There are two kinds of people in this world. Let's call one the traditionalists and the other progressives.
Traditionalists would like to turn the clock back to an era fondly remembered as “the good old days.” However, nostalgia plays tricks on human memory. Traditionalists tend to forget that the good old days were filled with harder labor, more primitive technology, widespread social injustice, shorter life spans and various other conditions that made life harsher than today for most Americans.
Progressives live more for the future. They recognize that economic advancement and modern conveniences have made this the best time ever to be alive, and they focus on making tomorrow even better. Instead of withdrawing from the hectic pace of modern life, they embrace the opportunity it offers to open doors and do more things.
Progressive thinkers do a lot of head shaking when they work in a predominantly traditionalist industry like ours. Here are just a few of the examples of backward thinking that plague our PHC world and the construction industry in general.
This is shrugged off as normal in a world where almost all retailers, banks, credit cards companies, utilities, etc., demand their money in 30 days or less or else they ding you with finance charges.
In most of the business world faxes since have been overtaken by more seamless communication via the Internet. E-mail and Web sites don't get bogged down by busy signals, paper jams, illegible smudges, low toner and lost documents. The Internet is cheaper, too. Yet, it seems that everyone in the PHC supply chain continues to rely on faxes for material orders, quotations, specification info and even routine communications. Many people in our industry still don't trust computers, or just haven't learned to make full use of them.
Everyone in this industry has trouble recruiting talented young people to work in it. Many explanations have been offered, but here's a new suggestion.
Part of the reason is that too many of us are stuck in the past while the sharpest youngsters always are looking to step ahead into the future. It's OK to honor one's historical legacy - as we did with our “History of Plumbing” series years ago. Just be mindful of the difference between celebrating the past and living it.