Respect the Tech


By Preston Simmons

Dear Youth,

Hear me clearly.  It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes all kinds to make the world go around.  So often, I find we are enamored by the “Popularity” component of our communities.  Popularity has always been desirable, but don’t forget to respect the technical side of your town.  The ones that may not be as visible, but play a vital role in supporting the lifestyle, with which you either aspire or have become accustomed to.

Remember, the same people you see going up, you see coming down.

Let me start by saying, it’s not just you.  Truthfully, all of us have to step our game up.  We’ve become so distracted by the current state of culture and politics; we don’t even realize how disrespectful we’ve become.  One of the main issues may be our own ignorance concerning the technical components of a healthy community.  We generally refer to this as Infrastructure.  Without realizing it, we’ve allowed the foolishness to trick us into becoming dismissive of this factor of our community.  In doing so, we’ve become increasingly dismissive to the individuals who have made Infrastructure Support their life’s work.  These Technical Specialists keep your community up and running, deserve better.  I don’t care who’s in Office or what one’s political leanings may be.  When we see the Techs in our community, we have to show proper deference of respect.  Anything less, and we fall into the “trick bag” of neglecting our own people.  Don’t let political narratives from outside destroy our neighborhoods from within.  That’s just history repeating itself.

The truth is, a lot of us take Infrastructure for granted.  By default, we find ourselves neglecting to show some respect to the Specialists that build, administer, and support our communities.

Infrastructure is an absolute necessity if we want our Section to prosper.  Anything we desire to accomplish will be limited by the quality of the Infrastructure that we are operating within.  So often, we spend a lot of our time politicking, with the goal of making it to the top of the dogpile.  That’s cool and all, but here’s the reality.  If the Infrastructure isn’t quality, going to the top is dangerous.  Without the proper structure and support, it’s doubtful that anything can be sustained.  Everything becomes unstable.  Trust me, the higher up we go, the more the fall hurts.  That’s why Infrastructure is so important.  It allows us the ability to move around and grow, without the danger of the entire environment collapsing on top of us.

This is our business because how we carry ourselves has a huge impact on the Infrastructure that will be available to us and everyone in our area.

Now, I know you might not be one of the Infrastructure Specialists, and that’s fine.  None of us can be all things.  That’s all the more reason for us to manage healthy relationships with our community members who do perform this important work:  

  • The Engineers that design and build out the physical and logical environments, which we frequent
  • The Service Administrators that manage and secure these environments
  • The Service Technicians that deliver the day to day support to its different components
  • The Technical Communicators that support maximum utility for Stakeholders
  • The Project Managers that ensure that Service Contracts, Agreements, and Policies are adequately supported

From Communications Services to HVAC Services. From Plumbing Services to Transportation Services. Facilities Services and Landscaping Services.  It all requires Infrastructure.  

The products we consume are not exempt either.  Access to Healthy Produce, Automobiles, Household Appliances, and more.  That’s right.  All of it requires Infrastructure.  

Even our everyday Education and Entertainment Services depend on Infrastructure.  None of these things remain accessible without the Specialists that support the Technical aspects of your environment.  Infrastructure isn’t magic.  It is the result of day to day efforts of our people, in our community.  Let that soak in.

The problem we run into is that many of us don’t take the time to show the appropriate appreciation for these types of services.  Instead, we tend to just throw money at people and tell them to “fix it.”  Then wonder why someone else’s community looks better than ours. 

It’s simple.  When people aren’t appreciated, in their own communities, they leave.  They go elsewhere, in search of a lifestyle that affords them an appropriate balance between material compensation, and community respect.  Like it or not, social capital is real, and just as necessary as financial capital.  Without both, we lose those important capabilities in our own Section.  That’s how communities go bankrupt.

So, now that we have an understanding of how this thing works let’s talk about how we can get it right.  I propose two points of opportunity.

First, there’s general behavior.  We’ll need to get back to the manners that our folks raised us with.  When we’re out and about, in the general public, and we see someone hard at work on the powerlines, roads, or a construction site, we might need to take a moment to give a proper salutation, as the opportunity presents itself.  It’s all about respect.  One of the best ways to communicate respect is by carrying ourselves in a respectable manner.  Yes, that means making our young men pull up their pants.  It means to watch how many foul words are coming out of our mouths in public settings.  In other words, we’ll need to tighten up on our etiquette, outside of the workplace.  We should feel just as obligated to exemplify good behavior, as you are to pay for items we leave the store with.  Failing to do either is thievery.  No one wants to live in a community of thieves.

Secondly, let’s be mindful of how we treat our peers as we “come up.”  Specifically, those in our neighborhoods.  We may develop different interests than that of our neighbors, as we grow.  We may be more inclined to spend most of our time with recreational, social activities.  They may be really interested in different activities.  Their hobbies may include building lab environments, or they may prefer to attend workshops, rather than house parties.  They may not become your “best friend” but take a little time to have a basic relationship.  A little neighborly love goes a long way.  When the time comes, our drinking buddies may not have much advice for us on what to do about our bathroom exhaust system being broken.  Also, when their hobbies lead them down a path of becoming senior level Engineers, with the resources to purchase property, it would be nice if they had fond memories of the community that they came up in.  After all, we tend to put our money where our hearts are.  Productive, decent people are generally the ones we want to keep in the community.  Especially as they grow in success.

So look, to wrap it all up, we need to be more mindful.  As we scream for major portions and large organizations of America to “be more diverse,” we should make sure we aren’t discriminating against people in our own Section.  It’s our responsibility to tell each other the truth, whether we want to hear it or not.  So, remember what I told you.

The same people you see coming up, you see coming down.  

It doesn’t cost much to show a little love.  Failing to do so, well, that can be quite costly.  I hope you will choose wisely.

Later for now,

Preston Simmons

Preston Simmons

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