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Questions

Drew Nosti CEF <Gray1goose@usa.net>
Reading, PA

August 9, 1999

My son once asked me what I did for a living. I replied; I sold equipment and chemicals to plating shops .He said, "what is plating"? That started a long conversation of explanations during which I'm sure I said, "chrome like a bumper on a car".

I'm not sure he ever really understood but I tried to help him understand. What I didn't do was tell him to "go read a book", or "see a science teacher" to learn about me and my industry. I'm proud of what and who we are and really love talking about it. I'm also afraid that books and or teachers have a limited perspective on what we do and how we do it.

That's why I don't understand why we give information seekers on Finishing .com such a hard and unfriendly response when the ask how to "chrome plate". No question most want to try to do some personal piece of metal rather than go out and pay for it. But in the case of students we should encourage curiosity in our industry even at the risk of spending our precious time and sharing our hard won knowledge.

I realize that the discussion would take forever on the net but why can't we take it to email and just give a general description of the process rather than saying go read a book. We say we're an industry that isn't understood and that no one knows how important we are to our world economy. Yet we seem to be unwilling to share to the outside exactly how we operate and why. I feel we are missing a geniune opportunity with an eager audience.

Maybe it's time to rethink our position on this subject and embrace the questions as an opportunity to promote the importance of our industry.


Reply

Ted Mooney <mooney@finishing.com>

August 11, 1999

We don't try to be rude, but you are not the only one to see it your way; we'll be more careful.

Our readers & I have answered thousands upon thousands of inquiries from students & hobbyists for more than 10 years here, "spending our precious time and sharing our hard won knowledge". At www.finishing.com/letters you'll always find dozens of fresh inquiries from students & hobbyists; we hope that readers will reply to any that they can and use the opportunity to promote our industry.

The web is a good thing, but abuseable, and we must not confuse today's web pages with scholarly books & published journals. On the sci.chem newsgroup, attended by some of the best teachers in the world as well as many of its best brains, the standard response to student questions is: "DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!". Helping students forego a a visit to the library or a conference with their teacher is a disservice to them. We all walk a fine line as we try to strike a balance between trying to be helpful while not becoming enablers of poisonous study habits.


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