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Be Humble Learn More.

 
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
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Be Humble Learn More.


A recent post I made reminded me of a story. We were renovating this home for a general we work for. He had a fairly new labourer on site doing clean up. He was using a wheelbarrel to carry debris up to a roll off container. He was throwing the debris over the top of the bin. After a while of watching him do this, I said to him that if he was to open the rear doors and wheel the stuff in, it would be easier and he wouldn't be blocking the doors by filling the bin in front of the doors. He told me in no uncertain words that he didn't need my advice as he had been doing this for four years. Apparently he was a bin loading expert. Too bad several hours later the generals carpenters removed a bunch of windows and patio doors and had to put them in the bin. When they tried to open the doors they found the end blocked by stuff the kid had been throwing over the top. They were not impressed when they had to lift everything up over the side. The bin loading expert only lasted about two days. Anyway my advice to anyone at any level of skil is to remain humble in our quest for knowledge. I have learned things from people far below my skill level as they have worked for someone else who knew a trick I didn't. You never stop learning. No one will teach a know it all anything, period.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:46 AM   #2
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


I used to be a know it all kid too. Sometimes, ya just have to wait till life knocks em down a bit so they become teachable.

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Old 01-22-2014, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


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I used to be a know it all kid too. Sometimes, ya just have to wait till life knocks em down a bit so they become teachable.




Here is a quote from your home state guy and one of my all time favorite authors,Mark Twain. "When I was 18 years old I could not believe how stupid my father was,when I turned 21 I could not believe how much he had learned the the last three years !"
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka guy View Post
A recent post I made reminded me of a story. We were renovating this home for a general we work for. He had a fairly new labourer on site doing clean up. He was using a wheelbarrel to carry debris up to a roll off container. He was throwing the debris over the top of the bin. After a while of watching him do this, I said to him that if he was to open the rear doors and wheel the stuff in, it would be easier and he wouldn't be blocking the doors by filling the bin in front of the doors. He told me in no uncertain words that he didn't need my advice as he had been doing this for four years. Apparently he was a bin loading expert. Too bad several hours later the generals carpenters removed a bunch of windows and patio doors and had to put them in the bin. When they tried to open the doors they found the end blocked by stuff the kid had been throwing over the top. They were not impressed when they had to lift everything up over the side. The bin loading expert only lasted about two days. Anyway my advice to anyone at any level of skil is to remain humble in our quest for knowledge. I have learned things from people far below my skill level as they have worked for someone else who knew a trick I didn't. You never stop learning. No one will teach a know it all anything, period.
working years for a GC we would have 6 projects going at one time. If I was working on one of them and he showed up he was like, OK what do I do?? I would guide him as to what stage we were at and what was happening at that moment and he would go from there. I will ask other tradesmen what is going on so I can adjust my work practice ( since I go before them) to make their job easier. I have over twenty years in the trades and will take advise from someone on their first day if it is good advice and can be implemented. usually though someone's advice helps me to adjust my own ways of doing things but not really doing it like they see it..
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:55 PM   #5
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


Over the years I've realized I've learned from almost everyone I've worked with or around. Even something as small as an attitude adjustment towards a crappy job, or the way a guy cuts his materials. In every other way he could be a waste of my time, but I usually pick up on something that sticks with me.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


Good message OP.

Two of the more difficult parts of being the "boss" are:

A) Knowing/finding out how far along someone truly is in terms of career development. In other words, professional and personal growth.

B) Figuring out exactly how you are going to deal with this person. Hire them, fire them, reward them, reprimand them, give them a raise, encourage this, discourage that, give this talk, give that chance, set them on their own here, get them to run that errand there.

A part of maturity on our part involves knowing what the truth is and not having to force ourselves to convince others of that. In other words, I'm just fine with an idiot being an idiot because he'll never work with me. I save my breath.

He's dead to me the moment I find him.
No bad feelings but life is too short to worry about someone else's problems. Some guys take on employees like science projects or they try to fix their lives and nurture growth and right their wrongs.

That's not for me. I can't do it. I'm not the dalai lama, I run a small business and I have clients to answer to.

This is business.
If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense!


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Old 01-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #7
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


I agree heritage. First and foremost we are running a business. I always approached life on the basis that knowledge is money. The more I learn, the more I make and the easier it is to keep employed. When I had five years experience, I thought I knew a lot. After ten years I realized I still had a long way to go. Now after over thirty years in the trades I still realize that there is always something more to learn. The more you approach life as a humble student, the more willing people are to give up the knowledge that we can turn into money. I find this in business, music, and almost all aspects of life. Its a fool who misses the chance to learn something I think. Wow this is getting pretty deep. lol
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:54 PM   #8
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


I'm young, I have gaps in my knowledge. Half the reason people get fired around here is their attitude. If you have a better idea than how I'm doing it I'm all ears. Work smart, not hard.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


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Originally Posted by pinwheel View Post
I used to be a know it all kid too. Sometimes, ya just have to wait till life knocks em down a bit so they become teachable.
Quote:
It took me 40 years to learn that I don't know everything.
I don't say that any more, because I keep forgetting how many years I have to add onto the original 40...
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


Work smart, O-kay, Work smart and hard, good to Go.
I've meet thousands of really smart people that were lazy and never amounted to anything, and never will if they don't win a lottery. And I know hundreds of not so smart hard workers that are now millioniares....Hmmmm?

