The Experience of Mistakes in Experience

A confusing title but today events indirectly reminded me of what I’ll term:

Pet Peeve A (2 + infinity – 1)

When someone in an administrative or supervisory position complains and whines about a situation today that you had informed them months earlier was likely to take place unless actions were taken.  They jump on you for suggesting additional procedures because they assert that work is unnecessary and argue that if you had more experience you would understand that.

Well, some people have mentors to whom they pose multiple questions and then listen to what those mentors have experienced during the course of their careers before asking the “knowing what you know now, how would you handle that today as opposed to when you faced the issue” question.

Admittedly, few things can replicate first-hand experience, but as one of my many mentors informed me years ago:  he hoped that I could learn from his mistakes so I would not have to repeat those mistakes to learn certain lessons.  Even with that knowledge he knew that I would make more than enough mistakes on my own in order to learn certain lessons.  Then, with some luck, perhaps one of my students could avoid repeating both my mistakes and his mistakes so that person could learn from their own original mistakes.

I’m still making mistakes, and unbelievably my mentors continue to as well.

There must be some truth to this old adage.

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”   

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