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Feeling the Hardware: The Emotionality of Technology-Based Organizational Change
Unformatted Document Text:  Feeling the Hardware, p. 9 Training Session One: Confusion, Humour, Excitement, and the Beginnings of Frustration I observed the initial training and tryout of the new system in a local branch office. I had arranged this with Mary, the office manager, with the approval of the other two participants. The other two participants were Roxanne, who had a half-time administrative position, and who would primarily interact with the new system, and Gary, one of the other branch managers who had attended the train-the-trainer session, and who was now responsible for doing local office training in his region of New Zealand. The training primarily consisted of Gary guiding Roxanne through the process of entering data into the database from the hard copy forms that counsellors had completed. Then, he would guide her through various ways to retrieve and edit the data for various kinds of reports. Mary was mostly observing and asking questions, although later she went to the second computer and tried her hand at using the system. The emotional climate of the very first part of the first training session was calm, patient, and quietly enthusiastic. The calmness came through in their voices and general manner towards each other. I wrote in my field notes at the time: “I notice how incredibly soft spoken all three of them are – voices suited for counselling. Mary in particular has a very soothing, almost motherly quality to her voice.” The enthusiasm and humour were especially apparent in Gary’s and Mary’s demeanour. Mary smiled and moved about quite a bit, and chatted often to me and to the others. Gary was less effusive and very task focused, but he engaged in good natured joking, especially when problems started to mount. Roxanne tended to be quieter and task focused, but she occasionally shared a laugh or cracked a joke. While it was apparent that many things were not working according to plan, the group seemed to take these things in stride. The training session began with a number of difficulties, all of which were explained and discussed in calm, matter-of-fact tones. For example:

Authors: Zorn, Ted.
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Feeling the Hardware, p. 9
Training Session One: Confusion, Humour, Excitement, and the Beginnings of Frustration
I observed the initial training and tryout of the new system in a local branch office. I had
arranged this with Mary, the office manager, with the approval of the other two participants.
The other two participants were Roxanne, who had a half-time administrative position, and
who would primarily interact with the new system, and Gary, one of the other branch
managers who had attended the train-the-trainer session, and who was now responsible for
doing local office training in his region of New Zealand.
The training primarily consisted of Gary guiding Roxanne through the process of
entering data into the database from the hard copy forms that counsellors had completed.
Then, he would guide her through various ways to retrieve and edit the data for various kinds
of reports. Mary was mostly observing and asking questions, although later she went to the
second computer and tried her hand at using the system.
The emotional climate of the very first part of the first training session was calm,
patient, and quietly enthusiastic. The calmness came through in their voices and general
manner towards each other. I wrote in my field notes at the time: “I notice how incredibly soft
spoken all three of them are – voices suited for counselling. Mary in particular has a very
soothing, almost motherly quality to her voice.”
The enthusiasm and humour were especially apparent in Gary’s and Mary’s demeanour.
Mary smiled and moved about quite a bit, and chatted often to me and to the others. Gary was
less effusive and very task focused, but he engaged in good natured joking, especially when
problems started to mount. Roxanne tended to be quieter and task focused, but she
occasionally shared a laugh or cracked a joke. While it was apparent that many things were
not working according to plan, the group seemed to take these things in stride.
The training session began with a number of difficulties, all of which were explained
and discussed in calm, matter-of-fact tones. For example:


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