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Old 01-18-11, 03:23 PM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Examples Where Experience Works Against You?

I was reading on another forum about a guy who rear-ended the girl in front of him because:
1) It was on a section of road where he hadn’t seen traffic backed-up in 16 years, so he wasn’t expecting it;
2) the girl (brand new 16yo driver) saw the stopped traffic after a curve and slammed on her brakes about 200 yards (according to the guy) behind the stopped traffic, so he wasn’t expecting a car to stop like that, based on his 30 years of driving. These two factors resulted in him rear-ending her.

This came across to me as an example of how his “experience” driving worked against him—never seen traffic there before and not expecting a car to stop suddenly 200 yards behind stopped traffic. (To me, being an experienced driver means to always expect the unexpected, and he admits he was probably tailgating by safety standards, but you get where I am going here, I hope.)

So, what other types of situations could experience work against you...hopefully with better examples than my own...?
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Old 01-18-11, 03:52 PM   #2
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I've heard that getting a BS degree opens many doors without closing any. An MS (masters) does the same, for the most part, but that getting a PhD closes a lot of doors, while opening a few.
Note that info comes from people with PhDs.
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Old 01-18-11, 04:00 PM   #3
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Knowing almost every aspect of the company works against someone because they are expected to do most of clean up, should someone else be lacking. That includes working the late shifts - making sure EVERYTHING gets done that the others just don't finish.
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Old 01-18-11, 04:04 PM   #4
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I've heard that getting a BS degree opens many doors without closing any. An MS (masters) does the same, for the most part, but that getting a PhD closes a lot of doors, while opening a few.
Note that info comes from people with PhDs.
yup. "overqualification" if there really is such a thing...
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Old 01-18-11, 04:41 PM   #5
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Knowing almost every aspect of the company works against someone because they are expected to do most of clean up, should someone else be lacking. That includes working the late shifts - making sure EVERYTHING gets done that the others just don't finish.
Doesn't have to be every aspect. Any situation where yuo are the only person who can clean up a mess means you become the one to clean up the mess. And it isn't limited to experience, it can cover any ability you can imagine.
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Old 01-18-11, 04:45 PM   #6
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Over 30 years ago in a Rugby match the hooker for our side got his neck broken (not serious, in large part because one of the schools training staff was on hte team and threatened grevious bodily harm to anyone who even thought of moving him).

I was the most experienced, I got to take his place.

The good side was I was also experienced enough to prevent a repeat. (Yes I did see where things were going wrong in the Scrum).
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Old 01-18-11, 05:21 PM   #7
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One reason companies hire fresh graduates instead of veterans is they have not yet been beaten into submission. Experience sometimes tells us to not bother fighting the good fight because we cannot win.
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Old 01-18-11, 05:36 PM   #8
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In a shop environment, working with power tools such as lathes, drill presses, table and radial arm saws, grinders and sanders etc., familiarity often breeds inattention or even carelessness.

You may use the same machinery with guards in place, eye protection, pusher sticks and every precaution taken, and use it with the best safety practices, for years on end...until that one goldarn time you don't, and that's when you'll regret it.
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Old 01-18-11, 06:21 PM   #9
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Old 01-18-11, 06:50 PM   #10
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Old 01-18-11, 07:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Knowing almost every aspect of the company works against someone because they are expected to do most of clean up, should someone else be lacking. That includes working the late shifts - making sure EVERYTHING gets done that the others just don't finish.
You don't even have to know everything...all you need to do is care about the quality and quantity of the work being done, and suddenly it's all you (while others, schlob off and call in drunk and cut corners and such). Even then, most managers spend their time dealing with the under performers while those that do the heavy lifting get neglected.
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Old 01-18-11, 07:55 PM   #12
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Old 01-18-11, 11:33 PM   #13
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Doesn't have to be every aspect. Any situation where yuo are the only person who can clean up a mess means you become the one to clean up the mess. And it isn't limited to experience, it can cover any ability you can imagine.
Well, at my job it sort of is every aspect. I stepped down from assistant manager so they are aware that I can do things that others aren't trained to do or have no experience at. And some of the stuff is a "need to know" basis. So they WON'T train them to know it all. *sigh* In terms of others not finishing, it's because they don't realize (or care) that their actions will affect our company's survival. Or it could be that they know I end up doing it anyway.


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You don't even have to know everything...all you need to do is care about the quality and quantity of the work being done, and suddenly it's all you (while others, schlob off and call in drunk and cut corners and such). Even then, most managers spend their time dealing with the under performers while those that do the heavy lifting get neglected.
You must work for the same company I do. You hit it right on the button.

Thank you for understanding.
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Last edited by Siu Blue Wind; 01-18-11 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 01-19-11, 01:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
I was reading on another forum about a guy who rear-ended the girl in front of him because:
1) It was on a section of road where he hadn’t seen traffic backed-up in 16 years, so he wasn’t expecting it;
2) the girl (brand new 16yo driver) saw the stopped traffic after a curve and slammed on her brakes about 200 yards (according to the guy) behind the stopped traffic, so he wasn’t expecting a car to stop like that, based on his 30 years of driving. These two factors resulted in him rear-ending her.

This came across to me as an example of how his “experience” driving worked against him—never seen traffic there before and not expecting a car to stop suddenly 200 yards behind stopped traffic. (To me, being an experienced driver means to always expect the unexpected, and he admits he was probably tailgating by safety standards, but you get where I am going here, I hope.)

So, what other types of situations could experience work against you...hopefully with better examples than my own...?
So with all his "experience" he was tailgating and ass packed a 16 year old?

Oh wait that didn't sound right.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:35 PM   #15
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So with all his "experience" he was tailgating and ass packed a 16 year old?

Oh wait that didn't sound right.
That's why I was hoping for better examples than my own, which I am finding in this thread.

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I've heard that getting a BS degree opens many doors without closing any. An MS (masters) does the same, for the most part, but that getting a PhD closes a lot of doors, while opening a few.
Note that info comes from people with PhDs.
With a wife with a PhD and all of her closest friends with PhDs, this is so right-on it's scary. When you get a PhD, you usually specialize to the point where you need to fit a school's needs for something as specific as you in order to get hired. Diversifying doesn't seem to matter, because then they think you aren't focused. My wife happened to get really lucky and she was hired based on the idea that she would change her focus and by joining committees outside of her area, which I think is totally against the norm.
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Old 01-19-11, 01:18 PM   #16
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I was thinking of industry rather than teaching, but I imagine it depends on the field. If you really love teaching undergrads it seems you should be able to get a job no matter what your specialization is in. I will say at times that during my undergrad it seemed like finding a teaching post at our school was like waiting for an apartment in NYC. Vacancies only occur due to departures, and some people aren't doing that any time soon.
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