April 30th, 2015 by Jan

Not everyone is the best in their class. Not everyone excels in their chosen profession. There are doctors practicing that just barely passed the exams, same with lawyers, plumbers, and engineers. But, they did pass and are out in the world making a living, seeing patients, writing wills and trusts, fixing leaks, and working on bridges in your community.

My dad used to remind us when we drove over a bridge or stood at the top of some monument, like the CN tower, or watched the space shuttle fly, to remember that all of these were built on the lowest bid. He liked to point out incompetence.

I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve surrounded myself with some very talented and competent people; people who excel in the skills they employ. These re the same people who practice and practice and hone their skills so they do excel.

When I first began teaching tai chi, I thought I was good. I wasn’t. I was enthusiastic. There is a big difference. Lessons, time and practice help me to become a good teacher. So, looking back 30 years, I can say with honesty that now, I am skilled in the art. It took a while.

Moving to a new community, you take your chances when it comes to finding the people whose skills you need. We haven’t started to look for a doctor or plumber but when we do, we will ask around. Sometimes, just being told to stay away from so and so is value enough and incentive to keep looking.

The Welcome Wagon lady brought us a lot of coupons for different businesses in Sechelt. These coupons are to encourage us to call or come by different businesses. that way when we need a tax person or accountant, we will know where to go.

The coupons worked well for the garden store who offered a free plant to us for dropping by, and the sewing centre who offered to sharpen two pairs of scissors for free. Ken and I shop at both these places now.

The coupon for the beauty salon seemed like a good deal at first too. But the girl who offered it, had no hair cutting skills. Unfortunately, my hair was on the floor by the time I figured this out.

I don’t think I’m all that vain. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of ego and want to look nice. I know my hair is a challenge for even the best of stylists. This is why I either have super short hair, or wear a pony tail to keep things under control.

Being around skilled people is a joy. I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with many. Unfortunately, this last week, I put myself in the care of someone who did not have the necessary skills to cut my hair. She had the tools and the enthusiasm — but no skills. She is young and needs more lessons. She needs a lot more practice. If she can learn from her mistakes and persists — maybe someday, she will be a force in her chosen profession. Maybe.

I’m not saying don’t give the new kid a chance. I am saying skills take time to develop. A bad hair cut is not the worse thing that can happen as a result of being practiced on. My mother died on the operating table, and I’ve always wondered about the fact that maybe her doctor didn’t have the appropriate skills to help her. He did not graduate at the top of his class after all.

How do we know we are in good or bad hands until the results are revealed?

I had three hair cuts this week trying to get the first one fixed. Finally, I found Patti, who humbly said to me… “oh, I’m sorry this happened to you. I’ll see what I can do, but no promises.”

She did fine, her skills were practiced.


2 thoughts on “gettingpracticedon

  1. heather

    Well in the end the results are great. You look great. But then you can rock just about any hair style.

  2. Jenny

    I got practiced on with hair color once. Quite the shocker-roo! Learned to let it go, but also went back for a do over. There is a fine line between “OK, I can live with that and damn, you messed up!”


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