Second Annual April Fools Day Edition
of Quick Training Tips

Note: Loretta was kind enough to allow me to republish this on the site in its entirety. Read Carefully. And insert tongue firmly in cheek as you go forward!!

For those folks unfamiliar with April Fools Day, we Americans like to play jokes and pranks on each other on every April 1st.

Last year I sent out my first April Fools edition of QTT. Back then, I made up all the gruesome goodies myself. This year (in QTT #54) I invited you all to get in on the fun and send me your own worst training ideas.

Well, all I can say is that you're a scary bunch!

So everyone is officially invited to enjoy THE WORST OF QUICK TRAINING TIPS. Just don't go out and try them in a real classroom (or on your kids, spouses, friends, or pets). No, really!



I'm stressing this fact because last year, a couple of people wrote

back, upset that I was recommending that they inimidate their students.

Of more concern: one person wrote back thanking me for the good ideas!

So just relax, read them, laugh (I hope) -- and don't try any of them.

Just one more thing: respond to those Job Postings at your own risk...

Best regards, Loretta Weiss-Morris




Copyright 1991-1999, Systems Literacy Inc. (SLI), all rights reserved. All publishers are strictly prohibited from reproducing, in any form, ANY material appearing ANYWHERE in this document, including above or below this copyright notice, without SLI's explicit permission.)


VERY SPECIAL TRAINING TIPS FROM COLLEAGUES YOU HOPE YOU NEVER MEET =====================================================================

HOW TO KEEP ON SCHEDULE WHEN YOUR STUDENTS HAVE A TENDENCY TO ASK A LOT OF DUMB QUESTIONS. Answer all questions with a question. This will motivate your students to figure it out themselves rather than waste precious class time with interruptions. Jake Edmondson


EYE CONTACT IS ***SO*** IMPORTANT. Teaching people who don't speak English very well can be a problem, as they tend to slow down the class. If they persist in asking questions then just repeat your last instruction very ***slowly and loudly*** while staring them in the face.

This technique is an infallible aid to inter-cultural communication. Based on my own extensive experience, foreign students always seem to understand English better once I've established this one-to-one eye contact. I can tell this is true because they completely stop asking any questions.

--Anonymous by request


HOW TO CONVINCE NOVICE USERS THAT THEY'VE BROKEN THEIR COMPUTERS WITHIN THREE MINUTES OF THE START OF CLASS. If a computer training room is set up correctly, you can move a mouse to another machine while leaving it plugged into the "correct" one. Once class begins, people's mice start doing things "on their own." Just sit back and watch them panic. Neat! Paul A. Zorovich



1. When you get to discussion topics in your course, don't waste time letting the students give their opinions. Read the discussion questions aloud, then give your answers to the questions. Students don't know as much as you do - if they did, they wouldn't need to attend the course.

2. Frequently ask students if they have any questions. When they ask questions, tell them that the answer will be covered later in the course, even when it won't. This will discourage them from asking questions that you can't answer, thus saving you from embarrassment.

3. Don't bother to test the exercises in your course. If there are problems or errors, the students will let you know.

4. After students have done the exercises, don't bother to go over the correct solutions. It should be the students' responsibility to let you know if they don't understand the material.

5. Many students consider attending courses as a perk that takes them away from the tedium of their everyday work. Respect their feelings; keep your voice low-key and monotonous, so as not to disturb those students who wish to take the opportunity to catch up on their sleep.

Judy Kaplan




At the start of class, ask everyone to give the name of their favorite movie as part of an introduction "icebreaker" then proceed to rip apart each of their choices in front of their peers. For example: Student: "My favorite film was 'The Sound of Music'." Instructor: 'The Sound of Music, you must be joking! Those overdone mountain sets were so obviously fake, and Julie Andrews couldn't carry a tune in a paper bag!' Okay, anybody else wanna volunteer their lame favorites?"

