This week, I had to go to a safety refresher course that allows me to work in refineries. The course time is listed in the documentation as “4-5 hours”. I am quite certain I aged about 10 years during the course. I have to go through a safety course for just about every site I go to. They always include such interesting topics as “Proper use of ladders” (apparently you are supposed to use them to climb up things. I was trying to catch fish with them). Most companies use some stock footage to show the safety topics. The human body can only take so many viewings of repetitive and boring safety videos before the brain tries to actively flee. I think scientists have determined that the number of viewings is approximately 1.
A written examination is required to complete the course. The training company is frightened of cheating on the final examination. Never mind that people in comas could probably pass the test, we need to stop cheating! In order to stop cheating, people are not allowed to leave after the test stops.
This is where I have a problem. As soon as you tell me I can’t do a bodily function, I need to do it. I recognized this phenomena in Singapore. One of the very common signs around Singapore was “Do not spit in the subway”. Now, I have never spit in a subway. I have never even thought of it as an activity one should ever do, As soon as I read the “no spitting” sign, my mouth fills with more saliva than should be humanly possible. When the subway car opens, I am practically drooling like a mastiff. Unfortunately, excess eatin juice is not my only Pavlovian conditioned response. As soon as I was told that I could no longer leave to go to the bathroom, I had to pee.
My entire test was filled with the urge to go to the bathroom. I saw questions that read “How do you set up a ladder (to pee)? a) pee b) waves and waves of oceans c) do the cross leg dance d) geysers-thousands and thousands of pounds of pressure that finally bursts free.” Despite the best efforts of my bladder, I managed to pass the test.
After the test, I had to watch a video. It was the most horrible type of video. The video would post a power point slide with bullet points. When the slide was posted, the narrator would read the bullet points. I timed the slides and found that I could read the slide 7 times before the woman would read it aloud once. I was moved to tears. I have proven that time flies when having fun because I was most definitely not having fun and time dilated to the point that quantum effects could be studied with the naked eye. That joke is much funnier than your non-laughter suggests.