Education Is The Key

July 22, 2014

Mentions have been made at times in this editorial column about my avocation as a hockey referee. Once you have a good understanding of the game of ice hockey, being a referee is usually an easy job. I have been involved in hundreds of games during my referee career and 99 percent of those games went extremely well. Spectators and players are normally treated to the professionally run hockey game they expected to see.

Last week I had an adult hockey game situation where two players started a fight. The original fight escalated when additional players began fighting and some players from the bench then came on the ice to join the action.

After calm was restored, it was time to assess penalties and instruct the timekeeper as to my decisions. This was when I realized that after thirty years of refereeing I had never been in this exact situation before. I had no idea how to correctly assess penalties. We somehow got through the rest of the game and I am now in the process of hitting the books and learning more about the rules I should have known.

This story has ramifications far beyond an amateur hockey game. Every locksmith should be able to duplicate keys, change combinations, pick open locks and open locked cars. It has been the basis of our business for many years. Once you know the basics, 99 percent of our job can usually be performed without difficulty.

Knowing 99 percent of our business is not enough today.  An East Coast locksmith contacted us with a problem. He had been opening cars and changing locks for many years. A new locksmith license law in his state requires him to take yearly classes in order to maintain his locksmith license. His service calls for car opening and lock changing had declined and he said he could not afford the cost of travelling across the state to take the classes.

A tagline for our publishing company is "Because the World is Changing Very Fast".  Each month Locksmith Ledger prints an article on Continuing Education. The topics rarely concern car opening or lock picking. Our security industry is changing.  Today a locksmith cannot afford not to take classes on new subjects.  Lock pinning and car opening will continue to be requested by customers, but it will never be 99 percent of our business again.