At the start of each year my workplace likes to prime us for the challenges ahead by having us sit in a stuffy un-air-conditioned room during the height of summer and subjecting us to hours of safety and ethics lectures.
Apparently we shouldn't play with electricity, fire or heavy items or steal things, lie or kill people.
Good thing they told me.
Thought it does kind of throw out my plans for the weekends.
Goodbye sexual harassment initiated orgies in piles of stolen stationery whilst on drugs purchased by selling industry secrets.
After suffering through two rounds of this excruciating boredom I think I've worked out what they're up to.
They're trying to reset our expectation levels.
After the possible happiness of the holidays and the festive season* they want to kick off with a couple of days of brain-melting tedium and discomfort because after that anything will seem like an improvement.
The office politics will seem manageable, the nebulous and ever-moving deadlines will still fit into the 'can cope with' column and the mental shortcomings of the people who do the payroll will not send you into a Michael Douglas in Falling Down type mental spiral.
Once it's over the only important thing is that it'll be a full year until you have to do it again and employee dissatisfaction doesn't usually set in until midyear by which point they can depend on the wistful longing for the next vacation and awareness of the requirement for cashy-money for the accompanying festive season to keep things on an even keel.
Of course it could be worse.
I could not have a job.
*Depends on how your holidays went and how festive you are.