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Training Day Today my boss and I attended training for a piece of software that we do not ever intend to use. We need to see how it works, because we'll be recieving data from their database into our own, and it helps for us to understand the flow of their work. Keep in mind that we are both software professionals, we work on, with, and near computers all day, for a living. The training is for all levels of users, though, so it took 10 minutes just to get everyone to type in their login and password. "Any questions? I'll give you one more minute on that." Comedy was present from the beginning, when even though we are 15 minutes late, Chris, my boss, walks into the room and starts calling out to the people he recognizes in the room. Loudly. He does a lot of things loudly. Fortunately, people were just starting their self-paced portion of the training, and we weren't interrupting a lecture or anything, but we didn't know that at the time. There is always at least one problem student in the class, and ours sat up front. Student: "Why doesn't it show [this information]?" Trainer: "This is a test sytem. If you were using the live data, it would. This test information is not up to date, its just so you can see how the program works" Student: "OK, but why doesn't it show it then?" Trainer: "This is a test system. In the live system back at your department, it will." Student: "But, it should show it, right?" Luke: (imagining sound of gunshot) Trainer: (in impossible calm monotone that he used the entire time we were at training) "Its a test system." As the training progresses, largely through items of no use to us, Chris begins to wander through the application, opening windows, making changes. Its all safe, because we are operating in a test environment created for such purposes. Then when the one of the instructors occasionally asks us all to try something, Chris was repeatedly lost an unable to find the necessary screens, due to his wanderings. The second instructor had to keep telling him what to do in that "computers for imbeciles" tone of voice that all computer training people are required to use. I was chuckling to myself that the Director of Emergency Medicine Information Systems was the slow kid in class. My chuckling turned to all out turn-my-head-away-guffawing a few minutes later, as Chris, who somehow had managed to tip back in his 5-wheeled office chair (not an easy task, try it!) and was beginning to lose control. If he had simply fallen over, that would have been noteworthy enough, but he was fighting to retain his position, and ended up with a brilliant imitation of an electronic-bronco rider after a few too many pints of liquid courage. He went back, grabbed for the desk, missed, nearly righted himself (enough so that I didn't feel the need to assist, I thought he had the bull mastered), teetered on the brink for a frozen moment in time, and then finally went over backwards. Everyone turns around to see us in the back row, Chris's hands reach up (paralel with his legs for a moment), like a gymnast after a successful pommel-horse dismount, and yells "I'm OK! I'm OK!"The trainer mentions, helpfully, that we are fortunate that the windows behind us were not lower, the assistant trainer, who had been helping him keep pace with the class, helped him back up. He is asked 20 times "Are you alright" before some head-of-the-class type at the head of the class says "he's just embarassed." I was laughing so hard I had to turn away to hide my face and avoid causing greater distraction. Trainer: Its a test chair. The real chairs wont do that.

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