[ID] => 10928
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-04-23 09:06:01
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-23 08:06:01
[post_content] => The first time I moved house as an adult, I had two black bin liners and a suitcase; I moved on the bus. The second time I had a friend help me, and we moved everything on the back seat of his Mini.
I’ve just moved house again – and I hope it’s for the last time. It took several weeks to get the old house organised, with several trips to the tip and charity shops. It took six men two whole days to move everything from one house to the next. And there are still boxes waiting to be unpacked.
Life is, in one respect, a long process of accumulating stuff. It will all have to go in the end, of course, but not just yet. Perhaps younger generations will not have the same need for accumulation; they stream music rather than buying it in hard copy, and watch subscription TV rather than buying DVDs. That shift has happened in the office: we no longer have filing cabinets full of company annual reports and press releases as it’s all available online. But there were boxes and boxes of CDs, LPs and books involved in my latest move.
If life is a matter of accumulating stuff, it’s also a matter of accumulating knowledge and experience; and while knowledge is available online – and it’s certainly useful to have Google and Wikipedia on hand when checking details – experience and the understanding that comes with it are not.
When I was a young man, moving my life in a small car, my lack of possessions was matched by a lack of awareness, and a poor understanding of how other people and the world at large actually behave. Awareness and understanding eventually arrived as a result of living in that world and interacting with people; the process ran alongside the acquisition of stuff but was not a result of it. I hope that awareness and understanding have helped me do my job better as I’ve got older.
Some time in the next few years I will eventually hang up my notebook and do something different for the rest of my life; my counterpart at the German magazine Gefährliche Ladung, Uwe Heins, is doing just that this month and I wish him a long and happy retirement. I am confident that his publisher has put in place a succession plan, as a lot of knowledge and understanding will be retiring with him.
The same goes for all companies and especially those active in the world of dangerous goods transport, where it can take a long time to build up all the arcane knowledge and a useful network of fellow professionals.
I spoke about this some weeks ago in my regular ‘Thoughts’ piece on HCB TV. (If you missed it you can catch up with all episodes via HCB’s YouTube channel.) I had several responses to that piece, one of which reminded me that it is not just companies that run the risk of losing experience when their senior staff retire – it applies just as much to the regulatory authorities. We have lost some good people from those ranks in recent years.
Book learning and following written procedures are useful but will never give you the full story. Take time to learn from the old heads in the office while they’re still here.
[post_title] => Editor's letter on the move
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => editors-letter-move
[post_modified] => 2019-04-22 14:08:05
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-22 13:08:05
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10928
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