b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Training courses, seminars and conferences » Page 5 | Search
This is a question Training courses, seminars and conferences

Inspirational or a waste of precious slacking-off time? I once went on a buzzword bingo-laden training course which ended up with my being held at gunpoint in public. Could have gone better, to be honest. Tell us your tales from either side of the lectern

(, Thu 15 Mar 2012, 15:01)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Website training
Been on a course for about year and a half where I've learnt that my stories aren't funny and some people are rude to each other.
(, Wed 21 Mar 2012, 3:33, 10 replies)
I've just finished
Giving a 4 hour course to 10 people

over the phone

with them all on mute

where at least 4 of them knew at least as much as I do about the subject

and they only had to do it, so they could be 'official' partners of ours


please kill me now
(, Wed 21 Mar 2012, 0:23, 4 replies)
I could have been on the telly, you know.
A few years ago I had to attend a two day training course in Bristol, something to do with learning how to use the new projects database, if I recall correctly. The company put me and a couple of colleagues up in a hotel next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and, on arrival, we checked into our respective rooms and agreed to meet in the lobby at a specified time.

I was first to arrive, and noticed that there was a large contingent of young people milling around the place, each proudly displaying a number pinned to their clothing. They kept going in and coming out of one of the function rooms. After about five minutes, some young bloke with a clipboard wandered up to me and asked "Excuse me, are you here for the Big Brother auditions?"

This is a question that is not easily anticipated; when someone approaches you with a clipboard you tend to think 'customer research person' or 'trying to sell me something person' or 'health and safety twat.' Not to be asked if you're wanting to try and get on the telly and bring shame to yourself, your family and anyone you've ever bought a pint for by acting in a ludicrously accentuated manner in order to get offered panto for a couple of years before dying an excruciating career death in full view of the tabloids. Or even an actual death, come to that, complete with Princess Di style hysteria and several thousand Facebook tribute pages that you'll never ever actually see.

The slightly off-guard bemused expression I was evidently wearing caused clip board guy to prompt me with "You know, Big Brother, off the telly," to which I replied "Yeah, I know what it is, but no, I'm not here to audition. I'm just waiting for some colleagues and then we're going to dinner."


"Oh. Oh well, do you want to audition anyway?"

Fame. Fortune. Glamour. Ruthless tabloid exposure. None of these things entered my head as I responded with a firm but polite "No. Thank you, but no. I'd rather not."

And that's how I didn't get my cock out on national TV.
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 23:49, 1 reply)
I have worked in schools for the past few years
and as a result have attended a few in-house professional development sessions usually run by a middle-management type.

It's too late in the evening for me to rant, or even really make a coherent point, but I am still constantly surprised by how many teachers fail at having basic presentation skills, eg. can't use powerpoint, mumble, talk endlessly, etc.
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 23:34, 3 replies)
Sexual discrimination - for wimmin only?
Those of you bored enough to have read my previous failed attempts at humorous stories may recall that I used to work for a certain large telecoms company's operator services division.

One of the MANY pointless courses I attended included a presentation about 'correcting' the gender inequality in managerial posts. At the time, the people who actually do the work - the operators - were mostly female. The ratio was about 90:10 female to male. However, the manager split was nearer 50:50 which was, apparently, an unsatisfactory state of affairs and one which the female presenter was keen to rectify.

Her plan was to ensure all future managerial promotions would be female, until a point was reached where the 'correct' 90:10 ratio was achieved. She forecast that this Utopian state would be achieved within three years.

Being a bloke, a manager and more importantly having a basic grasp of mathematics, I questioned her logic. At the time, there were roughly 200 managers in that part of the business and it was highly unlikely that the company would want to increase that number, so the only way of getting the correct ratio was for around 80 male managers to move out of their jobs within the next three years.

The options for the men were being sacked - a rare occurrence, redundancy - which is tricky if you then fill the vacancy with someone else, or being promoted which - while unlikely - was hardly in the spirit of what the presenter was trying to achieve.

