is his punishment. Now stop asking questions, we have three more sessions to get through and we’re all hungry.

2. The Hypocrite Leader

This one is great; it usually entails a swaggering entrance to the training room followed by a lot of knife-hand punctuated edicts about how important this training is and punishments will be swift for those who are tardy to the training party. They dim the lights, the training video begins and suddenly you realize your fearless leader has left the room and is standing out in the hall chewing the fat with someone while refilling his coffee. Now THAT’s leadership.

3. The “Hey Guys, Let’s Take This Seriously” Person

This guy…sorry, but it’s usually a Millennial. While the Gen X’ers in the room are making fun of the people in the videos and cracking on-point Seinfeld reference jokes, this guy is all about the mind-numbingly bad acting and the “after school special” lessons. Dude, we are here to check the box and avoid a nasty gram from our superiors. Stop trying to make us feel bad by telling us the emotional story of “your friend” (we know it’s you) who almost lost their clearance because of personal debt. You’re emoting all over us. Go put some Sriracha on your bespoke burrito.

4. The Old Dude Who Is JUST OVER IT.

Every command has one. The old guy who thinks this training is “BULLSHIT,” and starts all his sentences with “back in my day…” We know, back then you got a ration of rum and cigarettes. We’re sorry you have to sit through stuff like how not to sexually harass people and the right way to deal with someone in crisis, but you are here  and you are wearing the uniform, so buckle up and watch the darn videos…and please stop sighing and rolling your eyes.

5. The One Who Answers Every Question

There is always that one person who feels the need to answer all the questions asked in the training. Let’s keep in mind the questions are usually along the lines of “should you or should you not haze the new guy so severely he goes into a coma?” This is not SAT-level stuff. We all get the questions have to be asked, and for the most part we play along and everyone takes a turn providing the overly-obvious answer. But that one guy who can’t help himself is like Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter with his arm in air trying to blurt out the answer before everyone else. Hey, answer guy, this isn’t Jeopardy. No one is going home with any money. Relax!

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