February 10, 2011

Constantly Learning, and Learning, and Learning

by

Stack of Books

Part of trying to figure out how I’m going to save more, spend a bit more wisely, make good shopping choices requires me to learn new things, constantly. I’m in a never-ending quest for knowledge. I could read just about any How-To book or website on how to build, do, create, or learn more I come across. I’m finding though that the more I learn the more I want to learn more. Also, I beat myself up for not having learned whatever it is I’ve learned earlier. Perfectionist much?

It’s not just about money and saving either. I’ve been burned by so many people who claim to know what they’re doing that I often don’t trust people when they tell me they’re an expert or a master at something. That master plumber? Right! Who didn’t install the faucet correctly because he was in a hurry? That expert contractor who cut corners because I wouldn’t see? The experts who’ve been doing something for a short time (relative to others) who are more smoke and mirrors than an 80s concert? I’m starting not to believe these people.

But how am I supposed to ask the good questions if I’m not an expert? Shouldn’t I be able to rely on the fact that you’re telling the truth? Sure, I need to do some of my own due diligence. Really, though, do I need to call up everyone you’ve ever worked with? Not possible. Not just because I don’t have that much time, but because you’re not going to tell me anyone who won’t give you a glowing review. Do I need to learn the basics of what you do to determine if you know more than me?

It’s a game we play. No matter what it is, when we need expertise we’re at the mercy of the ‘expert’. I get that people screw up, have bad days, make mistakes, are learning constantly. That’s me too! But I’m starting to become old and jaded. (No comments about my age!) My grandpa used to tell me that if you want something done right then do it yourself. That’s not always true. And believe me, I know.

However, I only have so much time. And my time, just like yours, has value. Some of my time is more valuable than other, just like yours. So when am I going to learn all this stuff? Do I really have to? Do I really want to? Isn’t that why there are supposed to be people, whose goods and services we buy, available to help us? In the past I’ve had to work with ‘experts’. I put experts in quotes because they, in fact, according to a judge, were ‘experts’. Now some of these people were so amazingly experty that I was in awe of every word they said. Then there were the ‘experts’ that would tell you whatever you needed because you paid them. And would have contradicted themselves if someone else had asked them to and paid them enough money. It’s kinda why I don’t believe anything that celebrities or say.

Yes, I understand that maybe my standards are different and the measuring stick I use will mean you won’t measure up. But do I really have to drop the bar so low? Can’t I want something more than your minimal effort? I expect more from myself than the minimum, so I don’t think it’s asking too much if I want those that I pay to help me to actually do their job.

I’m smart. I know this. Most of us are smart. I’ve figured out how to do a lot of things, just like you have. But sometimes being smart means knowing your own limitations. And at that time we either need to find someone else to do the work or put it off until we’re able to do it ourselves. Except, there are things I’m not interested in learning about at all. And it’s just easier to pay someone to do it.

I’m not on a rant or tirade, nor is this directed at anyone specific. I’m just frustrated and figured I can’t be the only one. I’m not the only one right?

Sara

{ 1 comment }

Jenn February 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Yup, you are not alone as you suspected. 🙂

It is frustrating but is their an answer? I kind of suspect not, sigh.

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