I’ve recently received some e-mail from TrainingRepublic readers who shared a few of their training disaster stories in response to an article I wrote titled “Training room design nightmares .” Here are two readers’ e-mails about training environment calamities I’d like to share with you.

To stay or not to stay
Dave had an experience I’m sure we’ve all had. He was given outdated software and no supplies to work with while teaching a training class. “I was a new teacher at a tech school,” Dave said. “I was hired to teach typing to future legal secretaries. The owner of the school used poorly configured systems with Windows 3.1 and bootleg software. He refused to provide printer cartridges or paper for the students.” It’s a difficult dilemma—whether to stay and put up with a bad classroom situation or to move on to another employer who can keep up with new technology and isn’t stingy with supplies. Dave opted for the latter, writing, “Needless to say I didn’t stay long.”

Check out the training room in advance
Kimberly did the right thing and checked out the training facility in advance of teaching the class. However, even with her advance preparations, everything didn’t go according to plan. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:

“I recently had what I believe to be one of the most incredible (and incredibly bad) training room experiences ever. I had visited the client site to hammer out the details of the subject materials and agenda and to view the training room to be certain it would provide a suitable environment for both the students and myself. I made several suggestions regarding the room’s layout and felt reasonably certain that the company would be able to accommodate my few simple requests.

“On the day the training was to begin (a few days after my meeting), I arrived at the client site one hour early and found an unbelievable sight. Rather than placing the existing tables in the design I requested, they had replaced the tables with five-foot-high cubicles! Needless to say, I was in a panic as to how to solve this problem in the hour I had before the class began. I found the director 20 minutes later and explained that if I couldn’t see the students and they couldn’t see me, the class would not be a productive one.

“The solution? The class was rescheduled for the following day, and thankfully, the room layout was exactly as I had requested. The moral? Take nothing for granted. Check out the accommodations ahead of time!”

Want more info on how to handle such terrors in classroom setup? “Training room design nightmares ” provides some good tips for preparing for your next off-site training class. Don’t get caught up in the same nightmares—do your homework in advance.
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