Not very classy

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There are times when we find ourselves asked to demo for a group of interested people or to conduct a class. Most times these are paid for and those attending have certain expectations. It is assumed that the presenter will have everything needed to convey the information adequately.

Some years ago, I presented a class on using the shaper, sponsored by a European machinery manufacturer. I had to travel by air, all the way across the country to their headquarters, so I was not able to take much with me. I was asked for a list of what I would need and provided that at least a month prior to the class. I needed a shaper, a power feeder, a variety of cutters, a list of materials and a decent table saw handy. I was told that these would all be provided and that everything would be ready.

I arrived a day early so as to have plenty of time to get set up and make up some jigs. But I found that the shaper was still in its crate, as was the feeder and all of the cutters. There was no power available in the area designated for the class, no wood and one day to get everything unpacked and ready. Fortunately there was a guy there who jumped in and helped with everything. We had to go to the hardware store to get bolts to mount the feeder, drill the bolt holes and clean off all the grease. Then we had to get materials and run a 220 line over to the class area. We got it all done but the time I needed for preparation was gone even though we stayed up working most of the night.

The class was frustrating both for me and for those who had paid good money to attend. It was very disorganized since I kept having to stop to cut stuff or cobble up jigs that I had planned to have ready before the class started. I was able to present a lot of information but there was a lot of time wasted and it was obvious to the attendees that I was exhausted and way off center.

So if you want to know how important it is to have the host be "on board", I can say with conviction that it is just as important as having the demonstrator be together.


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