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Muddy Boots Blog

The Work Bench

Posted by griffithd on June 23, 2018 at 2:10 PM

It is a point of honor in the book of guys that when something breaks, you have the tools and necessary replacement parts on hand to address the matter. This explains my workbench and storage cabinets. Claw hammers of different weights, rubber mallets, somewhere around 40 screwdrivers of various lengths, sizes, and tip configurations, same for pliers, brushes, spackle blades, wrenches, hex keys, saws, measuring tapes, chisels, wire strippers, power meters, stud finders, (my wife wants to borrow) and a boatload of screws, wire, nails, staples, rivets, electric tape, duct tape, and an assortment of electric drills, saws, screwdrivers, welders, power washers, extension cords, and finally paints both current and ancient and glues that can bond wood, metal, tile, and small children.

It’s not that I dread going to the hardware store. In fact, I view a trip to True Value, Home Depot or Lowes like my wife does Saks. The problem is when I go for what I need for the job at hand rarely is that all that returns home. One can never have enough 9-volt batteries or light bulbs. The last trip to get replacement screens for the back door that the dog blew out, resulted in a volume buy of wire mesh screen that will last several dogs. The point is I will be ready and at a reasonable price. This is the same theory as buying a lifetime supply of paper towels at Costco.

God forbid the project is electrical or plumbing. My partner for life insists I call a professional. This is akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull. Often the results are the same. The beast gets mad and in the end, dies. That said almost all projects short of a space shot have a website that will walk you through step by step and part by part. I consider one of my most significant professional achievements is the replacement of our kitchen garbage disposal with only one trip to Home Depot. No leftover pieces, worked the first time and did not leak. I posted a picture on Facebook and got more likes than a puppy. Men understand this.

The best part of all this is when your children call and ask you for advice or to come help. Teaching your son or daughter how to fix a leaking faucet, check the circuit breaker before you call the electrician, the reason hanging a picture with the right size hook matters, and finally the value of a job well done, tools put back, and the dust vacuumed up.

I can tell a lot about an individual from their work bench or tool box. First, do they have one? Second is it organized? Do they value the right tool for the job? The world can be separated into those who read directions first and those who read them after. Third, do they clean up when the work is done? Finally, will they share their tools and knowledge? Somehow learning the how the first time takes the fear out the next time. There is no substitute for experience.

Not all that different than life.

Categories: Griffith Thoughts, Muddy Boots, Leadership

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