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Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Train.

, , , , | Working | April 9, 2021

I am hired at a big government laboratory that handles sensitive biological samples. Some of the testing we perform is very time-critical and finicky; everything has to be carefully categorized and organization is super strict.

I am about a month into training and I am still only being allowed to perform the most basic tasks. Every part of my training has to be verified by a superior and there are numerous forms to fill out.

One day, a woman from the admin office who I have met once approaches me. 

Admin: “It’s [Wrong Name starting with my first initial], right? We’ve got a new college intern and I need you to train her on how to put these samples into [Complicated Database].”

Me: “It’s [My Name], actually, and I’m sorry, but I don’t know a single thing about that system. I’m not going to be able to train her.”

Admin: “All you have to do is read the training manual and then show it to her. Make sure you sign all of the paperwork saying she’s finished training.”

She starts to walk away. I follow her.

Me: “I’m not comfortable training someone on something that I know nothing of. What if something goes wrong?” 

Admin: *Now walking faster* “I’m too busy to train her; you’re just sitting around. She needs to be trained. I don’t get why this is so hard for you.” 

I ended up taking the issue up with my superior. It turns out that it WAS [Admin]’s job to train the intern but she simply didn’t want to. Funnily enough, [Admin] was only mad for about a week and then was back to her tricks. I was commended for following procedures, but in reality, I was just terrified of messing everything up.

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