Apparently, my offer to fall on my sword then and there was not seen as suitably supportive. Needless to say, the idea was forgotten shortly thereafter.
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 19:04, 4 replies)
I have been on far too many courses in my working life.
It's almost compulsory to play 'Buzzword bingo' to alleviate the boredom. However, some colleagues and I have often played a game called 'Personal space invaders'. When you're on a course or at a seminar with staff from other organisations and there's the obligatory 'socialising/getting to know your fellow attendees' bollocks try this.
A specific target or goal (doorway, particular table/piece of carpet/whatever) is agreed upon by the players. Each player must pick a fellow attendee to use as a 'puck'. You then engage your 'puck' in conversation whist subtly invading their personal space in order for them to be manouvered into the 'goal'.
This is harder than it sounds as some people will find an excuse to leave the conversation as they are feeling uncomfortable (due to the 'invasion') some won't go where you want them to etc etc. The real skill is to keep up a conversation with someone who is slightly uncomfortable. Once the goal is reached the winning player must leap into the air yelling 'GOOOOOALL', pull their sweater/shirt over their face and run around waving his/her arms about in a Brazilian commentator styleee.
The most difficult 'pucks' in my experience have been women* (they think you're coming on to them) and gay men (same again).
Like I said - I've been on too many courses to take any of them seriously.

*However I have 'ahem' been propositioned by more than one lady due to this game,
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 18:05, 4 replies)
5th best airport in Europe
Out of how many we asked the presenter who was giving a seminar to the few thousand employees in the airport over a period of weeks to boost moral... He shuffled, laughed and then said what only matters is we were 5th. We persisted, grumpily he said 5th out of 5...
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 16:32, 4 replies)
Been in this game too long....
In my many years working as an event AV tech I have:

Made Tony Hadley look like a c**t
Witnessed Jo Brand being introduced as "Jo Bland"
Had to apologise to Richard Branson for not being allowed to play his VHS tape for technical reasons
Heard Tony Blair have a piss via headphones on a radio mic receiver
Realised that Alistair Stewart is a massive c**k
Discovered that Celebrities' PA's are usually much more full of their own self-importance than celebrities themselves
Started fantasizing about putting pictures of naked ladies into peoples presentations due to sheer boredom
Decided that the next time someone asks me to play 'Simply the Best' or anything by M-People to get the delegates 'enthused' then, thats it. I've had enough. Boobs in powerpoint time!
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 14:50, 4 replies)
I spent an afternoon with a bunch of people who live in yurts being 'planted' in a forest in Devon in order to see the world from the tree's point of view.

Taxpayers' money, I might needlessly add...
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 14:34, 3 replies)
I spent four months
supposedly being trained on not putting kittens in everything.

(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 13:40, 8 replies)
M****e Fcuking T****y
Name censored to protect the retarded.

A few years ago I had to train a very reluctant client in how to use our software system. As she'd wanted to adopt a rivals software she was been difficult and obstructive at every opportunity and her lack of comprehension of the system was blamed on my inadequate training. My protests that she was trying to sabotage the entire project were largely ignored. To prove this point it was arranged that I would conduct the whole training session yet again but with her boss, the project manager and another colleague present this time.

I went through my spiel for several hours, engaging everybody and fielding questions where asked by all participants excluding the clearly disinterested M****e Fcuking T****y. When it came to the hands-on part of the training I asked them to conduct a few simple tasks on the product which everyone easily accomplished.

Apart from this bitch.

She announced that as she usually had a special ergonomic mouse due to some neck complaint she didn't know how to operate the simple 2-button affair I'd supplied for her. We watched in disbelief as she held the mouse like some spastic left-hander trying to conceal his homework from the kid next to him. She grasped it from from the cable end clawing it at an unnatural angle whilst pawing at the mouse buttons with the fingers of her other hand. After a short while she admitted defeat.

Once the session was complete I had a short meeting with her boss and project manager who apologised for her behaviour and acknowledged where the real problem was with the project. Although she'd worked there for 15 years she only lasted another 3 months before someone else took over her job. It's been running smoothly ever since.
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 10:48, 8 replies)
Pre diversity training, I've just been given my Staff Welfare Pack, entitled"All About You".
I should have been given it when I started, but anyway. It contains such pearls of wisdom, such as walking more, including a Pedometer Record Card, and eating more fruit. I also have to be Someone's Superhero, involving drawing names from the theoretical hat, and doing something nice for a colleaguesuch as writing them a poem. Oh, my qualities must include being Thoughtful, Honest, Inspiring, Creative, Courageous and Valuing Difference.
And I can get counselling for £20 a pop.
I'm so looking forward to my training day.
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 9:59, 19 replies)
The hospital was rolling out a new PAS*,
and I was doing a non-job. Thus, I found myself quite heavily involved in testing the new system, and then, perhaps inevitably, in training the staff how to use it.

