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.