My wife forwarded me the following joke the other day. As I read it two thoughts came to mind:
- is she sending me a message? (we have been married 29 1/2 years)
- There is a lot of relevance here to law enforcement training.
Read it, have a laugh and then we will discuss the training issues:
The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After all the background checks, interviews and testing were done, there were 3 finalists; two men and a woman.
For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun. “We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances.” Inside the room you will find your wife sitting in a chair . . . Kill her!!” The man said, “You can’t be serious. I could never shoot my wife.”
The agent said, “Then you’re not the right man for this job. Take your wife and go home.” The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about 5 minutes. The man came out with tears in his eyes, “I tried, but I can’t kill my wife.” The agent said, “You don’t have what it takes. Take your wife home.”
Finally, it was the woman’s turn. She was given the same instructions, to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one after another. They heard screaming, crashing, banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman, wiping the sweat from her brow. “This gun is loaded with blanks” she said. “I had to beat him to death with the chair.”
MORAL: Women are crazy. Don’t mess with them.
What struck me about this joke is that it reminds me of a lot of scenario based training. Ken Murray would describe this as ‘experimental training’ where we show up and say “I wonder what would happen if we ran this scenario?” Too often trainers have an idea of what they want to accomplish in a scenario but do not take the time to sit back and think through all the consequences and all the safety issue. We are confident of what the officers will do in the scenario and as a result overlook some critical safety issues or potential training scars. When an officer does something we did not anticipate then we are not prepared and sometimes people get hurt.
If you have not read Ken’s book Training at the Speed of Life I would highly recommend you get a copy. Make sure you read the book cover to cover and you will understand the difference between experimental training and experiential training. (If you are going to be attending the Legacy of Excellence Conference in Calgary next week ken will be speaking there and we will have copies of his book for sale.)