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The tabernacle on good students versus the temple of money

By Phil Carr ·
Rcently, I decided to widen my focus, so I transitoned from MCSE to MCT. The company and I parted ways a mere six weeks after I joined them. There wasn't any problem with my technical skill or work ethic. So what caused an untimely departure from this place of employment? Ethics differences. The tabernacle on honrstly versus the temple of money.
The place was populated by a bunch of very bright people. As a company focused on technology training, it was divided into two separate camps; the honest instructors and a greedy administration. Each had a very clear idea of their and the company?s mission and unfortunately the visions differed.
On the administrative side, all wanted a more profiatble enterprise with total control, and they were booking hand over fist, regardless of their capabilities to learn certain methodoologies. On the instructor side, things were a bit more pragmatic. Each instructor wanted the tools that they felt would best enable them to do their jobs, thus making the students more successful. Both of these concepts are justufible, I guess. Unfortunately they also conflict, and I managed to get myself caught in the middle of the ?old time ideas? and proved to be an early casualty. Let me explain:
There I was: new in the job and forced into the center of a brewing controversy. I was asked to teach courses that I as not qertified to teach. What did I do? I followed my gut. I came down on the side of the student. I pointed out the potential problems with teachingand hidden motives and the need for human upgrades as well as hardware. I thought I built a strong case and that I was on the verge of consensus between the two sides. What I had really done was step on some toes. Hard. And I was told I was not a team player and asked to leave.
The damage to my reputation was done, spoken both in front of the sudents and other instructors. I would have thought my my moral dilemna would have provoked more thought but it seems honesty is only possible when trust is established. Without trust, team members fear conflict, lack commitment, avoid accountability and do not attend to the results. Progress in a training profession such as ours comes when everyone s pulling for the student?s goals not individual goals. But In today?s jargon, one?s pattern of reactions is called it?s culture, and what is perceived is usually achieved. I do not think ill of the company, and I am not a whiner in that sense of the word. I consider it a ?live? example of what is happening to the quality of IT. And I am writing this to assuage whether this experience has changed me, and to take charge of my future if it has. Only I will do things very differently these days. I will pay very close attention to which way political winds are blowing. It may not change how I deal with controversy and conflict, but if there?s going to be a problem next time, I want to see it coming. This experience, although minor to some, hasn?t been very much fun.
And while my departure frees me to consider other opportunities, I really liked the class, the job and the challenges I was presented with on a daily basis. I just cannot deal with the duplicity that has been perpetrated on these students and will probably be perpetuated as long as some people think that profit is the driving force behind success, and that success alone depends solely on them and their ulterior motives; the belief that ?one has the students by the short hairs because no one knows how to juggle the books and spin this stuff better than me. Their track record of successful MCSE canadidates speaks differently.
I believe our problems, and our successes in IT should be the work of all trainers; and that we are an honest profession but as long as this stuff is allowed to continue that will never happen. I see that now, particularly when there is not a skill and intention match. I followed all the rules, did what was expected of me but was ostracized. I cannot not help but ask myself: if not for the content of my character then what? The proverbial ?bottom line? What?s the excuse? There is none.
It doesn?t matter, as one truism emerges from this all_ change is slower than the rhetoric that drives it_ but if our objective is to produce great students, not just MCSEs; students that can put bread on their table for their familes, then change we must, if only for the 8-hours in the workday. The juggernaut of inefficiency and self-serving has caused many an idea to crash and burn. I want to help save our profession, and keep the dignity it has earned over the years butI have no idea where to go or who to ask how to address this and any suggestions would help.

Phil Carr, MCSE/MCT

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