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Consumer doesn’t want a talkative instructor


Dear Amy: Sometimes I need help with a skill. For example: skiing.

I’m an extremely competent skier, but I know I have some quirks in my form, and one-on-one targeted training with an instructor can help me correct these. Ditto weight lifting and physical training.

My problem is that it is too easy to sign up for a class through a resort or health club. Half the time I find a dedicated instructor.

Last year I took a class with a teacher who spent most of his time entertaining and telling us stories about skiing problems he had helped people solve in the past.

Another time, I encountered an instructor who was boringly insecure about giving direction and advice, constantly thinking about how out of practice they were in teaching.

We are all human, but it is very frustrating to be placed in the position of a captive audience. This is a paid service and the goal is to help me do better at something I care about. It’s not cheap, especially when it’s a one-on-one lesson.

When contracting for a lesson, do you have any advice on how I should communicate with planners so I can get an instructor that suits my style?

I tried “I tend to work better with female instructors” (in the ski scenario) and “I tend to work better with physical instructors closer to my age” (in the gym).

But when I say these, I feel like I’m somehow overstepping my limits. And no matter how polite I try to be when making this request, it’s often not received well.

I would really appreciate your help! I would love to have a good experience this winter with a solid and productive ski lesson.

– Elie

Dear Elie: I can imagine your disappointment. Private education can be extremely expensive; The idea is that you get a lot of instruction in a condensed amount of time. This encourages you to take the lessons you’ve learned and apply them later on your own time.

Attentive and competent instructors also provide lessons that are vital to your safety.

In cases where an instructor does not teach or wastes your time and money by delivering irrelevant monologues, you should notify management, request a refund, and/or request a free session with a different, more qualified instructor.

If you want to maximize your experience, the parameters you specify in the programmer (preferring to work with female or compatible-age instructors) are inadequate. Be very specific in your query: “I will arrive on time and ready to learn, but I need a tutor/trainer who dedicates class time to teaching. So I would appreciate it if you could make me an appointment with someone who doesn’t talk nonsense.”

Dear Amy: My wife and I just welcomed our first child, and of course we are overjoyed. Our baby was born healthy, but a few weeks earlier than planned.

As parents of a newborn baby, we are concerned about our baby’s health.

My brother and my aunt have a 6-year-old son.

We love parents and children.

However, the parents chose not to vaccinate their son, and we are very concerned about our nephew being exposed to his newborn cousin.

Your advice?

– New Parents

Dear New Parents: You and your partner should consult with your child’s doctor about any concerns you may have about exposing your baby to unvaccinated individuals.

From a parenting perspective, this is really your first test of how to establish and enforce reasonable limits for physical contact with your child.

In the short term, you should limit any close contact until you’re both afloat and your baby is healthy and thriving (perhaps after that one-month checkup).

During this checkup, review your child’s vaccination schedule and ask if there are any specific risks to the baby from contact with unvaccinated people before your baby is vaccinated.

Dear Amy: Like the woman who signed the “In a Bad Place” question, my husband was overreacting and angry, and I experienced his stress on a smaller scale.

I insisted he see his doctor, he was evaluated and prescribed antidepressants.

My husband says it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

This really brought him back to his more positive personality.


Dear Grateful: I agree that this husband needs a mental health screening, and I hope this wife can somehow convince him to see a doctor.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or on Facebook.)


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