Friday, November 23, 2007

Check-one-two! Check-one-two!

"REC! You still haven't signed up for the new version 4.b certification training!"
"You said it was optional. It's 70% $Area_I_don't _work_in and not 5% of what I do work in."
"It's mandatory. You have to sign up!"
"I have a mail from you that says..."
"It's now mandatory! Sign up today!"

And so once again I have to take a week of advanced classroom training about subjects I know nothing about to get a certification I don't need for things that I don't work with. Such is corporate life and I have no idea how I've held out this long. The last time we had such training was four years ago with the version 3 roll-out. You could only attempt the certification three times and if you didn't make it, you lost your job. I failed twice but then it turned out a similar but higher-level certification would also cover the basic necessary one. I failed that one on my first attempt.

I was given two weeks off to study to take it again because they weren't willing to lose me for the corporate bullshit of requiring everyone to be certified. I spent the time studying and creating a very small, compact and useful cheat sheet. I went in to take the test. This time I'd taken extra precautions. I'd shown up in a suit, and in my breast pocket was a mini recorder which I'd tested the night before. I read every question and answer out loud before answering it.

I failed again, but this time I had everything I needed. I transcribed the entire tape, then over the next couple days went over every bloody question with my cow-orkers. Armed with the correct answers to every single question I returned for what would probably be my last chance. It wasn't hard to position myself out of view of the cameras and the company doing the testing wasn't all that interested in this anyway. It was easy enough to slip my notes between the pages of scratch paper and took my sweet time.

I didn't score 100% -- two or three of the "correct" answers they had were wrong. Still, it was more than a passing grade and my ass was saved. The Übermanager gave a sigh of relief.

Currently, word is that there's a certification test but no maximum number of attempts. Of course, this training and certification were optional and voluntary two weeks ago so I have little doubt that the passing certification will likewise become mandatory. My only hope is that the testing is held at the shithole "training center" and not here on $MegaCorp's premises, a longshot on par with the odds of hitting the lottery jackpot.

I have no qualms about cheating for this cert. It's not "real", it's unnecessary, and it has nothing to do with my work. It's corporate bullshit so that they can tell customers "Look! All our monkeys are certified!" They actually believe customers attach any meaning to this.

I'm not too worried about sneaking notes into the room. My real concern is that since moving I don't know where the pocket recorder disappeared to and I may have to shell out another €40 or so for a new one. I wonder if I can write that off my taxes as a necessity for my job...

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2 Comments:

Blogger AAhelp pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November, 2007 15:25  
Blogger Reepr pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

Nice... I had a somewhat similar experience back in high school, except the teacher was stupid enough to lock me in a room that contained no windows, no cameras, no monitoring equipment whatsoever and a sign on the door that said "Do Not Disturb Unless Urgent"

To top it off, they gave me the same test I had previously failed on... with all the same questions. Needless to say I faked being sick, got to retake the test the next day under the same circumstances and had already prepped some "research" the night before.

I don't have to worry about such issues at work since $OurDept won't pay for certifications or training requested by employees and would rather make us pay out-of-pocket for a failed mandatory "intro to active directory" course than fire us.

99% of all "training" I've attended since working at $OurDept has been a farce since the only things MCSE & CCNA stand for around here are "Minesweeper Consultant & Solitaire Expert" and "Computer Consultant Needs Aspirins"

26 November, 2007 02:21  

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In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

DISCLAIMER:
The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.