'Fai chai choong geh fai chai'... direct translated, 'retarded stick of retarded sticks'
This probably fits into my top ten list of most excruciating moments of my working life!... It is quite common for organisations to hire consultants and specialists to guide them on new initiatives.. this week was one of those weeks where my company had hired a specialist to give us a talk on 'the way forward' and what we were supposed to do to progress in our field of work. So, they arranged a 2 day session in which the 'consultant' who graduated from Harvard and had a long list of accolades to share his experiences and give us some guidance on his expert topic.
On the first day of his lecture, he started off with some background material which we thought were basic but would probably last for just a few slides before we went into material proper. The next few slides were again of the same basic material which consisted of general statement on what we were doing. Giving the 'consultant' the benefit of doubt, we listened on, hoping that we would get some information that would help us on what we were doing. An hour passed, and he was still going on and on repeating the same basic material which had no substance and not even the inkling of knowledge of which a person of his stature would have. Two hours passed, an he was still talking about things which everyone, including those that have just joined the company, knew. Four hours later, and after a long day of going through what seemed to be an english literature lesson rather than a seminar from a professional, he changed the topic. While everyone was hoping that the seminar would finally start with some good material, he went on talking about a topic which was totally unrelated to what we are doing. Seems like his strategy was to speak profusely and incoherently, confuse everyone and hope that no one would notice. Everytime someone made an query, he would answer with a 'yes, I totally agree' or 'thank you, thats a very good point'. And every sentence seemed to start of with 'I don't know much about this' or 'I don't know anything about this'. The half day session ended with everyone wondering what we would be exposed to the following day.
Day 2. After sitting through day 1, it felt as though higher management had given up and decided to dissapear from the talk. Less than half the management that came for day 1 turned up. Wonder if it is due to work responsibilities. This time it was a little different. When I say a little, I really mean 'a little'! The expert drew the same things he drew on day 1, spoke the same stuff he did in day 1, and continued on and on like there was no tomorrow and his life depended on it. Half the people in the room were asleep this time. And he had the audacity to make sarcastic comments like, 'I hope the back people are all tested on this'. Basically, as one of my buddies put it, the entire day could probably be summarised into 3 words. Well, its a skill for him to be able to talk about 3 words for 3 days! It's like a bloody 1 word per day! I told a buddy that the only thing that I probably gained from the entire lecture is a flowchart which looked pretty good, which I could use as a template for my future slides. He had probably 20 odd slides to go before the end of the day, and with one sentence, ' you guys could probably read this yourself', he teleported his presentation to the last page and ended his presentation.
Day 3. This time, even at the beginning of the morning, most attendees were asleep. Not that I was asleep. I was just in deep thought. It was a half day session, and foreseeing that this was the last day of torture, most of us were glad that this is ending soon. He started off with some material, and a few guys actually raised some questions. This is an example of how it went;
Attendee: I would like to ask if you could share your experience on how to make noodles.
Torturer: Lets see, noodles is in this book and here it is, the definition of noodles is a flour like material, and I'm not good at noodles. You may consider making pasta, and if you like rice, you can also make nasi lemak instead of noodles. Alternatively, if you don't like food, you can go fishing. Now where were we...
Attendee and entire lecture hall: *Blur*
Half way through, i was restraining myself and getting help from the person beside me to prevent me from going to the front and hitting him. Its a miracle that organisations pay tons of money to engage such @#&^%% (I can't even describe them) to give talks and lectures. I have been through so many talks by local experts and they are so much better and give better insight to their topic of interest. This kinda guy, I seriously wonder if he payed his way through Harvard.