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Thread: When it goes bad....

  1. #1
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    When it goes bad....

    Recently took a “class” that...well...went a bit poorly.

    Sometimes, instructor personalities and the curriculum they teach just doesn’t mesh with the student. I was fortunate enough to have the basic experience under my belt to recognize the train departing the rails. At about late afternoon on Day 1, I walked off the range and called it done. Too much instructor ego, too many varied skill levels, too much mud, and not enough understanding of what was expected of us and how to get there. After I politely excused myself off the line, I was afforded the opportunity to be called a “quitter” by the instructor as I hiked over to make safe off line and collect my gear. Unreal. By the time I had packed my truck and had a Coke or two, class was over. The “instructor” walked over and began to confront me on why I walked off. It seems he just couldn’t understand why I didn’t accept his greatness. I explained to him that I was there to learn, not be inundated with his opinions and constantly guessing on what was the concept of the next drill was. He kept inviting me back for Day 2 while never giving me the opportunity to explain as a student where the class was falling short for me. I’d begin to discuss it, only to be interrupted by his retorts. Wanting it to just all be finished, I politely repeated my above comment about personalities and curriculum not always meshing. I was trying to give him a “gentlemanly out” of the conversation which was beginning to draw the attention of the other students. (It wasn’t loud, but the fact I had walked off and we were talking drew their ear. It probably didn’t help that many of them were feeling the same way I was.) He responded to me that he was not going to accept that comment. I responded back to him: “Well, today you are.” I wished him a good evening, turned around and walked away.

    I’ve probably taken between 50-60 firearms training events over the past 15-20 years (classes/quals/etc) both voluntary and required. This one was voluntary. $500 bucks plus ammo and time. Never had an issue before. EVER. I’m in the business of “Type A personalities” too. Big boy rules and all that. My entire adult life. I get it. I’m 56. Sometimes, the money involved doesn’t matter. You just have to walk away and call it done.

    Just goes to show, no matter how big the name (past or present) it’s Caveat Emptor these days in the training world.

    Thanks for reading my vent!
    Last edited by entropy; 05-25-2019 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2
    advanced hobbyist fatdog's Avatar
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    Years ago I had one of the really big name instructors go off the rails emotionally near the end of a multi-day class because one student had torqued him off for reasons that are still unclear to me to this day. Even to the point where he grabbed the guy's gun and threw it down range. To his credit he later apologized to the entire class, but all of us were pretty stunned and disappointed while it was happening. Since none of it was directed at me personally I was not pushed to the point of walking away, but I did think about packing the car and driving home that evening.

    As you noted, there are many huge ego's in this training business and some of them apparently cannot accept being challenged in any way. Many have an emotional trigger of some sort that can push them out of the leader/teacher zone too.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    At some point, you step back and take in the view of what is unfolding around you...from inadequate safety briefings, poor to non-existent curriculum overview, to individual interactions between the instructor and all the students... You come to the realization what is happening is not good, and you want no part of it, regardless of the dollar cost involved.
    Last edited by entropy; 05-25-2019 at 01:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter RJ's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did the right thing.


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  5. #5
    Foppish Dandy Darth_Uno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropy
    I politely repeated my above comment about personalities and curriculum not always meshing.
    Very classy on your part. You'd think the instructor would use that as an easy out to say, "Ok, not my fault." Which is exactly why I'm stealing it for myself.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter CCT125US's Avatar
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    And this instructor's name is? PM works also if you want to avoid public drama.
    SWYNTS

  7. #7
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCT125US View Post
    And this instructor's name is? PM works also if you want to avoid public drama.
    I’m not going to publicly trash his name. He’s been mentioned here before in perhaps not the best light. Some students may get something from his methods and instruction style. I clearly did not. The only thing that gives me pause is the safety issue. Every class and training event I’ve ever attended has had a robust safety brief. Some to the extent of making sure everyone had the Lat/Long location to provide EMS. His brief mainly discussed how much better his kit was compared to the ones provided throughout the range facilities. There had been recent rain, the range was slick and muddy. As we all know...it doesnt take much to make everything go sideways.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter SAWBONES's Avatar
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    Was the instructor in question a old hand (say twenty five or more years' experience as a trainer), or one of the younger crop of "New Millennium" instructors?

    With age and experience comes wisdom and humility (hopefully so, anyway) too.
    "Therefore, since the world has still... Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure, Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good." -- A.E. Housman

  9. #9
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    Responded to PMs.

    I don’t want this to become “instructor kick boxing”.

    He has a rep. I should have researched him better. A search here would have perhaps saved me time and money. My bad on that. In the end, I did learn what my personal limits are to things such as this. I walked away professionally, politely and most important to me I believe the better person. I’m $500 poorer, but instructionally wiser.

    My buddy stuck it out. He texted me at lunch to say “SSDD”. I’m awaiting his AAR.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by entropy View Post
    He’s been mentioned here before in perhaps not the best light.
    Sorry that this happened, but it reinforces my faith in the collective opinion of P-F.com shooters.


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    "Don't fuck with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." BehindBlueI's

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