Rusty Walker, Hillphoenix Learning Center –
Many of us are constantly learning new things every day, and if you are like me, you become a lifelong learner looking to better yourself every day. Since this is American Education Week, I started to think about our industry and how we have a great amount of experienced professionals that install, service, troubleshoot and maintain equipment on a daily basis. They have stories to tell, experiences to share and great advice to impart and who to better teach the “newbies” entering the field then those individuals. The tales that can been told are both valuable and sometimes, quite alarming. Aside from some of their frustrations, many service techs, installers and the like, are more than willing to impart their recommendations on how they approach things, what they look for, what tools they use and what they turn to for reference. This advice cannot be found in a book, but can be discovered through hands-on experience, mentorship from a professional who has the expertise and know-how, and someone who has been in the trenches for many years.
Do they know it all? No. Are they willing to get to the bottom of things? Yes. And their tenacity and approach to getting the answers, can be a valuable lesson for someone starting off in the industry.
I am very lucky to work with someone like Rusty Walker, who is a road warrior himself; that person so passionate about what he does that he gets excited about the challenges that our industry provides. His job is to educate; to impart his library of knowledge and experiences to those that do not know; demonstrate how things should work; teach the best approach to a problem; and most of all, get dirty and jump into the trenches and show them how it’s done.
As the saying goes, “Experience is the best teacher,” and while you can learn a lot in a classroom, what stays with you are those experiences that become ingrained in your memory and reinforce those lessons learned.