I own a small consulting firm, and we specialize in helping companies reduce their turnover. While we do charge a hefty fee, companies have learned how expensive it is to constantly hire and train people. Part of our success is due to our undercover operatives who work for a few days in the firm and record their experience.

We acquired a contract with a small manufacturing company outside of the city, but there were no operatives available. I decided to do some of my own fieldwork for a change, and it turned into an enlightening experience. Going through all the normal hiring channels is an important step, and it helps to know you’ll be hired regardless of your qualifications. I looked forward to starting my new job, and I was shocked to last less than a day at it.

The first step was to view training tapes, and it took up the entire morning. After lunch, I was told to report to the supervisor and begin work. She was an older lady who had been with the company for years, and I thought she would be an excellent trainer. She put me in front of a machine and told me to start working. When I asked about training, she told me I had learned everything I needed in the training videos.

Her attitude was a shock, and it wasn’t long before the machine locked up on me. The young woman at the next machine came over to show me how to reset it. Everything went fine until I was moved to another station across the shop. When that machine locked up, the supervisor fired me. Shocked, I trudged to my car where the young girl caught up with me. She offered to take me to dinner, and later confessed she worked for her father’s company that manufactured the machines. I hired her as a consultant to help me rewrite their training videos, and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.