Stories from a trainer


I’ve been working as an IT Trainer for the past 3 years, and as I leave to move to Northern Ireland and go and do programming full-time I thought I would write down and reflect on some of the crazy, wild and fun things that have happened during my time teaching in London.

  1. Clients “making out”. I will call it “making out” because I don’t want to get my blog blacklisted, but I will let you use your own imagination as to just what they were getting up to. Needless to say it was a regular occurrence throughout the years to catch clients in various states of undress with another client, or in one case, with a member of staff. One particular incident that sticks in my mind was when I accidentally walked in on two clients who had snuck into the store cupboard and were completely undressed and “making out” in a very vigorous manner. They were both in their early 20’s and I think I was far more embarrassed than they were. I stood far enough away to not year them, but close enough to ensure that no-one else walked in on them, and for the remainder of their course we avoided eye contact.
  2. Clients unable to go to the toilet for a No. 2 without having a member of staff stand guard. We had a few clients who were so overweight that they could not fit into any of the toilet cubicles, and so a member of staff had to stand guard outside the toilets whilst they arranged toilet paper on the floor of the bathrooms, did their business and used a curved stick to help wipe. Ridiculously embarrassing for all concerned.
  3. Clients randomly letting you know that they were not wearing any underwear. As far as I know this was mostly for male members of staff, when dealing with female clients, and it was quite amusing to see their efforts to let you know that they were not wearing any underwear and try to catch your eye during lessons. Completely inappropriate behaviour, but it did cause a few Basic Instinct-esq moments for me, particularly when conducting 1-2-1 weekly reviews. I ended up having to move reviews into one corner of the main teaching room.
  4. Getting inappropriately touched. This happens all the time, at least a couple of times every week, where young (usually 17-18) year old clients try to sit on your lap, or stretch their leg over your desk, or “stretch” because they are so tired and show off their belly-button piercing. You would be sitting working and next thing two arms would wrap round your neck from behind you with a “sirrrrrr” and invariably a completely pointless question. Equally taking things off your desk and then waiting for you to have to come get them back from them was a popular one as in many cases they tried to make you lean over them to get whatever it was and then would invariably put their hands on your chest. How there were not lots of lawsuits I have no idea.
  5. Clients who already know everything. One of the biggest frustrations I have with the whole system is that I have to teach basic IT skills to people who are qualified Doctors / Medical Professionals, Engineers, Architects, Physiotherapists and other professionals. It’s so completely pointless, and a complete waste of their time. They have been sent for training by the job centre, but no-one bothered to do a proper initial assessment so they end up on a business admin course.
  6. Overhearing so many personal calls. This has only recently been an issue where every client seems to have a mobile phone, and have telephone conversations or arguments with their boyfriend/girlfriend husband/wife and it gets ridiculously inappropriate, and the whole class can overhear. On one particular occasion which was very sad a girl in my class received a call and it was her boyfriend breaking up with her – it was a very public and cry-filled argument and was in front of the whole class. What on earth do you do with that? She sat there and cried afterwards and I had to go and usher her to somewhere more private and ended up being what could only be described as a trauma counsellor! Thankfully she was ok after we talked for an hour or so.
  7. Walks of shame. On numerous occasions both clients and staff would be waiting outside the centre when I arrived early to open up and sometimes they would even be asleep on the stairs – they hadn’t even made it home from the night before!

There are so many other incidents that I couldn’t possibly write them here, it would take too long.

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