您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 教育 >> 正文


更新时间:2017-1-11 11:29:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Need Better Morale in the Workplace? Simulate a Plane Crash

Montana Woods, 19, a pre-med student at the University of Connecticut, had been told what to do, yet, as the water rose above her head, she was seized by fear and panic. Upside down, water filling her sinuses, it was difficult to remember how to escape.

19岁的康涅狄格大学(University of Connecticut)医科预科班学生蒙塔娜·伍兹(Montana Woods)之前就被告知了该如何应对,但是当水没过头顶时,她还是陷入了惊惶与恐惧。她头朝下,水流进了鼻窦,这时候很难想起如何逃生。

Ms. Woods and seven others — two university students, four trainers from a personal training company and the owner of a paving company — spent the Saturday before Thanksgiving surviving mock plane crashes at an indoor pool in Groton, Conn. Unlike the 120,000 students who had gone before them, this group had no overt need for aquatic-survival training. They all worked safely on land. What they wanted to learn was how to be leaders and to work as a team.


The class of three women and five men were clients of Survival Systems USA, which has been teaching aquatic survival since 1999 out of a boxy blue building across the street from Groton-New London Airport. The company has instructed employees of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the National Guard, the New York Police Department, the F.B.I., the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Army, among others.

这个由3名女性和5名男性构成的班级是“美国求生体系”公司(Survival Systems USA)的客户。这家公司从1999年起就在格罗顿-新伦敦机场(Groton-New London Airport)对面的一座四方形蓝色建筑中教授水中求生。它曾经训练过西科尔斯基飞机公司(Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation)、国民警卫队(National Guard)、纽约警察局、联邦调查局(FBI)、美国禁毒署(Drug Enforcement Administration)和军队等机构的员工。

In teaching survival skills to those who might have occasion to use them, “We’ve seen residual effects along the way: improved morale, self-esteem, capabilities people didn’t know they had,” said Maria C. Hanna, the president of Survival Systems USA. Until recently, she said, “we’ve never stopped long enough to say, ‘You know, this is something that can appeal to a market in a different way, using the tools from aviation to help people develop themselves.’ ”

“美国求生体系”公司总裁玛丽亚·C·汉娜(Maria C. Hanna)表示,在教那些或许有机会用到这些求生技能的人时,“我们也看到了一些附带效果:高昂的士气、自尊,以及人们之前并不知道自己拥有的能力”。她说,直到最近,“我们每隔一小段时间就会说,‘要知道,它能以一种不同的方式吸引一个新的市场,用航空领域的工具帮人们发展自己的能力。’”

Now, Ms. Hanna is hoping to market her company’s services as a team-building activity. This was the second time Survival Systems had given the new class. Since the curriculum is still being tweaked, it was offered at no cost in return for students’ feedback, but soon the six-hour, one-day experience will retail for about $950 per person, a price comparable with the company’s other one-day programs.


The building’s crown jewel is a Modular Egress Training Simulator, a plastic and metal craft that can be arranged to resemble the cockpit of almost any helicopter or small plane on the market. A purpose-built crane lifts it up and lowers it into the pool. Other equipment in the cavernous space can replicate the downwash from rescue helicopters, and generate rain, darkness, 120-mile-per-hour winds, smoke and fire.

这座建筑里最重要的设备是一台模块化训练模拟器(Modular Egress Training Simulator),它是一架塑料和金属材质的航空器,可以用来模拟市面上几乎所有直升机或小型飞机的驾驶舱。一台特制的起重机可以将模拟器升起,或降入水池。这个巨大的空间里还有其他一些设备,可以模拟救援直升机的下旋气流,也能制造降雨、黑暗、时速120英里的大风,以及烟和火。

During a preliminary tour, Ms. Woods saw the simulator for the first time. “I looked at it and I realized it would start filling up,” she said. “I’m a lifeguard, I surf, so I shouldn’t be scared of this but personally, water deaths are my least favorite deaths.” In high school, Ms. Woods read Sebastian Junger’s “Perfect Storm,” about the sinking of a fishing boat, and, ever since she’s retained a visceral image of drowning.

在初步参观时,伍兹第一次看到了这个模拟器。“一看到它,我就意识到它会慢慢灌满水,”她说。“我是一名救生员,经常冲浪,所以本不该害怕这个,但溺水是我个人最不喜欢的死亡方式。”高中时,伍兹读过塞巴斯蒂安·荣格(Sebastian Junger)撰写的讲述一艘渔船如何沉没的著作《完美风暴》(Perfect Storm),从那以后,她脑海就中一直留存着淹死的生动画面。

The instructor talked to the class about teamwork, leadership goals and safety procedures for the activities ahead. After a lunch of pizza, the students walked eagerly to the pool deck. Everyone wore flight suits, water shoes and helmets. It was dark and foggy. AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blared and a disco ball lit the room. “All we need is a roller rink,” one of the personal trainers joked.


