Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why did they make me a pineapple

One of the premises of this blog is that the sixties is the most influential decade in recent times and that vestiges of that decade can strike in the most unexpected ways. You have arrived at work and need to take advantage of the day because a report is due on Monday. Today you have a unique opportunity to spend some time on it because no-one is in so you can be left to your work. You have your coffee and feel good about the world.

Suddenly Cathy comes in, "You better get going, they'll be waiting!"

"Waiting for you at the sensitivity training!"

"Oh no!" You exclaim. "Not today, oh please not today!" NO NO NO NO NO! You can't get any work done today. Today you are learning the secrets of leadership. You will spend the day role-playing.
Leadership/sensitivity training. One of the vestiges of the sixties.

Now you are in a meeting with the other staffers who were dragged in. You are a pineapple. Beth is an apple. That man with the uneven beard is a lima bean. "Why is the apple jealous of the pineapple," the leader questions.
Oh no! I'll have to come in on Saturday!
Fritz Perls had a hand in it with gestalt therapy. Then there were the encounter group fads you remember from college. This is where role playing and interacting with our fellow human beings became popular. Pop psychology. EST. Leadership training.
I have learned to become a leader, treat women with respect, learned how to be the real me, learned how to lose weight, fight depression, and other things on the company dime. But the trainer always leaves me to do the report.


Anonymous said...

I remember a sensitivity session in my dorm building that took place in the seventies. As was the fashion we all inhaled substances and other things before the session. It was all touchy feely and it did't do much for me either good or bad. Those who participated were promised a free gourmet meal afterwards. I remember being disapointed since the food was macrobiotic, and what we realy wanted to eat were munchies. As a friend said afterwards, "Ahh... so this is youth!"

Anonymous said...

I wish I could correct my spelling.

Jo Paoletti said...

I enjoyed reading your memories of the sixties. I was there, too, though mostly om Connecticut. I transcribed my 1965 diary into my own blog, 23 Sherwood Drive. (Pretty embarrassing stuff, but as a historian, I wanted to share my very own primary source...)