Last week I was in training at a conference (located in Hometown) and while most of it was…ummm…interesting, the rest of the time I jotted down my thoughts for you guys to read about (all two of you who actually read this blog).

I started out my exciting training by heading into the conference room starving and ready to devour the continental breakfast and get my money’s worth. Although the agenda, confirmation email and web page all said there would be a continental breakfast…there wasn’t. I was starving until our mid-morning break. My apologies to the people sitting near me who listened to my stomach-rumbling for two and a half hours.

The conference had two levels of participants. For $XXX, you could attend the live training and have more interaction with the trainer. For $XX you could set up a webcam in your personal office and struggle along, with no practical guidance from the trainer. I was placed (seating was assigned) in the back row, right in front of these huge screens that showed a number of different offices connected by webcam. I know they couldn’t see me (the trainer’s webcam was located closer to the podium), but it was creepy to have almost life sized people directly behind me.

TrainerB had a really funny saying. At one point my program was having issues and I called him over to help. He took a look at it and said it was the computer’s fault, and that he would call over a four-pen person. At my puzzled look he said, “the number of pens in a person’s pocket protecter is directly correlated with how much they know about computers. This problem will need someone with at least four pens.” Oddly enough the IT guy that showed up actually had four pens in his pocket…we asked.

On Monday, I was a bit upset that the promised continental breakfast was not available. I was assured that it was an oversight and would be available on Tuesday. I was running late, so I took a chance and ran in, ready for free food. Again, I was disappointed. I ended up raiding the candy jar for breakfast. I’m pretty sure that the other people around me were planning an intervention into my supposed eating disorder when I spent yet another morning with a rumbling stomach.

The bright side of the day was when TrainerB was giving an example using a nut factory. He actually said, “My former customer made nut meat.” At our incredulous looks, he specified, “You know, like the part of walnuts that people eat? You can’t eat the shell.” Did he not realize what we were thinking when he said “nut meat”!?!

This time I ate breakfast before class. I also watched half of a season of The Office the night before (just got season 4 on DVD!!!). So I spent the first three hours of class murmering “That’s what she said” under my breath. It was Dizzy’s birthday, so during our lunch break I snuck back to work and decorated her cubicle with balloons and an inappropriate card. I wrote on each balloon various insults (ex: It’s better to be over the hill than buried under it”, “Age is just a number. Your number happens to be very large”, etc.). I like to make birthdays personal.

After each day of class, I was expected to hop over to work for a few hours, so I had some great overtime. Unfortunately, my coworkers turned it into a prank-zoogie2 party. They’d leave notes all over my cube, rearrange my decorations and finally, they left the bobble head of doom. I’ll explain this one in a later post.

Something seemed wrong on the way to the conference. Something seemed wrong when I got to the conference. Something seemed wrong when I sat down and TrainerB started class.

I forgot my glasses.

So for two and a half hours until our break, I couldn’t see anything on the screen. I’m nearsighted, so I could see my own desk perfectly. Too bad I couldn’t see anything the trainer had on the board.

It was a normal day, until that night. Kelso was visiting from college and I stupidly agreed to meet up with her. We partied way too late and I had my first taste of homemade Skittle’s Vodka and got really sick. Yes, you can imagine that it’s vodka made with various skittles, so it’s alcohol the colors of the rainbow. And I just had to taste each one…multiple times. By the way, they don’t taste good.

I started the day off miserable and sick from the night before. On one of the last pages of our training manual, we had an activity to complete as sort of a final test. When we got to instruction #3, it threw an error. Turns out the manual was written incorrectly, so none of us finished the test. We just left early. I guess it wasn’t such a bad day to be sick…