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8:20am on Wednesday, 9th October, 2019:

Essential Training


I've somehow managed to be bored at work often enough to complete the Essential Training modules I'm supposed to have completed. These are in: Equality and Diversity; Health and Safety; Information Security; Financial Regulations; Fire Safety; Computer Safety; Safeguarding; Unconscious Bias.

I don't even remember what the topics of some of these were, but I do remember that I did remember for the five minutes in which I completed the tests they usually contain.

I only had Unconscious Bias left, and finished that just now. It confirmed my entirely conscious bias against these tests. They're badly put-together, they require black-and-white answers and they're patronising. I think I may have learned something from the Financial Regulations one, but only because it was asking me questions about things I never, ever have to do so don't really need to know about them. All the rest were pretty obvious.

I left the Unconscious Bias test until last because it said it would take an hour to complete. It didn't, though, probably because its centrepiece — taking some test or other run by Harvard University — was "under review" so I couldn't do it. I dutifully watched a couple of random videos and an incongruous single-slide Powerpoint presentation, and clicked buttons that turned over and said something about unconscious bias. I played a memory game (with a bug in it), too, involving matching cards with phrases about unconscious bias on them with other cards that said the exact same thing. I was expecting maybe they'd have examples of unconscious bias, but no: the card saying "Age" matched another card saying "Age".

There was no test at the end, and I got out alive after half an hour. There was no comments section either, so I didn't even get to complain about the tester's unconscious biases about what people like me have as unconscious biases.

I can now hope to receive no more automated emails about my Essential Training Completion for three years, until the university makes me jump through the same hoops all over again so as to meet their statutory requirements as having trained me. Yay!

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).