CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Technicians are here to help, but we can't fix everything When your job appears to be to know the answer to all the questions, it’s very hard to draw a line between what is and isn’t within your remit.

This can be something of an issue, as when there’s a technician around, people don’t spend very long trying to fix a problem themselves before asking for help.

It’s not that I begrudge being helpful – far from it. But sometimes, before tour performances, set-up time is precious.


Claire Krueger said...

My first reaction was, was a nice shutter stock photo, and surprise surprise it actually came off of shutterstock. Overall I completely identify with him. When someone wants help with class work like drafting or design my initial instincts were say yes every time until eventually I spent more time helping than working on my own stuff. When you're in a time crunch and people expect help from you it’s hard to say no and sometimes it's almost irritating. If you give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day if you teach a man to fish he’ll eat for his life, but there's an alternate saying when you help a man in need, next time he’s in need he’ll think of you. As much as helping at every opportunity feels good it inhibits those around you from learning through trial and error, especially when you're the easy way out to every problem. All in all I heavily sympathise with the author.

Kelly Simons said...

I clicked on this article immediately, because working as a technician is one of the weirder jobs out there. When I was working at my old road house in Kansas as a technician I was asked to do so many odd jobs, from my bosses. But honestly more often than not, I was asked to do odd tasks for the visiting artists. These tasks included anything from hemming their clothing to asking me where the best places in town to drink are. That second request was the more awkward ones I got, mainly because I was 19 at the time and hadn’t gone out downtown drinking at all. Most of the time, technicians are blamed for things out of their control. We are the ultimate scapegoat for touring shows. We have to know everything about the theatre, including front of house details. And it we don’t we’re branded as a poor worker.

Angel Zhou said...

This is a pretty thought-provoking article that extends to fields beyond drama, like IT (as mentioned). I feel as though whenever a person has an ‘expert’ around, or someone he or she can go to for help, it is easier to give up and ask for advice rather than to sit and try to figure something out alone. However, it is also easy to forget that these ‘experts’ are also human and are meant to be there in case we truly need them, not to take care of simple tasks that we are too lazy figure out ourselves. They also may need to be used for more important tasks than things like “how to switch the foyer telly on”. As a TA, I have experienced slight issues like these before, but I genuinely appreciate how good my students are about figuring out problems as much as they can on their own before coming to me for help.