This week’s Industry Person of the Week is Darrell Polston.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Darrell: I have been working in Electricity and Electronics for most of my life. Starting with building a Crystal Radio and listening to HF broadcasts from around the world. It progressed with a formal education by the United States Navy and twelve years operating and maintaining Digital Communications equipment. It lead to working in Computers, Networks and Wireless Communications through the DotCom collapse. I survived shifted some and worked in Healthcare IT. I shifted in 2010 and made an attempt at something on my own with environmental sensors which did not launch as hoped. So one day while trying to find new employment I answered an ad in free advertisement paper wanting Etechs in Midland Texas. I answered the advertisement and a year later found myself as the Supervisor over that areas Electronic Technicians. I moved along 8 years later to become a Maintenance supervisor in Carlsbad, NM. I broadened my experience by including all Maintenance both Mechanical and Electrical until I was found to be redundant as the company consolidated operations from Carlsbad to Odessa.
Q: What do you love the most about your job?
Darrell: Leading, mentoring and training technicians. I enjoy learning and passing on new technical developments, technical trends and developing personnel.
Q: What are you most proud of?
Darrell: I find the most satisfying moments when past employees contact me and tell me that they miss working with me. It says I did my job well. There is satisfaction in other areas as well but this means the most.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Darrell: Never stop learning. As a maintenance person we have to support and repair the equipment. We have to know how the technology applies and how it works in the system we are maintaining. So like most other technical specialties we have to maintain our knowledge to be good technicians, Second would be learn about people so that you can provide good support. Learn to communicate and understand their needs.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Darrell: Integration of a CMMS system to include inventory and technician data capture. When I first arrived in Carlsbad I was told to use the CMMS system that was available. I found that there were many issues that needed to be resolved. First was inventory entry and control, second was utilizing the PM scheduling portion. We were working diligently to ensure all maintenance activity was logged and recorded and all parts inventory was tracked in the system when the consolidation took place.
Q: Anything Else you would like to add?
Darrell: I have strived to make processes as efficient and productive as possible. This means recognizing and evaluating systems and processes for pitfalls and bottlenecks. Maintenance is often a fast paced environment of allocating the right people and assets to the right place at the right time. I believe that good technicians are developed through good training and support. Although, Technicians misdiagnose when not properly trained and should be allowed to learn through trial and error. Training helps them recognize how to be better and prepared for the next event. A healthy culture allows for failures and supports growth.
THANK YOU, DARRELL! WE LOOK FORWARD TO KEEPING UP WITH YOU THROUGH THE #PUMPTALK COMMUNITY!
KNOW AN AMAZING PERSON WHO IS MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS WITHIN INDUSTRY? NOMINATE THEM TO BE AN “INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE WEEK”!