To do this exercise properly, you must have a somewhat decent knowledge of films -- and be quick on your feet!

Melissa Boynton


HAVE FUN AT YOUR STUDENTS' EXPENSE ***AND*** PROVIDE THOSE BADLY NEEDED EXERCISE BREAKS. When presenting material via an overhead projection system be sure that the print is very, very small. This will insure that people will get out of their seats to view the information (thus providing that much needed...stretch time... without actually having them leave the training room!)-

Helpful hint: Take away all eye glasses too -- just to be ***sure*** they can't see. Sue Morton



1. Never vary the tone of your voice; it might wake up the students.

2. Never have eye-contact. This is especially important in small-group training.

3. Make sure that you control the training. Do not customize any examples for your students, based on ***their*** background; after all, you know best.

Joyce Conklin


DO STUDENTS COME TO CLASS WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF "MOUSING" SKILLS? HERE'S WHAT TO DO. Never under any circumstances allow the trainee to touch the mouse. Make sure that you grab it out of their hands the minute they reach for it and if by some chance they do manage to get the mouse moving, snatch it out of their hands before they can do too much damage.

You know perfectly well that no one can operate the mouse as well as you can, so don't even let the trainee try. You will save time for your company and the frustration of your trainee. M. Hale


DRIVE YOUR STUDENTS CRAZY WITH A MERE FIVE LINES OF MACRO CODE. Set up a little macro or auto text so that when a person enters their first name, it is replaced with "Red Hot Mama" or similar appellation. this is especially effective in an e-mail program... Carol Lang



1. Never let the trainee touch the keyboard or mouse, under ANY circumstances.

2. Don't let them sit at the monitor, if at all possible--they'll just want to play around-- Make them stand somewhere nearby, where it's difficult to see the monitor (so if you make a mistake, they won't see it).

3. Make sure you get through the material as fast as possible, and never repeat yourself (it's so boring to repeat!)--if they don't get it the first time, it's their own fault.

4. Use lots of acronyms, without explanations--this will save you time and effort, and make you sound as if you know what you're doing. (And they ought to learn those acronyms, anyhow.)

5. Never study up for a training session, and ignore any updates to whatever you know. If it was good enough for Bill Gates in 1992, it's good enough for your trainees.

6. Have a good humorous story to start off with--which has nothing whatever to do with computers. Don't try to mix humor and computers--it won't work.

7. Show up 10-15 minutes late for the training--this will sharpen your trainees' desire to make the most of their time, and will justify your rushing through the training--and will punish those wise guys who showed up early.

8. Make yourself scarce during any breaks--don't let anyone try to make brownie points by buttering up the trainer!

9. Make sure to cut the training short. This will please the trainees, who didn't want to come anyway, and is another reason you have to rush through things--and will explain why there's no time for questions.

10. Leave the room as soon as you finish--don't stick around to make idle chit-chat with the trainees. They need to realize that you're above them, not one of them. Bob Boyce THIS TRAINING TIP GETS THE PRIZE FOR BEING SHORTER THAN THE TITLE THAT INTRODUCES IT. Never face your students. They don't want to see your face anyway.

David Jones



THIS TIP HAS LEFT US SPEECHLESS. LET'S SEE WHAT IT DOES FOR YOU. Okay. Like, you know when you got a class going and some fool in the audience is making great efforts to disturb the whole class? Like the guy who keeps asking questions that you covered really good because you read the information right out of the textbook, and no matter how many times he asks, you keep telling him, "Just read it in the book.," but he doesn't listen.

Or when you split the class into teams and the teams start arguing and you don't want to stop them from participating, but one guy gets madder and madder and starts hitting on some other guy? This happens to me all the time. But I finally came up with a solution to these constant problems.

The last time it happened was when I was teaching a Microsoft Word class and I'd eaten franks and beans for lunch (they're the cheapest thing in the company cafeteria, and I was lucky, that day, cause I got one of the lumps of pork fat!).

