You find a seat, pull out your notebook, new pen, and you are stocked with caffeine. You are ready to absorb knowledge. Then the scenario begins to shift. The speaker begins to introduce themselves… on a personal level. You take a deep breath and prepare yourself for what is to come. Then it happens, you hear “Let’s get a little more aquainted before we get started.” Now you are painfully aware that you are going to lose 30-minutes of your life learning trivial facts about the 50 other students around you. You are now forced into participating in an annoying and anxiety ridden ritual. The Ice Breaker.
Let’s be honest, at no point in you’re quest for personal betterment have you given two shits about something interesting Karen recently watched on tv or Susan’s favorite musical group. But here you are, in a large group of strangers, quietly listening and politely applauding the favorite restaurant of some guy named Dean sitting in the back row.
During these situations you find yourself contemplating if the speaker really cares about anyone in the audience or if they are just killing time to get a paycheck.
Typically I find myself making sarcastic under the breath comments to those around me and forcing them to stifle giggles in order to avoid detection. I usually have a hilariously inappropriate response prepared for my own turn but I end up chickening out at the last second and blurting out that I like Red Lobster and Overboard.
As adults why do we continue to allow this practice? At some point we all need to simply band together and shout, “No Laura! We’re not telling you our favorite childhood memory!”
Unfortunately the establishment seems to enjoy this practice of organized humiliation and time consumption. So here we’ll stay, awaiting the day that we can gather as adults for the mutual purpose of education and enlightenment without the need for the worthless time suck that is the Ice Breaker.