Professionalism.

One of the first lectures we had in Soci314 was about Professionalism. It is an interesting subject to think about. You go through 3 years of university and it kind of you hits you “Wait a minute, am I even going to be a professional?”

The definition from Oxford is as follows (Which was also included in the lecture)

 Noun:  A paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification

As I mentioned in the lecture, my father loves classic cars and hot rods, and also knows a lot about your every day car, too. He can build a car from the ground up, but his professional trade is not a mechanic, he is a qualified fitter turner.

A few years ago I had issues with my car. The mechanic charged me $250 every few months to fix this issue. When I told my dad this, he said “why don’t you just replace the exhaust? It’d be cheaper in the long run.”. When I took the car to another mechanic to get a quote, he confirmed what my dad said. In fact, to replace the exhaust would be cheaper then $250 as long as I sourced my own, and from a place like Pick-a-Part, that’s easily do-able.

The point of this is to say that the previous mechanic was ripping me off. He saw a vulnerable female who knew nothing about cars and took that opportunity. Would I call this professional? No. It is completely unprofessional. However his qualification says otherwise.

I guess that’s why it’s totally questionable to me about what a “professional” is. Even when dealing with real estate agents when my partner was in the market to buy a house. Or the people at Westpac who accused me of hacking my own bank account and never apologized for it when they realized that indeed, someone had hacked my account (and as a result I quickly changed banks!). Perhaps the people at the bank are just customer service reps with no degree in any type of banking field, but as a customer service representitive of that company, they should be trained in good customer service skills. They should be professional about handling situations like the one I had.

The lecturer discussed “Behavior” criticism, which basically covers most things I’ve said. I hope I never turn into a dishonest “professional” that I see around today. I even have other experiences with people who have degrees in agriculture and agsci, but know a lot less about dairy farming then what I do. And this brings me to question: Did the institution they attend not really educate them? Or did these people pay their way through? Why is someone who is the boss of me not know what mastitis is?

Despite my small rant… I did actually take something from this lecture: I hope to be open and honest with my clients if I end up working in a client based job. If I don’t know something, I intend to research all I can about it, if something that be done cheaper (but with the same result) I would hope I would inform the client of that. I think honesty is so important in this day and age.

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