I’ve probably mentioned before that I like sitting around in airports for the people watching opportunities it provides.
Not that I go to airports for that express purpose, you understand. It just so happens that if I’m there I like to watch people, if you see what I mean.
Am I protesting too much?
Anyway, I found out today, that railway stations afford the same opportunities… the station in question being Manchester Piccadilly.
My meeting finished a little early so I was at the station in good time. Somehow, entirely accidentally, I may have found my way into the Balcony Bar which, strangely, has seats on a balcony looking down on the main station concourse.
It was there I witnessed a young lady from Starbucks trying to give drinks away. You know the sort of thing: try a sample of our frappomochacinolatte thingy and hopefully you’ll come in to buy one. Everyone knows the game and there’s no pressure to actually go to Starbucks and so I was amazed at the trouble she was having trying to give the drinks away.
Peoples’ reactions ranged from a polite(ish) shake of the head to one guy who actually shouted at the poor girl. I mean, what was his problem?
There was just one thing in common with all the reactions… everyone looked at the tray of drinks as though the lady was asking them to put their hand in a box of snakes!
I just couldn’t work it out.
But running some training courses can be a bit like that. Delegates can be suspicious of everything a trainer says. In fact, it sometimes starts even before they come to the course; they make up their minds to not believe anything that is said to them until they have to. This approach is epitomised by the phrase (when a delegate is asked what they want from the course): ‘I want you to convince me that I’ve made the right decision in coming.’
Hmmm… backing a loser there, methinks.
It has to be said though, 99 times out of 100, when we get into our courses, which are eminently practical and sensible, even the difficult delegates come round and can see the value of training.
I guess this is the equivalent of being the one person who takes a sip of the frappomochacinolatte and decides that they like it. Now it’s the only thing they drink in Starbucks!
As for me, I went to help the poor girl out and asked for a cup of the drink she was handing out.
I didn’t like it… but at least I tried.