Ask yourself if you are over thinking on the grunt tasks?
In the USA the last 40 years, most of the efficencey gains have been technology that eliminates the need for high skilled craftworkers, instead it allows immoral employers to use unskilled illegal aliens instead to erect residential and commercial buildings. If your materials all come with instructions in Spanish, don't ask for a raise...

As a mason, I'm allways astounded that some newbie thinks that after 7,000 years of developement they've invented a better way in 2 weeks/months. But, even a broken clock is right 2x a day... and the village idiot, knows more about his village than I ever will. "there is some village in Kenya that is missing their Idiot...."
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #11
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


One company I trained at had a policy. Do it the way you are told without arguing. If you have a better idea, share it on break.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:15 PM   #12
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


I may be wrong, but isn't learning from others one of the main reasons you are a member of this site??? I know it is the main reason I joined, and I have learned way more than I ever thought I would. A big thank you to all for sharing tips, tricks, thoughts and rants.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:53 PM   #13
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


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Originally Posted by muskoka guy View Post
The more you approach life as a humble student, the more willing people are to give up the knowledge that we can turn into money........Its a fool who misses the chance to learn something I think. Wow this is getting pretty deep. lol
Deep or not, nicely said.

For any of you youngens' that are starting out in the world of construction, if you are fortunate to get on a good crew, even at laborers wages, rather than look at it as shi**y hard work, see it as school. And a school you get paid to go to. A good boss see's his new guys/gals as investments.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:02 PM   #14
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


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Deep or not, nicely said. For any of you youngens' that are starting out in the world of construction, if you are fortunate to get on a good crew, even at laborers wages, rather than look at it as shi**y hard work, see it as school. And a school you get paid to go to. A good boss see's his new guys/gals as investments.
For years while I worked for others, customers would always ask me why I didn't go to college. I told every one the same thing - "This is what I love and I learn more on a jobsite than in a classroom. The way I see it, I'm getting paid to go to school."
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:05 PM   #15
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


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Originally Posted by muskoka guy View Post
I agree heritage. First and foremost we are running a business. I always approached life on the basis that knowledge is money. The more I learn, the more I make and the easier it is to keep employed. When I had five years experience, I thought I knew a lot. After ten years I realized I still had a long way to go. Now after over thirty years in the trades I still realize that there is always something more to learn. The more you approach life as a humble student, the more willing people are to give up the knowledge that we can turn into money. I find this in business, music, and almost all aspects of life. Its a fool who misses the chance to learn something I think. Wow this is getting pretty deep. lol
Like the late great Tony Soprano said, "This is a business!" I know his real name is James Gandolfini but for those that don't.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #16
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Re: Be Humble Learn More.


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As a mason, I'm allways astounded that some newbie thinks that after 7,000 years of developement they've invented a better way in 2 weeks/months.
On the other hand, it often takes someone new to an industry to innovate. I see this often in the stone countertop industry.

Many fabricators use compressive wood shims because Uncle Guido from the old country did; now days we have plastic composite shims that are non-compressive and much more dimensionally stable.

Uncle Guido used to cut a slot at sinks, throw in a steel rod, and fill it with epoxy. Now we have modern sink hole savers that make rodding obsolete.

There needs to be a balance between proven methods and trying new methods that may become the new standard.

Joe
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:45 PM   #17
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This is true kowboy. When air guns first came out, lots of customers didn't want to hire you because they were told it was inferior to hand nailing. Prior to sawsalls if you made a mistake you got out the sledgehammer and made an adjustment, usually destroying all the material in the process. Hell we would still be handnailing common nails and doing everything manually with handsaws. Technology moves ahead but the basics of the trade don't change much.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:56 PM   #18
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Masonry does move on, it is just that intellectual ignorance of young Americans is almost unlimited, Out of the 100 million masons that have been alive and 100 million tenders, I come up with an idea that hasn't been tried and failed in just 2 weeks????

I'm all for new USEFULL tech, not so much being a laboratory for silly suggestions, Look at the typewriter and linotype machines, they destroyed all the wealth of one of the USA's wealthiest writers, Mark Twain when he tried to make them work with immature tech...

If they ever invent a voice powered trowel I'll be a wealthy man.

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