|These young guns battle it out too|
Earlier in the week I visited the Fukuoka sales office of the company to join in a local sales meeting and was treated friendly and with respect from the guys and gals over there. Most of the reps over there are veterans in the company, but one of the guys is recently hired with just a little over half a year in the company and only a few years of previous work experience. At one point in the meeting there was a session with presentation training and the newbie had been chosen to hold a training presentation on one of our products.
The guy was obviously extremely nervous as the veterans watched with their arms crossed over their chests and serious frowns, I could almost feel some of his cold sweat from where I was sitting. The presentation was very poor, he kept using the wrong terms, stutter and generally read straight off the slides. After ten very long minutes he finally finished and was met with some half-hearted applause after which the feedback session started.
It was brutal... As I was the guest and was uncertain about their internal culture I wasn't sure to which extent I should just say "Good job" or be more honest and direct and how softly I would need to wrap saying "that was crap". I didn't need to worry as the first veteran started off with "If I was the customer I wouldn't have a clue as to what you were talking about and what you actually wanted to say, it was garbage and you need to think about what you want to have said properly!". Then it followed around the table in a similar vein from about eight people for a good twenty minutes. The newbie rep looked like he was about to start to cry. To be fair, the criticism was harsh, but not mean-spirited and his presentation had been very bad so I didn't feel overlyy sorry for the rep as he'll recover and no one meant any real harm. However, what did make me feel sorry for him was how he after each round off harsh criticism had to respond with a fake smile, say "Thank you so much for your feedback" and bow.
I wonder if the prisoners about to be hanged here in Japan thank their executioners for their patience and apologize in advance for soiling their pants when they die?