Saturday, January 29, 2005

Want to run a SAT truck?

It's the end of my week and I didn't get nearly enough of a chance to tell everything that went on around me. It's not all big news, but I figure some of it is at least a little bit interesting.

Another photographer and I (Mr. Jeff Mailes) got the go ahead to start training the next generation of satellite truck operators for our station. We're both going to take a trainee and spend four or five days going over the operation of the truck and pass along as much of our knowledge as we can.

Out of forty to fifty staff and freelance news photographers, we currently have about ten who are trained to operate the satellite trucks and because of their other duties, maybe seven or eight who are available.

Somebody asked me if we were training our replacements.

As far as I know, all we're doing is increasing the value of one of my fellow news photographer. I've come across other photographers who treat knowledge as a limited commodity. That's not how I see things.

In theory, if I teach someone else how to do something that I'm good at, that person might someday be better at it than me. The situation would never get to the point where I'd have to worry about my losing my job (God bless IBEW Local #45), but I am creating an opportunity for my employers to have a wider choice in how they make assignments. Lots of arguments could be made against being quite so free in sharing knowledge, but in the long run I feel like the goal should always be to raise the bar.

If I can somehow contribute to people around me being better at what we do, doesn't that benefit everyone?

Granted, it's not a well formed philosophy. It just has always seemed that if I held onto the few ragged scraps of knowledge I've struggled to pick up through the years, I benefit nobody but myself.

That's not the world I want to live in.

If being better than somebody else is going to be important to me on any level, I'll take the risk in raising the bar and just push myself harder to reach that next level.

Trust me, there will always be more to learn.

Life is funny like that.


queenpat said...

I learned quite a bit in my TV job after 10 years in radio, but any further progress is hampered by my position. I have become so valuable to the station, that they do not want to lose me to a new position, so here I remain, learning quite a bit,but not moving up. I envy your job at times...

beFrank said...

queenpat - I think I can relate. I've always looked at learning as being a lifetime endeavor. I've thought about even changing careers because the rush from learning new aspects of my job has sort of leveled off.

I'm just glad that the day to day experience is always changing.