1. Avoid stereotypes.
On my first visit, I expected a grimy old chaotic workshop full of mounds of saw dust , furniture parts scattered everywhere and sad fluorescent lights flickering overhead. To my surprise Raw Studios was the complete opposite. I kept hearing booming music, (must be from a nearby party, I thought. Nope.) It was from the workshop, an organised, clean and inviting one at that. The employees play music of their choice while they get on with their work seamlessly.
2. Leave summer styles behind.
First few weeks of work is stressful for any newcomer on a job, every decision is made with some mental debate first (making every decision take 3 times longer). Little did I know it would start at my feet. One morning I was calmly told to sit down (my head was racing at the time, what line did I overstep??) and told… my shoe choice wasn’t appropriate. My little sandals weren’t a match for the fast-moving workshop conditions and the existence of toes aren’t to be taken for granted. Hard tip shoes it will be from now on.
3. Tools are friends not foes.
Working with machines, tools and saws, has never fallen into one of my comfort zones, yet my interest is piqued more now than ever before. So, when a nail gun is held out to me to do the next row, my first assumption is I should just hold the gun until its asked for again. Well that thought was a mistake, especially when I was expected to finish the rest of the task. P.S. Note to self: don’t get a fright every time a nail is shot into the workpiece.
4. A new language needs to be learned.
When new products are designed, or made, things move fast. A sentence barely needs to be finished before the other one understands what needs to be done.
Peet “So we move the part here..”
Thys: “Yes, okay.”
Peet: “Actually, do you know what will be even better? …”
Thys: “Yes, I’ll change that now”
All the while I’m thinking: Wait.. What? What’s being changed? Where did the last paragraph of this conversation go? Some telepathic communication is underway here.