Friday, May 06, 2005

database training

I met an interesting woman at work this week, named Ronnie. She flew over to my office this week from Minnesota because she is a trainer and presenter from a company that we bought a big new crazy data base program from. I was in the computer training classroom on Wednesday, all day, with Ronnie and about 14 of my co-workers learning how to use and the improved features of the version of the database.

It was a great, state of the art training, complete with a large In-focus live instruction as we all worked on our PC’s. One of the things making the training so entertaining is that the database wasn’t loaded on our PC’s properly, and every time we would try to input a new customer or generate another profile, we would all get different error messages. This was visibly pushing Ronnie to her limit. But she didn’t snap, and was really good at firmly redirecting some of the upper level administrative people in the classroom who felt they could have a conversation amongst themselves, regardless if Ronnie was explaining something.

I personally think the database is going to be a nightmare to work with, it seems there are way too many unnecessary features on it. The great thing about Ronnie is that she immediately picked up I was from the east coast. I noticed when she walked around the room to see how we were doing with the get to know the features assignments she gave us, she would put her hands on my shoulders or joke around with me. During the breaks, we would talk about different areas of NYC that we had been to or lived in. I was getting to know Brooklyn when I left, so I was familiar with some areas of town she talked about.

I didn't mind the class, and was limited with what I could do due to the bugs in the database, so I just made several ficitcious message notes about non-existant employees. That turned out to be really funny because for some werid reason later people across the room would get the messages in the stuff they were working on. About 2:20 PM, I heard the sales guy from the south office exclaim and break the silence and keyboarding "Yak herder and is often found grating cheese while directing traffic?!? What the??"

Ronnie returned on Thursday to teach the same class to all of the people in the office who couldn’t make it on Wednesday, and again on Friday for the Payroll department. Each day we would talk a little, she would come to my office after she was done with the class and B.S. a little. I guess those classes went better because they worked all the bugs out of the database and she had tamer groups.

After her last class on Friday, she stopped by my officer and informed me she was flying back. We chatted for a little about what brought her to Minnesota (her husband). Before she left she hugged me and was calling me honey.

Many people in the office were put off by her. They thought she was very loud, brash, talked with her hands in a very aerobic way and too up front. People weren't hesitating to talk about her in hushed whispers around the water cooler and at the reception deak. One of my co-workers, Lana, would shush Ronnie every time she paced by Lana’s workstation as she lectured about another unnecessary feature.

I thought she was neat, and really liked her.


It’s funny how you can meet some total stranger and feel connected to them in a weird way. I really liked her, and just met her. I should have gotten her e-mail address.

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