And so it came to pass that I found myself trapped in a small training room, with about a dozen middle-aged women. Medical secretaries, the guardians of the consultants. I didn't like them (never have, very similar to the receptionists at GP surgerys, ie. utterly obtuse), and they didn't want to be there (no one ever does, the old system was fine, why should it change, etc.).

Not knowing anything about teaching, I wasn't spectacularly well prepared, but I had planned the session, and given out a basic manual that I had written myself (complete with screenshots - who wouldn't love that?). I was certainly unprepared for the lack of basic IT literacy: double-click ("how do I do that?") on the icon ("what's that?") on the desktop ("where?"). My rudimentary lesson plan hadn't included a section on how to use a mouse, so I ended up having to go desk to desk, showing each lady what to do. Inevitably, the session devolved into lots of talking among my students. After several appeals for silence, I decided to wait them out.

Didn't work, and I spent the final 20 minutes of the sesson, sitting with my feet on the desk, and let them get on with it. No one learnt anything. Except me. I learnt that adults will behave in much the same way as children, in a classroom environment.

*Patient Administration System
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 8:53, 15 replies)
Where's North America?
The weekly seminar that week was about the coprolites of Ice-Age North America and what careful analysis of them could reveal about diet, vegetative cover, and climate change.

The speaker wanted to show where in North America you can find coprolites (because fossilized shit isn't just laying around - you have to look long and hard for it), so he opened with a slide showing a schematic map of North America.

The map was a model of clarity - it was as easy to find North America as finding a parked car in a closed garage - but because the map used bright, thin white lines to represent shorelines on a dark, royal-blue background, and also sported white latitude and longitude lines of the same thickness, one of the professors couldn't seem to interpret the image correctly. He badgered everyone nearby in a loud whisper: "Where's North America? Where's North America? I don't see it at all!"
(, Tue 20 Mar 2012, 0:32, 1 reply)
I used to work down a mine in 1923
It was before anyone had ever heard of this health & safety nonsense, and I'm glad to report that I died aged 27 of blacklung.

One in the eye for the PC Brigade!
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 18:57, 2 replies)
During an appraisal my boss
who was the least self-aware person I have ever met, banged his fist on the table and yelled "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GO ON THAT FUCKING INTERACTIVE SKILLS COURSE"



(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 18:29, 3 replies)
The best training course I ever went on
comprised 5 contiguous weekdays (for which I had to take leave*) and then sufficient voluntary weekend sessions to be allowed to take a winch launch and fly a circuit solo in a glider. All paid for by the company.

I sit back in my chair with my croissant and glass of Amarone.

*It was no biggie - I was getting 32 1/2 days, plus bank holidays, annually at the time
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 18:19, 13 replies)
Health and safety...really?
In my last job we used to be able to do odd jobs if we needed to, rather than bothering the maintenance guys. We'd just go and borrow a ladder and change a light bulb or whatever. Until the health and safety police introduced the working at height training.

I didn't get to go on the training course (so it's only a tenuous link to the question). But from that date only those who'd been on the course were allowed to go up a ladder, and all the ladders were padlocked up.

One day soon thereafter, I had a need to run an ethernet cable to a new PC, temporarily, and decided the best way would be to take it from the socket, up the wall, pop it above the suspended ceiling tiles, then drop it down where the PC was. A five minute job. But without a ladder, a virtually impossible one, and the IT bods decided (correctly) that it wasn't really a priority job so they weren't going to do it for a week or two.

So, what did I do? I put a chair on top of a table and climbed on.

The introduction of the health and safety course therefore made things more dangerous.

