Thoughts for the Luthiery Apprentice
- Do your work for the glory of God, even if you don’t believe in God.
- Always work towards perfection. In luthiery work, this is the only way.
- Use active listening techniques. Remember: you cannot make an ear from a mouth. This is to say, shut up and listen aggressively. In some cases you should
repeat what was said in order to show that you understand what was said and the underlying reasons.
- Pay attention to detail. Notice every " how to " detail of every task.
- Be observant and show that you learned every new technique correctly.
- Make your self valuable to the shop. Work as though you may be laid off tomorrow. Do more than you are asked. If the boss tells you
to sweep the floor, sweep like your life depended on it. If the boss tells you to clean the sink in the bathroom, clean the toilet too.
Out work everyone else quietly and competently.
- Take a break only if everyone else does.
- Remember that new employees are always tested. You will be assigned "unprofessional" or distasteful tasks. Do these
tasks without complaining and without comment.
- Show loyalty towards the shop.
- Your lunch hour is really the bosses time. Do not complain if asked to work.
- Take care of the tools you are using. Keep cutting tools clean and sharp. The bench is a tool, keep it neat.
- Safety first. Learn and adopt safe work techniques. Help to keep others from injury.
- Never use drugs or alcohol. Both are addictive poisons.
- Never talk about co-workers, or anyone else for that matter. When you talk about others, the first thing your audience thinks is,"What is he saying about me?".
This leads to lack of trust and bad morale.
- Always be cheerful and have a positive attitude
- Think ahead. Figure out the next step in a multi-person task before you are told what it is. For example, four men are lugging a heavy piece of equipment
towards the shop door. Open the door before anyone tells you to.
- Show you care. Take care of the work environment even if everyone else is leaving a mess.
- Be a team player. If a worker covers the notched edge of a scraper blade notched edge with electricians tape, note how it is done and
make up a few on your lunch hour for that worker.
Do what is correct and what is needed without being asked.
- Share new information with co-workers.
- Finish the current task, even if the work day is over.
- Work extra time after hours if possible and don’t ask for overtime pay.
- Never suggest a new way (i.e. your way) of performing a task until you have mastered the bosses way of performing that task.
- Work quietly and efficiently.
- Never use curse words, even if everyone else does.
- A serious worker tends to be a quality worker.
- Always look your best. Even if everyone else is scruffy looking, keep your appearance neat and clean. No beards or long hair.
- Give sincere complements, especially on excellent work products and techniques.
- Use proper American English.