Professionally, I work in mental health. To keep my license, I have to attend 35 hours worth of continuing ed every two years. I'm in a boring one today. So here's a list of people I see every time.
  1. The mystical sweater cape lady.
    Usually in her 50s-60s. Wears gauzy clothes and glasses. Likely to be wearing a crystal on a chain. Old school therapist who prefers to see her clients for years. Very interested in alternative therapies. Distrustful of insurance companies.
  2. The know-it-all white guy
    Raises hand frequently to ask pointed questions of the presenter. Often already an "expert" on the class topic and wants to make sure everyone knows. Particularly interested in making female presenter appear incompetent. Delays lunch break. Everyone hates him.
  3. The blatantly inattentive
    Sits near the back and does not even pretend to pay attention. Accessories include: tablet, laptop, headphones, crossword puzzle book, cell phone. Fills out course assessment before the class starts and is first out the door. Just here for the hours.
  4. The snacker
    Spreads out a selection of foodstuffs in front of their seat. Appears to be settling in for a long winter. Favors crunchy snacks that are difficult to open.
  5. The earnest young therapist
    Just finished grad school in the last two years. Is excited to be a Real Therapist amongst other Real Therapists. Dresses professionally, has high pitched voice. Still optimistic about changing lives, frequently works with children. Is horrified at all ethics workshops because, my god, anyone can sue you at any time.
  6. The very specific question asker
    Presents detailed hypothetical situation as a question, which is obviously not hypothetical. Admits to this after an answer is provided. Usually a repeat offender. Has many ethical dilemmas and probably needs a new job.
  7. The artist
    Creates elaborate doodles in margins of handouts. Is frequently more interesting to watch than presenter.
  8. The grizzled case worker
    Identifiable by travel coffee mug as big as their head. Laughs derisively often. Makes the "mmmm hmmm" sound when someone else raises a complaint. Has messy ponytail and a really large purse.
  9. The Very Important Therapist
    Walks out of class frequently with mobile phone clutched to ear. We all suspect they have a productive private practice. We roll our eyes.
  10. The Networker
    Has business cards. Wants to talk to you on break. Is to be avoided