There is a new science kit being added to the rotation this year. In early June, I had asked the sales rep about the possibility of scheduling a training for teachers on this kit for sometime in early August (1, 2, or 3). We had some money that would have paid for the trainer and teacher time to attend, but it had to be spent before August 10. I never heard back from the sales rep, assuming that there must be no trainer available.
Lo and behold, I get a call on Friday (July 27). The company that sells the kits was interested in confirming some flight information for the August 1 training. Wha'? I nicely told the lady that I had indeed put in a request for some training, but since I had heard nothing from the company, no teachers were aware. I certainly had no way to get ahold of 40 teachers in 4 days (assuming they're available), let alone make sure that there is an appropriate space, etc. Five days of warning is really not acceptable. I told the sales rep that we would try to reschedule for sometime in September or October. I didn't say that I wished there was a more reliable company from whom to get the training.
I'm still a bit floored by the way this whole thing played out. Is this really how business should be done? Teachers will want and need the training...we have another source of funding to pay for it...but the company is very difficult to deal with. So, I'll look for a way to make things work with them and get teachers what they need, but it apparently won't be easy.