Be open-minded

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Mark Baker

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

If I hear one more comment from someone saying; "that is the only way of doing something", or "well, that is not the right way to do it" - even though the technique being used clearly works and is as safe a method as any of the alternative options, I will scream.

I must admit I"ve heard both statements more than a couple of times recently. I must admit I thought that sort of attitude was long gone, but maybe that was wishful thinking. I honestly believed that people by now know that there is always more than one way of doing something. OK, some techniques might be more favourable because they are easier to do, utilising less expensive equipment, maybe slightly safer and so on but if the end result is what one expected or wanted and they got there safely, then surely it does not matter? If someone is happy with something and it works for them and it is safe and they do not ask for assistance, then surely one should keep quiet?

By all means mull over the pros and cons of what you think you might know in your mind, analyse the techniques you know and then weigh up the pros and cons and discuss it with friends. I always like seeing new things and analyse what I see, to see how it might be useful to me. I will try also to have a chat at a convenient time with the turner to discuss things. I always learn something by doing so. But unless something is unsafe - even then approach the person concerned in a nice and considerate way and not a confrontational manner, to discuss it - then my advice is to stay quiet.

I was privy to four such comments recently and the three people who challenged something they saw were downright rude and wrong in their comments. The techniques being used in each instance were different to the ones I was aware of, but not wrong and they were as safe as any of the alternative options that I could thinks of. All three confronted the turners turning in front of others and in the fourth instance they had a loud conversation that could easily be heard by the turner and many other people espousing his thoughts on what was wrong with that technique and why it should be done another way.

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We all have opinions and favoured techniques and working methodology, but rigid thinking will stifle any form of creativity. Safety is important and as long as the method used has been thought about, the risks analysed and minimised as much as possible by modifying, changing or even opting to go a different route, then it is as good as we can ask.

Everyone has opinions and these vary from person-to-person and situation-to-situation. None of us know everything and there is always something to learn. Give me 10 turners and I will give you 10 different ways of doing something. Rudeness and narrow mindedness is wholly unnecessary and is counter-productive.

Now, having got that off my chest, I will catch up with you again soon.

Have fun,

Mark

(PHOTOGRAPH CCOURTESY OF GMC/MARK BAKER)

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