November 29th, 2004


appreciation of the mundane // work

so yeah, training for work stuff... yeah.. interesting. It was some $250/person one-day intro course for some high-end software that I'm supposed to be supporting now. The training facilities claimed to be some great "IT certified training" place.

yeah, claimed to be.

their computers were at least 3 or 4 years old, fuzzy monitors and a crappy network. That, and the IT guy hadn't recently refreshed the systems at all, they were missing 40+ patches and *none* of the CD drives in the room could read the CD that the program installer was on (which, it was later discovered was perfectly fine and readable on other machines). We tried downloading the software from the company site but it was *such* a crappy network it would have taken 3 hours (I did a network speed tester just for kicks and discovered the cable internet here at home is at least 6 times as fast).

The instructor actually did a good job of re-arranging the plans and instead did a few lectures back-to-back instead of having the hands-on parts mixed in. Halfway through the day we come back from lunch to find the disc that the company had mailed to the training facility well over a week ago just arrived (note: don't mail shit over the holiday times -- it takes forever). This disc for some reason was readable by one of the systems in the room, so we shared it over the local net and did the install from there. Mind you, all this is being done without the assistance of the local IT guy. We barely saw him throughout the entire day.

The rest of the day went reasonably well, so that wasn't so bad. All the crap that went wrong for the first 4 hours, though, really made me appreciate the setup we have at work. When the instructor shows up I'm on the spot half an hour before the class to personally walk them through the specific quirks of our setup. The machines work 100% -- no crashes, no halts, no errors whatsoever. I make a point to check with the instructors at least twice through the day (lunch and end) to make sure it all went well. It's just truly amazing, being out there and discovering first-hand all those "crappy IT" stories from a user perspective that I keep hearing everyone ranting about. wow. I guess things really are that bad sometimes.