September 4th, 2020


friday 5: expertise


What are you skilled enough at to get paid for, but do for your friends for no charge?
idk if this answers the question, but I have posted to my facebook friends that I will come to their house with my handy dewalt drill to install furniture anchors so fewer children are harmed by tipping furniture. Too many kids have been killed or injured by drawers, shelves, and TVs. I was deeply saddened to learn about all the accidents, especially as a mother of a toddler who had to climb EVERYTHING, it scared the crap out of me.

I wish I could do this "professionally" as a good deed for the world, start an army of moms with power tools going door to door anchoring furniture. but I'm too scared of liability implications. Heaven forbid we do one wrong, miss a stud, or do it right and it somehow falls anyway... the financial repercussions against me would be infinite.

So, I quietly offer my services to friends and run my own personal little awareness campaign but that's as far as it can go.

What did you used to be very knowledgeable about but aren’t anymore, because you didn’t keep up with latest developments?
In the early 2000s I assembled my own computer. I spent weeks carefully researching cases, power supplies, motherboards, videocards, memory, you name it. Of course all of that doesn't matter anymore. If you asked me who's the best videocard brand now, I wouldn't be able to name any of them, good or bad. And nobody cares anyway because we all have laptops and ipads. But there was a time I was an expert, and it was a workhorse of a PC for many years!

What are you skilled enough at to get paid for, except nobody actually pays anyone to do it?
I'll say sewing... not that nobody gets paid to do it, obviously, but nobody gets paid enough. The world thinks pajama pants are worth $10, even it takes me two hours to make a pair. For this reason my sister and I have a mantra: "only make handmade gifts for other people who make handmade gifts." We have learned to never make something for a person who flippantly says "oh that's cute will you make me one?"

What have you become super interested in only recently, and what’s something you know about it?
Landscaping, especially building my knowledge of types of plants that will die in my yard. Coral bells heuchera, sage, lettuce, purple rain... everything that dies I'm like well, now I know not to try that one. I did water them.

Who do you admire for his or her vast knowledge about a topic you care about?
everyone I work with who knows more about airplane systems than I do. every. day. I don't feel pressured to understand design, lofts, aerodynamics, it's the other little things... where is every valve, sensor, fitting and hose, what do they do, how do you tell if they're doing it right, how do you get to it. what's more, even people whose expertise amazes me say that they learn something new every day. Who knows when we can really call ourselves experts?