OK, OK, OK, yes guys I know that training the oldsters can be hard at times, but do stick at it. I promise you that they will eventually get it right, so just grit your teeth and smile sweetly still them for now.
This was brought home to me earlier today when I took my English grandparents out for a play. Fortunately they are already pretty well trained and know how to behave, but some of the other oldies really showed themselves up.
I had taken the old ones out to a rather nifty place here in Stockholm where they can sit and drink coffee and chat whilst we get on with our own activities. Cafe Glad Barn (The Happy Children Cafe) is pretty good and apparently it has won awards for making sure that there were things to occupy the oldsters so that they didn’t bother us kids.
Anyway, it soon became clear that some newish parents and grand parents simply had not been trained at all. They kept interfering with us by rolling balls for us etc. Don’t they understand that we are perfectly capable of getting on by ourselves and really do need some time for ourselves? We put up with them all day normally, so why on earth can’t they get it through their heads that a little bit of “me time” isn’t too much to ask for.
Fortunately I was able to chat to some of the less experienced babies in there and showed them how to turn a complete blind eye (and a deaf ear) to their helpers. Finally it worked and a whole bunch of us were left to get on with what we wanted. If that meant just standing and staring into space, then that simply indicates that we are processing stuff. So leave us alone, OK you oldsters!
The best way to get the message across is simply to ignore the older ones and wander off in any random direction away from them. Or else you just go blank and stare at them as if they aren’t there. Eventually they will get distracted and then you can make your escape.
It can be really irritating, especially when it is a golden opportunity to catch up with lots of others of the same age. It is one of the best places to swap ideas and training methods, but when the older ones interfere it blocks the free flow of ideas.
I am glad to report that all my old people behaved pretty well and left me to network with a great group. I picked up a couple of new ideas and was able to talk to a younger guy about that age old problem of how to tell your staff that you don’t want any more vegetables.
He had been simply spitting them out and hoping that his people would get the message. I suggested that he could also try clamping his jaws shut and swivelling his head from side to side so that they couldn’t even get a spoonful close to his mouth.
I saw him later on and he had clearly listened. His head was whistling from side to side and he had his teeth clamped tighter than a mantrap. He managed to wink at me and give me a “success” sign as his parents finally gave and let him move on to the pancakes jam and cream.
That’s all for now. I need a quick snooze before my next session training my team. Have fun and remember to me have any ideas and suggestions you might have on how to train the old ones.