Lessons Learned

I have put together a list of lessons learned that I wish someone had given me when I was a brand new, right out of the box, aircraft mechanic.


I am getting older, I can tell. The aging process kind of sneaks up on you when you are not paying attention. But there are other signs besides the wrinkles and turning gray. For example, now when I bend over to pick a sock off the bedroom floor I look around to see if there is anything else lying around within reach of my fingers, because it is easier to make one trip down there than two. I have noticed that more young women, some who I barely know, will hug me, and laugh at my jokes all because they think I am harmless. I now spend less time at the barber than I do tying my shoes. I grunt, loud and often. Pain is a constant companion. But it is also a friend who reminds me that I am still above ground making noise. Unfortunately, some of the noise I now make is as unexpected as it is musical.

While getting older and slower is the price of living six decades; they say wisdom is the reward. But the fates have the last laugh. When you become the wellspring of knowledge in a particular field, very few young people come and drink deeply from your pool of knowledge. Worst yet, are those ones and twos who just come and gargle. After all, the young bucks think, what possible tidbit of knowledge could the old guy tell us that we don’t already know. I smile quietly at this unsaid remark, after all, I remind myself, their total life experience is as deep as a puddle in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

In an attempt to justify my 42 years in aviation I have put together a list of lessons learned that I wish someone had given me these pithy words of wisdom when I was a brand new, right out of the box, aircraft mechanic. I invite new mechanics to come and drink deeply.

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