Time after Time
This week, I was invited to a wedding, some friends of my wifes and I got married and we were invited, along with 100 other people to the evening do.They had a small intimate late afternoon service for family, and invited the rest of us rabble to the party afterwards.
Now, don’t get me wrong. like most blokes I am never more comfortable then when I am in jeans and t-shirt, for work and for formals I have suits, shirts and ties, but why, when it comes to weddings to people fall 4 categories??
1. The bride/Groom/Best man and direct family, always looking good, suits from the hire shop, new dress for the bride and mums that go down a treat.
2. The Bridesmaids, again, often been given new dresses to wear either by mums if small children, or if older as part of the brides dress.
3. The good friends, These will be the ones that will dress to impress, as they have more to lose by not doing so.
4. The others, These are the aunts/uncles and other friends, and this is were the problems often occur
Figure hugging dresses, good in the 80’s not good now, especially not on a 60 year old, with a belly and no figure to hug.Lime green blouse, does not go with a black trouser suit and red shoes, nor does a red shirt, yellow tie, blue suit and camel coloured shoes.
Big hats are ok, but not ones that look as if they came from the squashed 60’s lampshade shop, and as for 20’s and 30’s style clothes, with modern shoes/bags arrgghh.
Finally a word about DJ’s, why can’t they have a list from the Bride and Groom that they want played, and then stick to it, in the invites we were all asked to pick a couple of songs for the DJ.
The one for Saturday was not the best, clearly he didn’t read the clause in the licence that said.
Section 6 paragraph 4 subsection 8
All weddings, no matter the age of the people getting married or attending shall follow thus
1 As guests arrive: – Light Modern stuff, with occasional 70’s oddities
2 As guest finish Second Drink : – 50’s, 60’s & 70’s classics, (Steppenwolf, T-Rex, Beatles mega mix, Hi Ho Silver Lining)
3 As food is served, poodle perm rock & early 90’s, (Bon Jovi, Europe, Kiss, Oasis, blur, pulp)
4 As party gets in full swing 70’s, 80’s & 90’s cheese fest, (Wham, Belinda Carlise, Cameo, Status Quo, Black Lace, Wizzard, Wigfield)
5 As the party ends, The slow stuff
Unfortunately, just as the party got going he got the mood wrong, he played a few 80’s classics, then threw in 10 minutes of rap/hip hop
Then he just got it pulled back, when he decided to play 20 minutes of bass heavy dance music, not many compliments to the DJ I am afraid, made it worse because he was the resident for the venue, so we had no choice, and yup, you guessed it, less than a quarter of the 100 odd songs that had been requested got played
I said I worked in the catering industry for a number of years, and I saw weddings and clothes, both good and bad, I have also had to endure some of the worst DJ’s on the planet, one memorable one, actually got told by the best man and Brides father to get out, leave his stuff and collect it in the morning, as he was so bad, he played the same song four times in a row, ‘because he liked it’, he kept cutting into songs, because he hated the middle part, and wouldn’t play a request if he didn’t like the song, which wasn’t that many as it turned out.
Needless to say, he didn’t get paid.
This week has been a bit of a slow week work wise, I have had a few things to do, that mostly have had nothing to do with reports, so instead, I have been rewriting a training manual.
I’m all for keeping things fresh, and to aid a group of people I am training next week, I have decided to rip apart what I have been using for the last year, and create a new version, which has a few more visuals, and a little less talk from me.
Not so this protects my singing voice or anything but have you ever sat in a training session, and started seeing the trainer, dripping with blood from the axe that you have just inserted into their chest cavity.
I have, I was doing some excel training, years ago, and the guy doing the training had the sort of voice that can only come from a union between a train announcer and the boy who used to take great delight at school in scrapping his finger nails down the black board.
It was a octave below a monotone, he droned on for three and a half hours before lunch, it can only get better as he was handing over to this very nice looking young lady for the second half, it didn’t, she clearly was nervous, got things wrong, out of order, out of context, was easily distracted from the task, and really looked uncomfortable.
Yes, I know it isn’t easy, as I said I do it all the time, but hey, if you feel that way, do something to liven it up, or make you feel better.
Start with a bad joke, hell I did for two years, not the same one, but it almost always worked to lighten things up, I also invited the group to tell one, but it always had to be the worst they had heard.
First rule of thumb always has to be know the material, you are going to get crucified if you are training something that you clearly don’t know.
Second, make sure that you do not get caught up with answering questions that pull you off track, or allow others to start going that way, allow conversation to flow, but bring it back if it is going too far.
Thirdly, Allow plenty of time, nothing worse than running out of time.
Fourth, Have someone listen to and run through the stuff with you it, allow them to make comments, and see if they are valid and workable. I have an after training questionnaire, one of the reasons I am revamping it was due to a suggestion on one, that I have more visuals.
Finally, Don’t assume that what you are imparting everybody gets, I have three natural places in the main training I do, where I say ‘Any questions up to now’, these are natural breaks, and come before you start on a new or more complex subject, so allow for a little reflection, also I always end with a Q & A, this again lets people think about what you are trying to get across.
Training is not easy, but it can and should be fun, as well as worthwhile for you and the people you are training.
Thanks for listening, and in the words of the late great William Shakesphere, ‘Romeo and Juilet, stupid name if you ask me, how about Simon and Alice??’