EXPLORE - Fall 2015 - (Page 29)
YOU DON'T HAVE TO
LEARN THE HARD WAY
Networking and Sharing a Wealth of Knowledge
By Michael Catanzaro, Master REH, CLLM, CHESP
hroughout my father's entire
life he proved to be a man
of generosity for his family, friends, neighbors, and
church. You can imagine my
surprise, then, when I found
him reluctant to share one of his greatest gifts.
At the time of his retirement, my father
had spent more than 40 years working as
a pocket maker for a manufacturer of fine
men's coats. He explained to me that he must
teach a co-worker his craft. Pocket-making is
more than just sewing a few pieces of cloth
together; there are intricacies not obvious to
the layperson in making flaps and matching
the patterns and designs.
I asked how many others had he taught.
He replied this was the first time he ever
taught. Since he was going to retire it was
now okay to pass his craft on just as his father
passed it on to him. It wasn't his responsibility
to teach others. Learned skills and techniques
are valuable; competition is fierce, teaching
others tricks of the trade is equal to taking
food off your family's table.
Today, however, times have changed...
or have they?
I got my first break in our profession when
a contract cleaning outfit hired me as the
director of housekeeping for a 120-bed hospital in Brooklyn, New York. (I wasn't completely
new to the field-I previously had my own
office cleaning business.)
The day before I started working, I met
the company's operations manager at the
facility. He introduced me to the hospital
administrator, the director of nursing, and
a few key players in the housekeeping and
He told me to report to work at 7:00
a.m., and he'd spend time going over
everything I needed to know. The next
day I reported into work bright and early,
but there was no operations manager.
Finally, at 9:30 a.m., I received a call from
him. He said there was an emergency at
another location and he couldn't come.
He told me to do the best I could and he'd
be there as soon as possible.
Two weeks later, he showed up. Two
weeks later, of course all was under
control-no thanks to him or the company's support system. Trial and error are
hard-knock teachers, and no way to learn
a profession. Even "old dog" managers
who may be used to learning the hard
way can work to stay ahead of the everchanging intricacies and innovations of
their complex profession. No longer are
we considered glorified housekeepers,
the porter in-charge. We are managers-controlling large budgets, staffs,
www.ahe.org I EXPLORE I Fall 2015 29
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EXPLORE - Fall 2015
Message from the AHE President Go Big in Grapevine
EXCHANGE 2015 Ensuring All Health Care Environments Contribute to Quality Outcomes and Healthy Communities
Maximize Your Time in Grapevine 10 Tips to Amplify Learning Potential at EXCHANGE 2015
Deploying a TeamSTEPPS® Approach to Fighting HAIs Caveats for Sustainable Success
Labor vs. New Technology Can a Robot Process a Hospital Room as Completely as a Human?
The Art and Love of Caring A Letter to Environmental Services
Floor-Savviness for Environmental Services How to Maximize Effectiveness While Minimizing Downtime
Creating a Connection Culture The Three Life-Giving Elements of Vision, Value, and Voice
You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way Networking and Sharing a Wealth of Knowledge
Meet a CHESP Perpetuating the Professionalism of Our Industry
EXPLORE - Fall 2015