Updated 2/16/2021. Originally Posted 11/16/2014.

One of my favorite pastimes is coffee.

I love meeting over coffee because it is cordial and civil. Difficult news somehow appears morecivilized when shared over a good cup of java. While waiting in line at my favorite coffee shop today, I had “a moment.” 

I visualized my younger self (ten years ago) sitting at the table with the coffee of the day. I joined her (my younger self) at the table.

After several minutes of insignificant talk, she asked me: “Given the benefit of hindsight, tell me what is the most challenging thing, the most rewarding activity, and the most fun position that I have to look forward to in my training career?”

Taking a sip of my hazelnut coffee (with lots of cream), I thought over the years of delivering training classes, virtual training, webinars, designing eLearning courses, and training newly hired trainers, I smiled.  It was hard narrowing it down.

Most Challenging: Teaching a 3-day Business Objects class with a collapsed lung and pneumonia in Lubbock, TX.

No co-trainer, no backup trainer.  After the ER notified my manager  (who was 7 hours away) of my condition, I was advised by the same manager that the class had to be conducted and could not be rescheduled.  Result:  I taught the class – sitting down and in 2 hour shifts with lots of hands-on lab exercises.  I then spent another 5 days in the hotel in bed under the watchful eye of the hotel staff  (Thank you!)

I was finally cleared to fly home to my physician and my bed. Unfortunately, teaching the class made my condition much worse and I spent another ten days back home in bed and under doctor’s care. I got lots of sympathy from the audience and good training evaluations.  Honestly, the entire experience was difficult.

No gold stars either.

Most Rewarding:   Having a respected physician thank me personally for training him on the new EMR software.

When I met him two weeks earlier, he had advised me that his colleagues and staff were eagerly expecting him to quit over the new software. He stated that he was not ready to retire or resign. He loved his patients. He had worked with two previous trainers. One of the trainers had confidentially alerted me of the perception that this physician was “difficult“ to work with. I assured the physician that I had not lost a person in my training classes, thus he would not be the first!

For two weeks, we worked 12+ hours a day to learn the software, practice the tasks, establishing a daily routine to support his medical practice. On my last day of the project, he shook my hand. He thanked me for supporting him through the learning curve, and how proud he was to serve his patients using the new tool. 

It was the highlight moment of my career. To have a renowned physician, (I cannot disclose due to privacy) who saves lives daily for a living, thank me for my help.

Pretty fabulous feeling!

Most Fun: Selected to deliver training classes for three weeks on the island of Kauai!