Road Stats

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I've been on the road for the past two months doing computer and Internet training at our various branches around SE Saskatchewan (for anyone who doesn't know about our territory, if you draw a straight line from Regina east to the Manitoba border and south to the US border, that's pretty much us. Here's a map but I just realised that it doesn't render in Firefox very well so you might have to look at it in Internet Explorer – sorry about that!)

Anyhow, I thought I'd sum up the last couple months in numbers…
Branches Visited – 45 (out of 48)

Number of kilometres put on the company car – 10 000+

Cancellations Due To Illness (mine) – 1

Cancellations Due To Illness/Family Emergency (the branch librarian) – 2 (and it was the same person both times which makes me wonder if she was just really nervous about the training as happens with some people)

Cancellations Due To Cold and/or Blizzards – 1.5 days (the half day is because I went out for my daytime sessions but had the evening one canceled by the local librarian)

Number of blizzards I drove through when travel wasn't recommended – 1

Number of -30 degree or colder days – too many to count

Number of 0 degree days where, the mix of melting/half-frozen snow and massive wind gusts made it feel like you were driving on a combo curling rink/jet engine turbine simulator scarier than any blizzard – 1

Number of members of the general public who attended my sessions overall – 150-200? (sounds impressive until you realise that averages out to 3-4 people per library)

Number of communities that had not one person show up for either of my two public sessions – a drop-in Q&A and a one-hour “guided tour” of the Internet – 3

Not having done the math, what I think my average rating would be for all training sessions (2 with general public, 1 with branch librarians) based on the feedback forms (out of 5) – 4.0

What it would be if you discounted the people who obviously filled out the form wrong – 4.5  (some examples – a few people gave all 1's – our lowest mark – but wrote nothing but favourable comments, some put lower marks in the “Length of Session” field meaning they enjoyed it and wish the session could've been longer but which comes across as a negative when you include it in the average rating.  Who said survey design in 504 was useless?)

Two reasons I probably got higher marks than I deserved.  1) I often mentioned I was from Indian Head and had grown up in SRL which immediately sets a “you're one of us” vibe and 2) people filled out the feedback form before actually going home to see if my advice actually would help with their problem!

Number of our branches still on dial-up – 5

Question I should've expected but which caught me off-guard with how much it was asked – “how do I get satellite Internet on my farm?  What does it cost?  What are the advantages/disadvantages?”

In my opinion, the single biggest problem for people who at least have the skills to get online but are otherwise total beginners?  They don't recognize ads on pages or know how to tell when they've surfed away from a site.  The amount of people I'd show a site to and have them miles away as soon as I looked away because they just started clicking on the page randomly boggled my mind.

Number of people I helped figure out how to use a mouse – 4

Number of people I (may have ) instructed in the use of BitTorrent – 6

Number of members of the general public who brought me fresh-baked cookies when they came to the second session after attending the first one – 1

Number of 80+ year old ladies I helped sign up for Facebook accounts – 2



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