Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Business travel

Today I had to fly up-country to take a training session. It was organised by someone based up there, and presumably all I had to do was turn up with new knowledge to impart.

But because I'm a training-away virgin, I didn't think to check carefully exactly what facilities would be available - computers, yes; broadband connections,yes; lunch and snacks, yes; whiteboard, yes. Whiteboard pens, data show projector, dunno. Would everyone bring their manual, dunno.

She said something about an overhead projector, but I wasn't interested in creating a bunch of transparencies because I was going to distribute a load of printed handouts instead.

"Just you wait - they'll spend half an hour just trying to log in!" one of my colleagues (a seasoned trainer) said.
"Better take some whiteboard pens and duster", advised the training manager, "because you don't know for sure there'll be any up there".
"You should take a laptop and a data show projector", suggested the boy, "so you can subtley show them how to log in without making obvious your low opinion of their technical abilities".

So I packed a laptop, a data show projector, a wad of printed handouts about the size of an Auckland phone book, a couple of whiteboard pens and the office's only whiteboard duster, and packed it into two bags. Then I had to practice walking around with them as though they were really light, so I wouldn't be forced to check them in at the airport.

I reckon the airlines must gotten into trouble with how they show passengers the safety rules or something. Because in the old days no-one seemed to care if you you could look out the window or napped while they showed you where the exits were.
But on my flight out, the flight attendant actually scolded one passenger like a naughty schoolboy, for talking instead of paying attention. Times sure have changed.

Then I got to my destination, got a lift to the training venue, and found out that there was already a data show projector in the room, already connected up to the computer I'd be using. I needn't have packed the laptop and projector after all - I could have swanned about with just my handbag, saving my shoulder muscles much trauma and strain. There were also pens and dusters a-plenty, and no overhead projector to be seen.

p.s. I think the session went well - no one went to sleep, and everyone managed to finish the practice exercises. But they nearly fell over each other trying to leave when I finished half an hour early.

5 comments:

Lady Sophia's Lover said...

Sophia!
You of the whirling wings,
circling, encompassing energy of God:
you quicken the world in your clasp.
One wing soars in heaven,
one wing sweeps the earth,
and the third flies all around us.
Praise to Sophia!
Let all the earth praise her!
-Hildegard of Bingen.

Thanks.

donnasoowho said...

Always pays to be prepared. I remember someone telling me that the most important thing is to make sure you know how to operate the technology before you start doing a presentation and I think that was good advice because you do look like a wally if you start and then have to phaff around - makes you look incompetent.

Glad it went well!

Violet said...

Lady Sophia's Lover - erm, yes...thanks...

donnasoowho - everyone at work today did say, that if I had not taken the laptop and the projector and the pens and the duster with me, I would most likely have arrived at the venue and found none of those things available. I suppose it's a bit like taking my raincoat to work, to ensure we have a sunny day...

kiwiyarns said...

Well done! It must have been a relief that it all went so smoothly.

Violet said...

kiwiyarns: yeah it did, but I wonder whether it's going to make any difference to the quality of their database entries.