Thursday, May 12, 2011
The screws and nails get emptied out of his pockets every night when he comes home from his construction job. There's a pretty good collection of them going on and it fascinates me. There's a different screw and nail for every purpose. While it might work to occasionally substitute one for the other, if you want the job done right, you use the right equipment.
This is his credo, and one that I love.
On my birthday the first year that we were together, he bought me six different pairs of high end scissors, each one destined for a different application, each one sharp and ready for action. He seemed a little sheepish about giving such a gift, saying, "I wanted you to have the right tools to do the things you do." I had to take a very deep breath to keep from crying. I was touched. It showed me that he cared about me being happy and at ease with what I was doing, but more than that, it showed me that he cared about the integrity of what I was doing. In effect, he was saying, "If you're going to do what you do, do it right."
Sure, I'd made do with cheap, fairly dull scissors for years. I barely even realized just how bad they were. Then I made my first project using the new birthday scissors. They worked so well - I could do the job in less time with less hassle and my hand wasn't cramped up afterward.
How often do we sacrifice quality for the purpose of just getting the job done? I sometimes watch the show Chopped, where contestants are given a basket of four unrelated foods and expected to make a dish in 30 minutes. It's always funny watching the judges' faces. I keep waiting for one of them to be completely honest. As they're washing down with water a pea-sized bit of something repulsive, they tend to say things like, "Your use of cumin with the poptarts was brilliant!" I want them to say, "Yeah, it's edible and I'd be thankful for it keeping me alive if I was running out of food in my fallout shelter, but to be honest, it looks and tastes like shit!"
So, I'm sitting here admiring this pile of various screws and nails, and the man who knows why, where, when and how to use each and every one of them. When he builds stuff, it's a sure bet that it's not going to come apart without the help of explosives.
Screw adequacy. Screw mediocrity.
Do it right. Use the proper tools - metaphorically and literally speaking.
If you're going to do what you do, do it right.
Posted by Barb Black at 6:57:00 AM