One (at least) of the lovely staff where I keep my horse is going to have to go on a course to learn how to deal with clients (some government directive). They all know how to deal with clients; many of them have been doing it for years. But no matter. If you haven't been on a course, it doesn't count.
We've all been there, haven't we? I certainly have. I finally left my job as a practice nurse (something I'd been doing since the days when they were a rare breed) because they wanted me to go on a course to learn how to be .....a practice nurse.
And the courses themselves ...ah, the courses. The coffee at the start, and then the cringe-making 'getting to know you' exercise. You throw a ball at each other, merrily calling out his/ her name (I can never remember names). Or you have a little chat with your neighbour and then 'introduce them to the group' ('this is Seth from Wapping. He collects newts and wants to be an astronaut'. That kind of thing).
Then - and this is enormous fun - you divide into small groups with a large piece of paper and write down all your ideas about whatever it is you're supposed to be having ideas about (are you still with me?). Then back to the big group, where the bossiest person out of your group has volunteered to tell everyone else about those ideas, and if you're lucky, the person in charge writes them on the flip chart (every course has a flip chart. Courses keep the flip chart manufacturers in business) for the edification of the others, who have all had the same ideas anyway.
Break for lunch. If your luck's in, there may be a pub nearby.
I won't bore you further with the Afternoon Session, but at the end, we're all jolly good friends (aren't we?) , we've filled in a form to say how helpful the course has been (and lied, to be kind), and have a nice piece of paper to say we've....been on a course. Usually, however, we go home none the wiser, but resolved never, ever to go on another course.