Admittedly, had I fallen off and broken my neck, I'd have been a contender for the Darwin awards.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 18:11, 6 replies)
The only good training course
Is one that I don't have to waste my time attending. Working for the NHS I have to attend several courses on a regular yearly basis where the same old shit is splurged out. This can take anywhere between a half hour all the way up to a day long course.

Fuck knows why as I can put all the stuff that needs to be known in a few words for each course.

Health & Safety - Don't trip on wires or pull big heavy boxes down on to your head.
Fire Safety - Alarm rings, pick up phone/tablet from my desk, leave via closest exit and wait and see if building burns down.
Basic Life Support - Dial 999.
Information Governance - Don't tell confidential stuff to people who don't need to know or lose data that's unencrypted.
Conflict Resolution - Don't argue.
Equality & Awareness - Be nice to everyone you work with.
Fraud Awareness - Don't get caught otherwise grass up someone who is nicking stuff.
Manual Handling - Bend your knees.
Mental Capacity - Be careful around crazy people.
Infection Control - Wash your hands.

I lose a week of my life through sheer and utter boredom having to put up this.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 16:54, 3 replies)
Was on a course last week
we were in an auditorium, about 90 of us. The place was packed. we had been in the session (about fire drills) for about 25 mins, when the door opened and someone walked in (obviously late, panting, clasping a few documents from previous overrunning meeting) everyone is aware of him, stands at the front looking up to find a seat.... walks along the side... notices a seat right in the middle.

"Excuse me" he says to the man on the end of the row to let him past.... everyone is aware of him, he is making lots of noise. People having to stand up to let him past.

"Excuse me....pardon.... sorry...excuse me..." to each person he passes.

working his way clumsily across the row....People with bags are having to gather their things so they can stand up to let him past...

Finally he reaches his seat, takes his coat off, sits down.

And within the same second, the video ends, and everyone gets up and leaves.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 16:25, 4 replies)
Tomorrow I shall be attending a first aid refresher training course
I hope to god a different trainer is in attendance to the one who presided over us last year.

Spent about an hour pratting about with Resuci Annie trying to slip in a bit of smooth criminal without the trainer noticing "Annie are you ok? Can you tell us, that you're ok, Annie?" and attempting to blow a rescue breath into her fake lungs to elicit a PARP! noise from the dummies mouth (hilarious).

After this it was time to practice putting an 'unconcious' patient in the recovery position. Now, I was paired up with Gary, about 6ft and about 15 stone. Not easy to manouvre when he's, ahem, limp.

So here I was, huffing and straining to get him to roll over, I uttered the words "Oof, he's too big" much to the amusement of the others, the trainer told me to try again, this time, success. I was red, panting with the effort but victorous. "YES!" sez I, Gary opened his eyes, went very red and then I caught sight of the source of his embarrassment. My shirt had come unbuttoned and I was dangling my cleavage in his face.

I shot off tot he other side of the room and buttoned myself up, I don't think I've ever moved so fast. The rest of the class were in hysterics over my carry on campingesque flash.

Tomorrow I think I shall wear a rollneck, especially as Gary is on the course again too....
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 14:16, 11 replies)
Got sent on a drugs awareness course once
I left disappointed; those weren’t the roids I was looking for.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 13:02, 3 replies)
A lot of my fellow students would have a couple of joints before lectures.
and, on thinking about it, I could see why - when stoned one can really get into stuff. I decided to give it a try.

The lecture was about semantics, and I spent the entirity of it absorbed by the visuals of the rotating ceiling fan.

Come the following seminar, then, I was utterly clueless, and still very stoned.

The moderator opened up, "So - are we all happy with that, then? Basically, we know a cat is a cat because it's not a rat or a mat, and ..."

"Well that's bollocks" I said.

"Go on." said the moderator, encouragingly.

"Well - it's obvious. A dog is called a dog because it says "dog", not "bark" or "woof". "Dog! Dog! Dog!" and that's why the French call them "chien" because they've all got those stupid yappy little rats that just go "Chien! Chien! Chien!" ...

Er ... right ... ?


Tl;dr: massive drugs fail lols
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 12:04, 6 replies)
I recently worked as a social care person
for an autistic society. Part of the role was a weeks training, before we could work on site with clients. This was for obvious reasons, Autism is complex. Understanding about Fits, Drugs, anxiousness etc was the aim.

