Education optimize

Announcing our favorite stories of training victories

Like Rocky Balboa roaring back in the last round of the fight, these trainers turned imminent catastrophe into roaring success.
Prepared by
How do you turn a bad situation around? Sometimes you’re smart, and other times you’re just plain lucky.

We asked for your favorite stories of dodging the proverbial bullet, and we received more compelling stories than we have room to publish. We selected our three favorite stories and awarded TechRepublic T-shirts to the folks who submitted these winning tales.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet could keep this trainer from delivering
(The TechRepublic member who submitted this story asked to remain anonymous.) “I was asked to deliver PC training at a remote location five hours from our main office. When we made arrangements for the training, we were assured that the location would work for training and the laptop computers would be shipped to the site in time for the class. But they weren't, and since I was going anyway, I was asked to transport them the day of training. I knew I wouldn't be able to pick the computers up at 5 A.M. Monday morning, so I hauled the equipment home over the weekend and lugged it into the house so it wouldn't freeze. Then bright and early Monday morning I loaded them back in the car for the trip out.

“An hour into the trip, it started to rain; another hour and the rain became sleet. Roads were extremely hazardous, vehicles were off the road to the left and right. I was literally creeping along to keep from becoming a highway statistic. Even with the ice, I was only about 10 minutes late, no thanks to the guy in the main office who gave me the wrong directions to the training site (three miles from where he said it was—and this was a site he had been to before)!

“Thankfully everyone made it to the training safely. However, the site chosen for the training was not well equipped. We made do as well as we could, rearranging tables near the one outlet in the room, because guess what? The batteries on the computers were not even charged! Luckily, I had thought ahead and brought a couple of outlet strips. The training actually went quite well, for the limited amount of time we had. We were supposed to demonstrate dial-in, but do you think there was a phone close by? Absolutely not! Thank heavens for intelligent students, good student manuals, and a positive outlook. And no icy roads for the drive back!”

From Tracy G.: You will adapt
“I was working on my MCT, and needed to film a class instruction. No problem; I had spent hours the night before working on my PowerPoint presentation for the next day. But when I got there, the computer we used for the presentation wouldn't boot. We were already taping, but instead of starting over, I figured I would just go with it. I grabbed some markers and started drawing on the whiteboard. I'm not an artistic person, but it worked. I even got some of the students up to help with the presentation. All of my materials that I had to turn in were referenced to the PowerPoint presentation, so I just noted that it was unavailable, and improvised. I got top marks for class participation and a little note at the bottom saying, ‘Life never works out the way we want, but we adapt.’”

From Craig G: Of caffeine and lottery tickets
“I work for a police department in Virginia. During some training on our new computer-aided dispatch system four years ago, I noticed that the squad I was teaching was starting to fall asleep! It’s sometimes hard to keep folks awake who are on 12-hour shifts.

“I was quickly losing them. Then I remembered that the new Starbucks store had just opened and had given me several "free espresso drink" coupons, which I had in my shirt pocket. I also had some instant lottery tickets that I had not played. I quickly offered these free drinks and lottery tickets as incentives to the officers to pay attention and answer questions I had. The free drink coupons and lottery tickets motivated them to listen to my every word! So, after my presentation and verbal quiz, each correct question earned a coupon or a lottery ticket! The training was a success! One officer won $10 dollars on the lottery tickets. Had I also had free donut coupons, I would have been a super hero that day! :)”
If you’d like to comment on these stories or tell your own, please post a comment below or send us a note. Prepared by
How do you turn a bad situation around? Sometimes you’re smart, and other times you’re just plain lucky.

We asked for your favorite stories of dodging the proverbial bullet, and we received more compelling stories than we have room to publish. We selected our three favorite stories and awarded TechRepublic T-shirts to the folks who submitted these winning tales.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet could keep this trainer from delivering
(The TechRepublic member who submitted this story asked to remain anonymous.) “I was asked to deliver PC training at a remote location five hours from our main office. When we made arrangements for the training, we were assured that the location would work for training and the laptop computers would be shipped to the site in time for the class. But they weren't, and since I was going anyway, I was asked to transport them the day of training. I knew I wouldn't be able to pick the computers up at 5 A.M. Monday morning, so I hauled the equipment home over the weekend and lugged it into the house so it wouldn't freeze. Then bright and early Monday morning I loaded them back in the car for the trip out.

“An hour into the trip, it started to rain; another hour and the rain became sleet. Roads were extremely hazardous, vehicles were off the road to the left and right. I was literally creeping along to keep from becoming a highway statistic. Even with the ice, I was only about 10 minutes late, no thanks to the guy in the main office who gave me the wrong directions to the training site (three miles from where he said it was—and this was a site he had been to before)!

“Thankfully everyone made it to the training safely. However, the site chosen for the training was not well equipped. We made do as well as we could, rearranging tables near the one outlet in the room, because guess what? The batteries on the computers were not even charged! Luckily, I had thought ahead and brought a couple of outlet strips. The training actually went quite well, for the limited amount of time we had. We were supposed to demonstrate dial-in, but do you think there was a phone close by? Absolutely not! Thank heavens for intelligent students, good student manuals, and a positive outlook. And no icy roads for the drive back!”

From Tracy G.: You will adapt
“I was working on my MCT, and needed to film a class instruction. No problem; I had spent hours the night before working on my PowerPoint presentation for the next day. But when I got there, the computer we used for the presentation wouldn't boot. We were already taping, but instead of starting over, I figured I would just go with it. I grabbed some markers and started drawing on the whiteboard. I'm not an artistic person, but it worked. I even got some of the students up to help with the presentation. All of my materials that I had to turn in were referenced to the PowerPoint presentation, so I just noted that it was unavailable, and improvised. I got top marks for class participation and a little note at the bottom saying, ‘Life never works out the way we want, but we adapt.’”

From Craig G: Of caffeine and lottery tickets
“I work for a police department in Virginia. During some training on our new computer-aided dispatch system four years ago, I noticed that the squad I was teaching was starting to fall asleep! It’s sometimes hard to keep folks awake who are on 12-hour shifts.

“I was quickly losing them. Then I remembered that the new Starbucks store had just opened and had given me several "free espresso drink" coupons, which I had in my shirt pocket. I also had some instant lottery tickets that I had not played. I quickly offered these free drinks and lottery tickets as incentives to the officers to pay attention and answer questions I had. The free drink coupons and lottery tickets motivated them to listen to my every word! So, after my presentation and verbal quiz, each correct question earned a coupon or a lottery ticket! The training was a success! One officer won $10 dollars on the lottery tickets. Had I also had free donut coupons, I would have been a super hero that day! :)”
If you’d like to comment on these stories or tell your own, please post a comment below or send us a note.