Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Training Day

I'm down to two trainees. I didn't kill and eat the rest of them, I swear. I'm down to just two at any given time. Several other people have come forward in the last few days, showing interest in learning the ins and outs of the job I share with my brother. As a means of accommodating that, we've decided to break them into groups, and have them here more often. With the recent (relative) calm and the new folks from Bald Knob to balance our numbers, that is now a doable thing. 

Fortunately, there haven't been any big zombie attacks lately. The numbers of the undead outside the wall are low at present, which gives me time to really work with my trainees on things. See, I learned to do what I do--manage our resources and plan projects, basically running the day to day business of the compound--by experience. I had the luxury of starting with a small group of people and gradually building that over time, so I wasn't overwhelmed. 

I had to do that while we were without a wall, and in the midst of the most chaotic times we've seen. So maybe it balances out.

The trainees don't have the advantage of being able to start small as I did, though part of how I am teaching them is by giving each one a smaller section of the overall compound schedule and letting them work on it. There's always overlap, of course, so it's also a neat lesson on how to work together and manage efficiently. 

I'm also making them work on logistics for different projects, like shoring up the wall. See, the wall itself isn't uniform all the way around, and while many of its parts are well built (especially the newer sections, where we'd learned from our errors) other sections are in need of repair or rebuilding and some support structure added in. Months of constant drubbing by zombies will eventually cause problems, as you may have guessed. 

It's actually a pretty important thing, so I'm watching them work through it all with a careful eye. There are so many aspects of this job that most people don't think about. I'm a physics nerd, and interested in learning about pretty much anything, so over my lifetime I've gained a pretty wide and generalized base of knowledge about things. I did a lot of the engineering on the wall from day one, and have learned from that. I know exactly what we'll need to build additional supports to strengthen the wall from the inside, and how to put them together. 

What I want to see is how each of my trainees deals with gathering that information for themselves. Some of them might already know how (one of them used to be a federal engineer, who built bridges) but some of them don't. It's important that anyone who might be called on to fill in for me or Dave be able to find out anything they need to know quickly. There's no putting off what needs to be done because the problem is too hard. 

Training these folks has really shown me how important critical thinking is to our long-term survival. Aaron is doing great things with shaping the younger minds in the compound, making their brains work in new and exciting ways. But it isn't just the kids that need this, because for now the adults are the backbone of our survival. We can't get to the future without living through the present. 

I'm pretty sure that most of the people around here have the ability to problem solve in terrible and difficult circumstances, to one degree or another. It's just that I see the huge number of problems that will inevitably arise, and I don't know if our inherent reactions will be enough to face them. So, we train. We teach each other to be faster, think creatively, and make our minds work in brand new ways. 

To that end, I've also come up with some mock disasters and thought experiments that should give my trainees some idea of how hard this job can be...

You can cue an evil laugh right there. It's justified. 

No comments:

Post a Comment