Panelists share their experience with industry Facebook groups
Joshua Mattey CPO, CST, owner JPS Pool Services North Scituate, Rhode Island
Residential/Commercial Pool Cleaning, Repair and Maintenance Employees: 4 Accounts: 100
I first started using Facebook groups about five years ago on a
recommendation from a friend in the industry. I was skeptical because in my
eyes, most pool guys were rigid, grumpy old guys who wouldn’t help anyone. But
as I watched the posts and followed the comments on that first CPO group, I
realized the possibilities. Now I’m a member of more than 20 pool groups.
These groups have amazing people who are ready and really willing
to help, from the smallest problem to the most technical question. I’ve gotten
so much out of these groups. They make me feel like I’m part of something
larger than my little company; it’s a group that truly wants to grow the
industry and hold individuals to a higher standard, whether you’re a
single-poler, multiple-pole operation or builder. It has made me increase my
standards and become better personally and professionally.
Professionals can get so much out of these groups. So many topics
have intrigued me in one way or another: blue glue versus clear glue; dropping
a pen in the pool so you can go get it on those hot days; and some of the most
complicated chemical questions. The group also led me to my favorite podcast,
Pool Chasers. With so many members of these groups, I would guess there is
probably well over 100,000 years of experience. Where else can you get that
wealth of knowledge?
As great as these groups are, I don’t believe Facebook groups can
eliminate other forms of technical training, but it is making it easier to find
simple technical questions and preliminary training before hands-on training.
It’s nice to get the ball rolling with a rep in another part of the country
while technical support is closed for the day, potentially solving a problem
Friday rather than waiting until Monday.
I’d love if the groups ended bullying of new professionals. If we knock people down for asking a question, we probably prevent them from asking more questions in the future, which could harm a client or a tech. We live in a world where, sitting behind a device, we can say anything without real implications to ourselves, but we need to be better.
Mike Tellegen owner The Pool & Spa Medic Molalla, Oregon
Residential/Commercial Maintenance, Repair, Service Employees: 4 Accounts: 65-80
I completely appreciate the Facebook groups for professional
service providers for our industry. I enjoy the camaraderie in this specialized
and specific industry as these groups gain some ground. The membership numbers
grow daily and range from beginners/novices to busted-knuckle veterans.
The individuals who started these groups had a vision to assist
with questions and conundrums in regard to the everyday pool cleaning to more
complex technical issues. They are an outlet for individuals who strive to mentor
others in problematic situations. So many of us have tons of street or book
knowledge, expertise and experience that would make one a seasoned
professional. When I can answer a question, I feel good passing on what
somebody has taught me. When I need help, most likely somebody figured out a
way to resolve it and passes it along.
I’ve also witnessed some in these groups be very selfish. It’s
like they don’t remember that when they first started in this industry, they
didn’t know squat. We need to assist those who are lagging behind and bring
them up alongside us. With assistance and encouragement, together we can get
across the finish line.
A Facebook group won’t replace continuing education, as those types of vehicles provide exceptional professional-style education and training. Plus, you can win prizes, eat meals and obtain certification. But we need more in this industry to help one another, and these Facebook platforms can help accomplish that.
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