The So-Called Expert

How do you define expert?

How do you define expert?

I have always been leery of so-called experts. A long time ago I worked for a company that implemented a major Enterprise Resource Planning project. We simply did not have enough experienced staff so we hired an outside consulting firm to help offset our staff shortage. The consulting company was one of the well respected ones of their day and we were paying huge hourly rates for these people. They had Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and then they had some that were supposed to be the smartest of the bunch who were project leads. The project leads were $350 a hour. The SMEs were $150 an hour. Turns out the SMEs were mostly college students who went through a two week “boot camp” on the topic they were hired for and often we were their first customers. Before the project was over, we let the company go and decided, thanks but no thanks. From that I became skeptical of any one who called themselves an expert.

Years later we hired a consultant again who was highly recommended. We even interviewed him ahead of time having learned our lesson from previous consultants. He was a rock star, at least at interviewing. He knew all the buzzwords and since the product we needed help with we only knew a little, it seemed he was a good fit. When he arrived we left him to his own devices so to speak because again, we were short staffed. However, he began to ask a lot of basic questions that he should have known the answer to. An analogy that comes to mind is a baker. Because a person worked in a bakery and frosted cakes, doesn’t make him a baker. When our baker left, we had to not only clean the kitchen but destroy the bakery. One day out of the blue I received a call from someone looking to hire this consultant and asking for a reference. Not wanting to say anything bad, I said, “He is good at the things he does well.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”When your life is over, what do you want to be known as an expert in?” quote=”When your life is over, what do you want to be known as an expert in?”]

Today I was looking on Klout, which I know has lost a lot of significance and has struggled to find a new identity, but I find it interesting what they say and sometimes the Klout scores tell you something about people you are thinking of following or who are giving you advice on topics you care about. I looked and Klout said I was an expert in a lot of things.

Klout Expert Items

These are picked by Klout and not by me, supposedly based on the content I post about on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. The Starred ones are what Klout says I am an expert on. The checkboxes are the ones that I sort of agree on. But there are some that I just don’t understand. The Bible and Christianity. Those jump out at me. I am a Christian but I am not an expert at it. I know most of the things I am supposed to do as a Christian, but I not always faithful to God as I should be. And while I read the Bible and have read it cover to cover a few times and I have done Bible studies and do research on my own about the Bible, again, I am not an expert. I want to be but even if I were a Seminary schooled preacher, I will never know all there is to know about the Bible. And Walmart? Why am I am expert on Walmart? I don’t recall ever posting about that. Google Fiber, I know a lot about but not being an actual Google Fiber customer, there are things I probably will not know because experience is usually the best teacher.

Are you an expert? How do you define expert? How about those around you who say they are experts? Are they?


The Bible in a Digital World

We had been having problems with the quality and quantity of our Internet bandwidth for some time. With my wife and I both IT professionals for a living and the kids of the house being technology junkies, a matter for discussion another day, we finally gave up on our provider and switched. Other than the expensive monthly bill and the lousy Internet, our other services were okay. But to save money we signed up for a bundle of everything. That in itself was an adventure as the new company wasn’t known for great customer service just service and while I placed the order online, then tried to confirm over the phone, I finally had to pay a visit to an office to see if they wanted my money. In this day it seems good customer service is optional. So we awaited the day the company would come out to install our new services and I had told work I would be working remotely if possible, thinking the old services would be available even in their sad state until the “switch” was switched. Instead it seems they turned off our services somewhere in the wee hours of morning and so when I woke up at 5am to start working on personal and business things, I was without Internet. I decided to go ahead and eat breakfast. As I asked for blessing before eating my breakfast, I asked God to forgive us for getting wrapped up in first world problems when we have food, water, shelter, and most importantly, Him, in our lives and those are the essentials. I then sat down and I was going to read my Bible reading on my phone but inside our house, the 4G doesn’t work and 3G is so so. So I was unable to pull up my favorite Bible app as it was insisting it must talk to the Internet even though I have several Bible translations downloaded to it. My tablet devices do not have 4G options and require good old fashioned wireless Internet so they would be of no use. So I decided, no worries, I will hunt around and find the good old fashioned analog versions of the Bible. I was saddened it took me so long to find a copy of the Bible in paper form in my house. But I did finally find a pocket version of the King James Bible and then finally my old trusty NIV Study Bible which I used to carry before I went digital.

Now my next challenge is remembering what today’s readings are as I have been using a reading plan on my tablets and phone, going back and forth as technology allowed. And that is the crux of the issue here. It doesn’t matter where I am in the Word as long as I am in the Word and if I pray for guidance, God will put me on the pages he wants me to be on. God put me in Psalms.