Taxpayers Pay $1.9 Million To Teach Senate Staff To Sleep, Spell, Listen

Tyler Durden's picture

Just when one thought the government's boondoggles couldn't get any worse, along comes this...

Sometimes working in the Senate is stressful and means staying up all night to get your projects done.

Fortunately, overworked and under-slept staffers can take one of dozens of lifestyle coaching classes offered by the Senate to ensure they’re okay.

The Senate Office of Education and Training offers Senate employees a wide variety of free courses on everything from the “Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep” to “Pressure Point Therapy Workshop,” in which students are taught "how to locate and relieve active pressure." For its efforts, the office was provided $1.9 million in 2013 according to information provided by the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.

While the office is little known, even within the Senate, it made national headlines briefly in 2012 over a typo on the cover its course catalog.

After misspelling the word "training" by leaving out the first “N,” one staffer remarked, "Ooh! They’ve got an editing and proofreading class!"

According to its website, the Office "provides a variety of ways for you [a Senate staffer] to enhance your professional development and increase your performance and technical skills." These include such offerings as, "Assert Yourself: Speak Up with Tact Rather than Suffer in Silence," which will teach Senate employees the recognize the difference between assertive, aggressive, and passive behavior “without being a steamroller or a pushover.”

Other classes for the more reserved include, "Small Talk: Breaking the Ice in Social Situations" and "That’s Not What I Meant!," a one hour class that "explore[s] the difference between your intention and the impact of your words and behavior on the other person." It teaches the important lesson that “[c]ommunication is difficult and complex."

In "Be Curious, Not Furious" students are taught how to examine a difficult work relationship, discuss the difference between labeling people and understanding them, and discuss five ways for understanding challenging behavior.

Should that fail to do the trick, the class on "Forgiveness," defines the concept and explains the "[c]onsequences of holding a grudge."

Some classes are there for Senate staff who slept through elementary, middle and high school such as “Making Subjects and Verbs Agree."

Source: Wastebook 2013

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And now, peasants, pay your taxes.