Three Lessons from a Maintenance Technician

Mateo is the maintenance tech you want on your team. He has a knack for troubleshooting and a persistent nature that makes him the “go to” person when something goes wrong.

After 30 years in the business, Mateo knows a lot about maintaining equipment. One of his jobs is to mentor some of his younger team members with hands-on technical instruction.

And, as usual, Mateo goes above and beyond—offering his coworkers more general guidance that applies off the shop floor as well.

While we aren’t all lucky enough to work with Mateo, we could benefit from his advice. Here’s what he shared with us.

1. Use What You Know Now

It’s the maintenance team’s job to avoid failure whenever possible—either by preventing it in the first place or fixing something when it breaks.

So, it’s natural that many people strive to avoid failure.

But Mateo sees failure differently.

“I learned a lot from failure,” he told us. “It gives you an advantage because now you know what doesn’t work. Use it to move forward and find what works—and how to prevent it in the future.”

2. Don’t Give Up

Maintenance techs know fixing something isn’t always simple. It’s easy to get frustrated when things are going wrong.

Mateo has learned that taking a break and refreshing his mind helps him refocus on the problem. He also recommends asking for help when you’re stuck.

“Sometimes I need to work through a problem with a coworker,” he explained. “Two heads are better than one, and a different perspective can help.”

3. Take Responsibility

Mateo is the first to say that he isn’t perfect. He doesn’t hide his mistakes.

“If I screw something up, I take responsibility,” he explained. “Hiding it or denying it just makes it harder in the long run. Admitting your mistakes shows true professionalism.”

And in the end, Mateo knows those mistakes also help you prevent making other mistakes.

“You learned from it, and now you can use your mistake to improve,” he said. “And if you share that experience with others, you’re probably going to prevent someone else from making the same mistake too.

Mateo’s advice applies to everyone—no matter where you work or what you do.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Leave a comment or contact us.