Friday, February 17, 2012

Merely Male

When presented with two candidates for a bar job, Mine Host will always select the one that has not attended the TAFE bar course.

There is a reason for this. Graduates of the a TAFE college (Technical And Further Education) bar course are almost universally hopless at bar work, furthermore they often have their head in the clouds.

Once, with time on his hands, Mine Host enrolled at a TAFE college, to see what he could learn. He also hoped to learn, on the side, why TAFE graduates were so useless.

The answer came on Day one,

Day One: "Sensitivity to Aboriginal & Islander employees in your workplace". One of the key parts of this very forgettable learning module was how we must all integrate with Aboriginal & Islander people.

However: At one point us "bar & restaurant" course participants were instructed to wait under an awning, lest we inadvertently integrate for a few seconds with the participants of the "bar & restaurant course - for persons of Aboriginal & Islander race" who were entering a nearby building. There was no answer given to the question, why weren't we all in the same class?

Day Two: "Sexual harassment in the workplace". Amongst other things were we taught to not stereotype people by sex, i.e. a girl can be just as good a motor mechanic as a boy, and that a boy can just as easily sew & knit as can a girl.

The only memorable part of this extremely forgettable module was that from that day onward two of the nubile young lady participants turned up every day half-naked, purely so they could be outraged if any of the blokes made an inappropriate remark.

This didn't stop the staring, nor the comments, but there was nothing they could take to the head teacher to get anybody thrown off the course.

Their experiment ended when one of the Islander girls in the class (who inexplicably hadn't been allowed to enroll in the one for "aboriginal & islanders only") offered to thump the two girls if they didn't put some clothes on. Co-incidentally, after that the two girls arrived for class fully dressed. (Co-incidentally, because one of the things we had learned in class was that threats of violence & torture "never" work).

Day Three: How a computer hard drive works, & we were taught to strip one down. Mine Host was fascinated, but was unable to make any connection between this & bar work.

Day Four: Simple arithmetic, but we had to answer in longhand, rather than in digits. (eg, for 20 + 45, we were not allowed to answer: 65. Instead we had to answer: Sixty Five)

Most of the class failed this module.

Day Five: Typing lesson. (Yes, this is a bar & waitressing course!)

Those who could already type would be identified by wandering teachers, who would offer you the chance to "test-out" of the class. You could not ask to take the test, it had to be offered to you.

Two girls beside Mine Host were offered the chance to test out, and were were allowed to leave the class, having "passed" typing.

Mine Host raised a query with the teacher, pointing out that he had looked over the girl's shoulders, typed the same test, had typed it faster than they, but unlike them had not made any errors.

The lady teacher* haughtily informed Mine Host that he was male, therefore it was "ridiculous" to claim he could type as well as girls. Furthermore he had not been offered the test, therefore wasn't eligible to "pass" the typing course.

Thus Mine Host, who had better things to do than spend the next two hours typing out "the cat chased the rat", picked up his notes & pencils and walked out of TAFE college, without bothering to switch off his computer, tidy his workstation, or to resign from the course.

* The same teacher taught Day Two of the course: "Thou shalt not stereotype by sex."


JeffS said...

TAFE sounds like new employee orientation at my office.

Anonymous said...

"universally hopless"

No hops! Rules out beer - I bet they've learned how to wine though.