Many times during your career you will or have come upon a situation where you will need to call for help. I am not talking about the need for physical assistance to complete a job, but rather the need for technical assistance. Who do you call?
The owner of the company, large or small, wears many hats. He or she is ultimately responsible for everything. The accounting, marketing, sales, collections, purchasing, retail and the many more unseen things that need to be done in the business of running a business. The owner’s objective is to make the business profitable.
Some of us technicians think that making the company profitable means making the boss rich. Well, that is supposed to be the byproduct of making the business profitable. But imagine for a moment that the business is not profitable. We would not have the tools to do our jobs correctly; we would not have the parts on the service van to make repairs; we would not have service vans to get to the customers’ homes. In short, we would not have jobs! It is everyone’s responsibility to make the business profitable. The owner is just a normal person, like you and I, and he, too, sometimes needs some help to make things run smoothly. That is why he has people to assist him. In the service department his go-to guy is the service manager.
The service manager is the go-to guy when we as technicians need technical advice, no? How many times do you call on a buddy to help you out? If you do call on your buddy, then he is your go-to guy. How did he become this all knowing go-to guy? Did you ever wonder where he stores all the knowledge we need to know as oil burner technicians?
I, like many of you, receive trade magazines like this one, and I always enjoy reading them. I find them informative and motivating, no mater what the subject. In these pages are years of experience from various writers in all areas of service. I know that some magazines ask that when you are done reading it to pass it around the office or shop so it can be enjoyed by others. I think this is a very bad idea!
I have seen many trade magazines out on display in the company lobby ‘ for the customer to read? I have also seen many of them thrown away in the waste paper basket after being read. This, too, is a bad idea. There is so much knowledge contained on these pages that to do either of the above would be a tragedy for you.
This thought came to me as I was recently moving and had to pack up my stuff. It became apparent to me that what everyone had told me for years was actually true. I am a pack rat. It seems that I have not thrown out a single article that I have ever read. I have volumes of articles that I cut out of different magazines and stored for future use. Is this why everyone thought of me as the go-to guy? I do have many years experience in the industry, but I do not have all that knowledge in my head. I do, however, have quite an extensive library of technical data at my finger tips.
I did not run out and buy all the data in my library, I accumulated it over the years simply by saving ALL the instructions that manufacturers print for their product (a copy is with each item). In these magazines I have cut out articles that have any technical information and saved them. When visiting a trade show, I would pack up any information they have on hand, especially on new items, and save them. In short, I have created my own little library.
How large is your library?
If you want to become the person that the boss and your fellow technicians consider the go-to guy, it really is not difficult. You see, you already are on the right track. You are reading this article. If you look back through the magazine, you will see many technical articles that you probably have read. Now take it to the next step ‘ cut the articles out and start saving them. After a while, you will be saving articles that are printed in various other magazines as well. You will have started your own library. Don’t worry, it will be natural to start cataloging your library as time goes on. When someone asks you a question, you will now be able to call upon many years of experience to give the correct answer. You will win the respect of your fellow technicians, and when you are the person that they look to, your boss will be looking at you as well. This is when you transform from one of the crowd to the one who stands out from the crowd.
If I have not responded to your e-mails, I do apologize for that. You see, my e-mail address has been changed and my old address is not always working properly. Please note my new address firstname.lastname@example.org and erase the old one from your list. I look forward to hearing from you again.