In this blog, I always like to retell events that happen in my life and a lot of them are usually serious. It’s either me going to this event, winning that award or announcing I’m doing something or other. I feel my blog has become very impersonal and for that, here is the most embarrassing thing that happened to me when I worked in further education, during my first staff training session (as an apprentice).

Sky and I at a National Society of Apprentices event

My only friend at this point was Sky Caves, who had also been newly appointed as a learning technologist apprentice, and that was probably because from the first day she was stuck with me. I messaged her before 8:30am on our first day asking where she was. Little did she know, she’d be holding my hand while I did things for four long years. I was also very anxious and wanted to make a good impression, and when I get like that I, unfortunately, think I am hilarious; which either goes really well or just doesn’t land. I also gain a lot of energy and become more clumsy than usual.

I feel like it’s worth mentioning that I’ve never been in this situation before and I don’t know how to use catering equipment, e.g., milk jugs.

Before we kicked off with the training, we were lucky we were given catering – free coffee, tea and some pastries! Sky was excited about free coffee which meant I was excited about free tea and so I started making the tea. I guess I was too busy being stressed about revealing how much sugar I have in my tea to pay attention to how any of the confusing instruments before me worked.

I checked my first potential issue – I put water in the tea and not coffee (I’ve done that before). Excellent. Great. Definitely picked up the milk.

Now… how do I open the milk jug?

Big mistake. You don’t open it. You pour it directly from the top. But I didn’t know that beforehand and so I pulled on the top – it wouldn’t open. I get even more nervous – why isn’t it opening? Why can’t I pour milk? How did Sky do it?

I opened it. I also pulled so hard the lid went flying and I narrowly missed both me and staff members I hadn’t met yet, being soaked in milk.

So that was my introduction to the English, Maths, ESOL and Student Support staff. Hi, I’m Charlie, and I’ll be training you today – in technology, not how to make a cup of tea. πŸ™‚

I told this story to my games development students before they sat their maths exams and they enjoyed my embarrassment which was exactly what I wanted. So, next time, you start a new job and you’re worried – don’t be, at least don’t be if you manage the first big day without almost pouring milk on everyone.