Well, anyway, after our lunch break, when I was doing my really good 55 minute lecture about how veterinarians test pet monkeys for infectious diseases, this really rude guy was making snoring noises and pretending to be asleep.

I was really annoyed and wanted to find a way to get his attention. Just then, I felt an intestinal gas leak coming on, but, rather than hold it back, I let it fly as loud and long as possible.

I immediately blamed it on the rude "pretending-to-be-sleeping" guy, and he was so embarrassed that his face turned red and he got up and left. Actually, so did a number of other students. But, I'll tell you, I had very few disruptions, after that!

Really, Sincerely,
Mr. Fluid Check
ODIOUS (Okee Dokee International Organizational University Schools)
Incompetence Inc. [a.k.a. Chuck Field]



Organization: All-Too-Typical Corp.

Location: We have 150 locations throughout the U.S. with 32,000 employees who currently need training. Let's just say you'll be travelling alot.

Position: One-person training department.

We're looking for a veteran training manager who can do it all -- plan a massive application migration, develop top-notch online courseware, answer the Help line -- and all on a laughable budget!

Our last software migration was a total disaster because the application was touted as "intuitive" and "user friendly" and our CEO and CIO both believed the CFO of the software vendor (they all play golf together).

Unfortunately, 10 months after that application went "live" most users still can't enter data properly -- which sometimes messes up our inventory control and financial planning. So this time, we're going to do it right. We're hiring a trainer!

You've got 3 months to create a training plan, sell it to the "big boys" and "roll it out" to our entire U.S. employee base.

You must have at least 10 years experience and be recently divorced, bitter, friendless and childless -- you definitely won't have time for any social life or "family evenings." We supply one army cot and a makeshift shower, and lots of caffinated soda and candy bars. You'll feel like an Internet executive hotshot (at least you'll have the same diet) but without the paycheck. Or the respect.

Salary commensurate with experience or $35,000 -- whichever is lower. Send resumes to:



Organization: We're not saying, since we're sure all our competitor training vendors read QTT also

Location: Anywhere we can convince a corporation to pay for over- priced technical training

Positions: As many as we can possibly fill -- haven't you heard about the technical skills shortage? If they can't find people to develop applications and networks, just what kind of luck to you think ***we're*** having?

Qualifications: You must be proficient in ***any*** of today's "hot" technical skills -- NT, Lunix, Netware 5, C, C++, Java, Perl, CGI, HTML -- you name it, we need it.

You must also be willing to become a Lotus and/or Microsoft certified technical trainer. This means, of course, that you're going to spend more money then you would if you were just being certified as a network or development professional. And of course, it means that after you take those extra difficult and extra expensive tests several things will occur:

1. You'll be making less money than you would if you'd stayed in development.

2. Whatever specific certification you get you can be sure that the software company will, within days of your achieving your certificate, announce that the next version will be out in 11 months and that your certification will be invalid before you've had a chance to make the money back that you wasted on their stupid prep courses and exams.

In addition, you must have extremely good "people skills." If you consider your PC to be your best friend, you'll need to go into a therapy group as soon as we hire you (our medical plan covers 50%).

What we pay: oh, come you really think we'll spill that in an advertisement when maybe by keeping it a secret we can shave $10k off your starting price because you didn't fully understand your market value? Get real!

If the above exciting, challenging environment "speaks" to your inner child -- if standing in front of a class full of hostile COBOL programmers who still think "java" has something to do with coffee beans turns you on.....please don't reply -- you're too crazy for us to deal with.

But if you can give us some ***sane*** reason why you responded to this ad, please email us immediately at


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^END OF SPECIAL APRIL FOOLS EDITION^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


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Loretta Weiss-Morris, Editor and Publisher
Systems Literacy Inc.
Tel: 973-770-7762
Fax: 973-770-2205

Mailing address: 6 Saint Lo Place, Hopatcong, NJ 07843


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