This marks Week 2 of training for our latest crop of new hires. Alison and Michael are catching on quickly and with what appears extraordinary ease. Training at Room & Board is thorough and intense, four weeks packed with information, role-playing, computer education, company philosophy, not to mention getting to know all the rest of us. It’s a tall order, and these quick-studies are making it look easy. Lucky us!

My own specialty here is upholstery and fabric, and so I was asked to provide that training. In four hours over two days, we looked at how sofas are constructed; we discussed the fiber content of fabrics and how that speaks to “durability.” We walked the showroom “trying on” sofas to get a feel for the different cushioning, and touched on leather production and care. And a whole lot more, besides. It’s true that if you want to know a subject thoroughly, teach it to someone: These guys had lots of great questions that had me digging deep into my product knowledge for answers!

I like having new folks come aboard–it’s invigorating! Memories return of my own training (almost four years ago) in our Soho store, and I re-experience the awe and gratitude I felt for how much care and thought those design associates gave to the process. The Washington, DC team feels beholden to provide the same top-notch experience for our new hires. At Room & Board, it’s called “setting them up for success.” Yesterday, Alison and Michael shadowed some of us on the sales floor. It was a busy Saturday, and it was impressive to watch them take to their new roles like pros. Congratulations to them both on an auspicious beginning!