The group we had was brilliant. Very eclectic, with someone from every kind of background.

one Man, Ian, who was a big round African man. His english wasnt very good, and often would answer you with a smile, and 'yes' no matter the questions.... "How was your weekend Ian? " etc... He was nice though.

Sian (I think that was her name) was the girl we all perved at. She had the best @rse ive ever seen. All the blokes on the course agreed, and probably was the reason we were all there on time. she wore Tight jeans the whole week.

John. John was fat, and would sweat profously. even for sitting down. I remember doing so self defence moves with him and accidentally touching his back. It was a river of sweat. which struck me as odd, as all he had done is stand up prior to me touching him.

Steve. Ill be blunt. Steve was a scally. spoke with a harsh scouse accent, and typically had the decorum of naughty a schoolkid. and used the words "blert" and "Lad" on the end of sentances depending if he liked you or not. Steve bluntly intrupted the trainer mid video to ask when we would be going to Alton Towers - as his mate - so it seemed - had given an account of this job, like it was the dream job, and that all you do is fun. "When do you get to go on holiday with them?" was his next question.

Sure these things happen, but usually to the people who have 7+year experience, with probably medical training....not 48 hrs after training.

Steve cheated in the end of the week exam, his Knee wobbling, he leaned over to other peoples answers. laughed and then yelped out that he didnt have a 'fucking clue' at which the trainer stood up and sat next to him. He passed the exam funnily enough.

1 hr after I passed the training, I went straight on shift as I had heard a few horror stories. I went to the main site and walked into a room with lots of people walking around, with no tell tale signs of who was client and who was worker. 3 hrs later I was chasing a man into the local Co-op to find him at the back of the store hitting a box of Daz with one hand whilst shaking a mr Muscle spray in the other.

Free tee and coffee though ;)
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 12:02, 11 replies)
At Uni
I thought it would be of great benifit to attend a program set up by the Dyslexia services on Time Keeping.

Aptly I forgot when the first class was and ended up missing it.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 12:00, 5 replies)
Well I had a diversity training course last year, and have a mandatory refresher one this week.
Pretty pointless really, but it's 2 hours sitting with a biscuit.
The most pointless "training" course I ever went on lasted an afternoon, and was height awareness. It was designed solely for me, and over 3 hours, I learnt that an official height is anything over 1,3 metres. It included a massive buffet, for me and the 2 "facilitators", who must have been laughing all the way to the bank.
I received an email shortly afterwards, congratulating me on passing my introductory height awareness training, and wanting to know if I would be interested in taking part in an intermediate one. Which presumably meant there would be an advanced one too. I asked to go on it, but my boss realised I just went to take the piss, and eat all I could, so the fucker said no. I'm getting to like this corporate bullshit, after years of sole self employment.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 11:52, 4 replies)
Unfortunate physics.
Seminar for kids about physics. The excitable bloke running it was trying to be all accessible. So when he was scribbling equations up and talking about the examples, rather than, say "current" he'd say the "I-ness" and for "speed" the "v-ness".

Took about a minute before he was baffled by enquiries about power, pressure, area, acceleration, but was delighted to be so popular with all the attendees.

*Was funny when I was 15. It's probably not funny if you're not 15.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 11:39, 2 replies)
The sink of all knowledge
As part of a course I had to do, there was one module which happened to be in a subject I already knew a fair bit about. So, I was resigned for a boring couple of hours. But actually it was fascinating, though for all the wrong reasons.

The guy giving the presentation was not just a bad teacher, he was in fact an anti-teacher. That is, his explanations left the audience with less information than when they started. It really was incredible, this talent he had: he could take a simple topic that everyone was happy with, speak for ten minutes, and have a room full of people starting to question if they actually understood it after all.

I bet he had tenure...
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 11:31, Reply)
I was taught that the SA80 assault rifle cannot be fired left-handed
by the instructor, on my asking if it was OK to fire left-handed, saying "Sure - why not?", and on firing, the bolt retracting and actually touching my front teeth, and my consequent not inconsiderable surprise, fear and shock. This resulted in great mirth for said instructor and his assistant.
(, Mon 19 Mar 2012, 11:02, 15 replies)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1