Now, the classmates jumped without hesitation from a 14-foot platform into the pool. Life vests inflated, they were given the duration of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” to find a way to stay warm while floating. It turned out to be: Assume a carpet formation, arms linked, legs under the arms of the two people across from you.

然后,学员们毫不犹豫地从14英尺高(约合4米)的跳台上跳进水池。救生衣鼓了起来,他们要在席琳·迪翁(Celine Dion)的《我心依旧》播完之前找到在漂浮的同时保持温暖的方法。结果就是:像织地毯一样,将胳膊连起来,把腿放在对面两个人的胳膊下面。

Taylor Cintron, 19, an economics major at UConn, was put in charge of the next task, boarding an inflated life raft. Before the last person was on, “Singin’ in the Rain” started playing. Wind and water blasted the raft. Ms. Cintron yelled orders over the squall. Everyone got aboard and, after some scrambling, the life raft’s tent-like roof was closed against the rain.

19岁的泰勒· 辛特龙(Taylor Cintron)是康涅狄格大学经济学专业的一名学生。她负责下一项任务,登上一艘充气救生船。在最后一个人上船之前,喇叭里开始播放《雨中曲》(Singin’ in the Rain)。大风和雨水冲击着救生船。辛特龙在狂风中大声下达命令。所有人都上了船,在一阵忙乱之后,救生船像帐篷一样的屋顶关上,挡住了雨水。

The pop music was supposed to ease anxiety. It appeared to be working. “I’m less scared than I thought I was,” Ms. Cintron said during a break. “I hate touching people,” she said, but “this is O.K., I trust everyone that I’m with. It’s not touching for no reason.”


Finally, each person was strapped into the simulator, submerged and flipped. In this exercise there are three rounds. First: You reach for the window frame, undo your seatbelt, pull yourself out and swim to the surface. Second: Add a closed window to the puzzle. (You’d do the same in a submerged car, only you might need to break the window.) Third: Pretend your window is stuck and, by holding onto the seats and the console, cross to the adjacent window.


An instructor is poised behind the participants the entire time, ready to whisk them to the surface if anything goes wrong. Though no one has drowned during the training, the primordial fear remains.


“Last time I took my staff here, two or three backed out,” said Greg Drab, 40, the owner of Advantage Personal Training of Mystic, Conn., which had sent the four trainers to the class. “After the second exercise, a couple people had hit their threshold.”

“上次我带员工来这里时,有两三个人退缩了,”40岁的格雷格· 德拉布(Greg Drab)说。他是康涅狄格州米斯蒂克村“优势个人培训”公司(Advantage Personal Training)的所有者,前述四名教练就是这家公司送来的。“第二次训练之后,有几个人已经开窍了。”

If Mr. Drab had been paying retail, this would be more expensive than the $50 ropes course he’d done with employees in the past, but even at $950, he said it would be worth it. “You get to see how people handle stressful situations,” Mr. Drab said. “This unifies the team.”


Everyone in that Saturday’s class escaped the simulator successfully, but it took Ms. Woods longer than she would have liked. Standing by the pool, still dripping, she said she felt “a little more at ease with my whole fear. I know as long as you follow the procedures there’s nothing to worry about. In every situation there’s a moment of panic and you have to squash it.”


Within the team-building industry, Survival Systems’ course would fit into the category of extreme experiences, like driving a racecar at 150 miles per hour or flying a fighter jet, said Merrick Rosenberg, the chief executive of Team Builders Plus, which is based in Marlton, N.J., and has taught classes to Fortune 500 companies since 1991.

Team Builders Plus公司的首席执行官梅里克· 罗森伯格 (Merrick Rosenberg)说,在团队建设行业,美国求生体系公司的课程属于极限体验类,就像驾驶时速150英里的赛车或开战斗机。Team Builders Plus公司位于新泽西州马尔顿,从1991年起为世界500强公司提供培训课程。

Mr. Rosenberg said he distinguishes “team-bonding” activities from those with “deep learning or cultural transformation” as their goal. In a team-bonding experience, he said, like the Survival Systems’ class, participants “overcome self-imposed limitations” and learn trust, communication and leadership, but they don’t re-enact and critique workplace dynamics as they would in the more interpersonal “deep-learning” exercises. Team Builders Plus offers both.

罗森伯格说,他认为“增强团队凝聚力”的活动不同于以“深度学习或文化转变”为目标的活动。他说,在美国求生体系公司的课程这类增强团队凝聚力的活动中,参与者“克服自己设定的局限”,学习信任、交流和领导能力,但是不会像在更注重人际关系的“深度学习”培训中那样,重现和评价办公室活力。Team Builders Plus公司提供这两类课程。

Mr. Rosenberg said survival-skills classes appeal to some more than others. “There are specific types of groups that like high-risk activities,” he said, citing lawyers and people in sales, public relations or marketing. Those in social work, nursing, finance or engineering, he said, might not be as keen to face the fear of drowning.


“I would think this is a very millennial experience,” he said. “It won’t appeal to everyone, but for the people who match that demographic, they’re going to have a blast.”