Once upon a time, probably around the time that the dinosaurs were contemplating giving up their existence, oh alright then, 20 odd years ago, give or take a week, or two, I once carried out a bathroom installation for this chap…
And part of that job required that I had to enter his garage…
And on entering said garage I was face to face with a room space bedecked wall to wall with shiny tools of all description for every conceivable purpose, along with his spare car, a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. “Try not to scratch the Roller”, his wife reluctantly informed me as she let me in, but that’s another story.
For a tradie like me, a layout like this surely was a sight for sore eyes, it was absolutely awe inspiring. The things I could do with those babies… Especially when my meagre tool-box consisted only of greatly thinned out, blunted, battered and bruised specimens that through much improvisation had one way or another got me through the tasks in hand and helped earn me a reasonable standard of living.
So, in a true ‘Sex in the City’ fashion, “I got me to thinking…”
Here, before my very eyes lay enough tools to complete any kind of job in the world with ease, yet their owner still needed to get a chap like me in.
So what’s the story then?
Well, it turns out there are a few reasons for this scenario…
Time is money.
One thing that took me a long time to realise was that my customers have a totally different mindset than my own ‘make savings wherever possible’. Many of my clients have much more money than I do so they tend to see things somewhat differently. To them, their time is worth much more than trying to save the odd couple of hundred dollars on a project. They get someone in because they have bigger fish to fry.
Take for example a lawyer, he can charge in excess of $500 an hour which would technically cost him $41 for every 5 minutes he spends doing it himself, and that with no guarantee of the results at the end.
So even at $100 an hour, I would still be the preferred option for him.
No wonder his tools stay shiny.
Anyone who knew my father would know he was a complete sucker for a bargain. This would often find him buying things for the perceived savings he could make, regardless of whether he actually needed them or not.
If the price was right, even my father, a complete numpty at the construction game, might have ended up with a collection of shinys adorning his garage walls.
Unfortunately for me though, this was never to be the case. I had to purchase my tools as and when I could afford them and even then, only as the need would ever arise, which often meant they wouldn’t stay shiny for long.
Many of the men of the world have a romantic notion of owning a man cave full of manly toys and yes you’ve guessed it, shiny manly tools, the epitome of ruggedness, can quite often fulfil this brief for them.
Owning a comprehensive tool-kit is quite a compelling dream for many guys out there but even with the best set of tools in the world, if the man in the driver’s seat can’t use them, they are completely wasted.
Yes, his tools will come in handy for the quick fix it jobs around the house but anything more taxing than tightening a loose screw and the like will leave our man out in the cold.
That’s the time he knows to call in an expert.
So in conclusion…
In a nutshell, as nice as they may look all racked out along a garage wall in their pristine, shiny and sharp condition, beware the guy with his shiny tools. They are by no means a guarantee for a quality job.
Let’s face it, the tools are just the means to do a job. Without the added wherewithal, the knowledge and practised and perfected skills to go with them, they may just as well be ornaments.
So just like our man with his Rolls, whenever you have a project you are compelled to trust to others, please take the time to look out for the guys like me, guys with a set of tools that show a great deal of wear and tear, tools that show the scars of active service, tools that have obviously been used!
Does that make sense?