Phil Bondi, RPT
To quote a famous writing duo:
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
The Beatles? Piano work? Bear with me while I connect those dots.
This my 20th year in the business. It seems that every year since 2003, I have been asked to mentor someone who wants to become a piano technician. “Every year” might be a little bit of a stretch, but not by much. I have mentored someone who is now in the business doing piano work. He has in turn become my harpsichord mentor, since that’s his strong suit—he has built and serviced them. We have a great working relationship, where we refer work to each other that we’re unable to get to in a timely fashion or prefer not to do anymore. Dave has proven to be an asset to my business, and I hope I have been one to his as well.
There are two technicians in my chapter who have been asking me to spend some time with them. Finding the time to do so has been my biggest obstacle. As easy as that last statement is to take as an excuse, it is the truth. Time is a valuable commodity, and there never seems to be enough of it. Regardless, if we are to be an asset to the profession, mentoring is one way of paying it forward.
Should mentoring be something we all aspire to? No, but think about how you got to where you are today. Chances are you had, and still have, a mentor or mentors. A couple of you who are now reading this are on my speed dial. I am not bashful to admit that, and I find it healthy that there are technicians out there who are willing to lend a hand or an ear at any given moment. There are few professions that I know of whose members enjoy the congeniality and camaraderie that comes for most of us in this field.
Of course, there are some who feel mentoring to be either a waste of time or threatening. I will admit to writing about this subject from a place that has not been threatening, nor do I see or feel it locally. We all seem to get along.
As my time with the PTG board of directors draws short, and as I have witnessed in my years serving from this perspective, I see mentoring more and more as an important and valuable part of our profession. I would not be where I am today without people caring about me and mentoring me. And, as my time serving the organization winds down, the more I see myself being able to give my time back to those who are interested in the field, as others did for me 20 years ago. Da Rook. Always was and always will be.
The love I take from this profession only matters in relation to the love I make, in the form of sharing my experience with another tech or two. Helping build a love of this profession for someone else will amplify my own love for the field.
If you’re already mentoring and teaching others, thank you. What a wonderful way to make a living..