Posted by Ceedub
This time it was trade school, automotive tech... I needed a job. Everything that is taught in such programs is useful (unlike my previous educational experiences). This time the lessons I should have already gotten were unavoidable. In any honest type of trade, incompetence has nowhere to hide (well there are exceptions to prove the rule I guess). You are responsible for every decision and action you make and every action has consequences that are totally obvious. Your skill and knowledge, great or small, is totally apparent. You are judged by your success which is laid bare for all to see (embarrasingly so). This is why we call these trades "honest work". You can't reallly pretend you fixed something if it still doesn't work.
The unavoidable lesson was that all of the skills and knowledge learned through the autotech program were helpful and necessary but there was just no substitute for experience. You emerge from such a program an apprentice and are still all but worthless, even a hazard, in a real shop. There you go kid, that's all we've got. The foundation was necessary but not sufficient to earn the title of master tech. Only through experience can you become a master and in the real world of automovive repair, the master tech knows well that the learning never stops. Experience, experience, experience... this is why we are here.