After my “anniversary post” I received a very good and, I thought, important comment. The comment actually came from a TEACHER of HVACR at a community college — “Just as you do, I learn each and every day in this occupation. I learn by reading your blogs, other blogs, The news, etc…. I am a student of HVACR. No matter how many years you have you should always consider yourself a student as it is just that much to learn in our challenging field of HVACR.” Whit Perry
This comment got me thinking about what we all do to earn a living. The more I though about it the more I felt that we are “Practitioners” of HVACR. We all know that doctors practice medicine and lawyers practice before the bar, so ,when it comes to our trade — we also need to “practice what we know”.
But what makes us “experts” –it goes back to the opening quote — we all should be students. We all have to be constantly learning to keep up with the technology that is always coming out in our industry. And because this technology keeps changing, we have to keep “practicing” and learning all of the newest stuff.
It always amazes me when I’m trying to assist a technician on the phone and I ask some very basic questions and the tech gets upset and says something like — I’ve been at this for 20 years, why are you asking me the basics? — I know what I’m doing! Well, I have learned that there are 2 types of techs out there — those that have 20 years experience and those that have 1 year experience 20 times over — which one is he — you be the judge?
This just emphasises my point — we all need to keep learning and part of that learning is also REMEMBERING which is why I always go back to the basics. Just as my post on the “K.I.S.S. principle of service, you all know that the majority of problems are usually something simple, something basic. The basics are the foundation of this blog site — the need is really there.
My hope is this post will start you thinking about going to that manufacturer’s class on the new product, or going to the union hall for some specialized training, or going back to a community college for more training. Training may cost a few bucks but it is an investement in you future.
I try to attend meetings (R.S.E.S. and others), webinars, and multi-day meetings to keep up to date on new products so I can serve people calling in. I am constantly learning from these meetings. But I also learn from all of you — like learning about the issues with the new wireless stats for example from one of the blog’s followers.
I also try to help by participating as a member of the Advisory Committee at our local community college’s HVACR program. Seeing the changes in technology, allows me to pass on to the college what they might need to do to prepare their students for the future. Technology is going to keep changing in our industry and we need to keep up with it. We need to keep learning. We need to all be students. Only when we keep up and continue to learn, can we truly call ourselves PRACTITIONERS OF HVACR!