We All Learn Differently

I was a completely autonomous duct work fabricator for close to 15 years.

Today, I have two young men working for me. They are good workers. They are also new to HVAC and ductwork fabrication. We’ve had our moments.

Most days I feel part boss; part teacher; part social worker; part manager; part parent; and part psychologist. They are good guys, who work hard. However, like all of us, they have limitations. We’re working through them one day at a time.

I have limitations as well, mostly of the management variety. Sometimes I will forget to give them simple, sometimes semantic, steps for a specific project. The needed step is mindless for me after having done the same motions for 22 years. I forget sometimes they haven’t been through the same life. It’s not fair to them.

I’m still learning as well. At times I forget they have no idea how to troubleshoot a particular problem. It’s a failure of management; It’s a failure by me.

Being too busy is just an excuse. It’s the rationalization I use to make myself feel better when I haven’t done my job properly. How can they succeed if I don’t give them the tools to do so?

Yes, they should be learning, retaining, and building on skills I’ve taught them. But I should be doing the same with the insight they have given me. We all learn differently. It’s something I can forget, especially when the shop gets busy.

There’s only three of us here in the fabrication shop. We need to work together. The boss not giving the proper ingredients for success, is just a recipe for disaster.

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