It seems like this was the last straw for Steve; it’s obvious that he cannot cope with more IT challenges.
We have been at work on our leadership course for four days. Twenty (20) senior officers from Europe and Africa have been extremely busy solving assignments, discussing theories, working with new tools and filling out their personal profile analyses.
Several of the participants, including Steve, belong to the age group which some would probably call ‘mature’, others would call ‘ready for retirement’, but when it comes to IT knowledge – like now – the label ‘old fart’ might suit better?
Alas, one has many titles when one is reaching the stage of life where the future career lies behind you – just like the author of this article.
As an online instructor, I use two big PC screens for this course. On one of the screens, I have my presentations, videos, and files, and on the other screen, I have an overview of my 20 course participants.
Some of the participants have activated their video cameras. That allows me a peek into either a cozy study, a dining area, a living room or perhaps a bedroom. Others have turned off their camera, so that leaves me with a black square with a name flashing every time this person speaks.
When Steve works with concentration to make keyboard and mouse work properly, he often has his camera on, clearly without being really aware of it. I notice that when his nose suddenly takes up the entire screen display.
And when it happens I – together with the other participants – get a rare glimpse of what the inside of a captain’s nose looks like.
On other occasions, he has remembered to turn the camera off but forgotten that his mike is still on. That typically happens early afternoon when his black profile square flashes as he is digesting his lunch belching loudly.
As a lead facilitator, I luckily have the privilege of being able to mute my participants at my discretion, which absolutely happens on such occasions. For Steve’s sake and not least for the sake of his co-participants.
When the course is coming to an end and we are about to say goodbye to each other, I ask Steve if it was a tough time, being linked to the chair in front of his computer for four full days.
With a smirk on his face, he scratches the chin and says, “Before the pandemic, I typically travelled from Glasgow to Mumbai when I was to participate in courses like this. I often encountered a painful ‘Delhi-belly’ in consequence of that.”
“So, seen in that light, the IT challenges I have experienced during this online course is something I can easily live with”.
I thank him for his positive attitude and think to myself that I should then also be able to live with Steve’s sharing of belches ( …before he was muted by the facilitator).
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