The Tool Fool’s Stool: Owning a Drill Press
There are people that are just naturally social. The kind that look at a room full of strangers as an opportunity to learn exciting things, make connections and have a good time. Me? I see that room of strangers as obstacles standing between me and the beer. Or the BBQ. Or both.
It’s not that I don’t like people. Really, I do fine in most social situations. But I dread them. Like many dread the dentist or getting shots, I dread having to be around people I don’t know.
I’m betting many of you are nodding right now.
Imagine this. You need some sugar or flour or, I don’t know, a pillow or something. Your wife says, “Hey, you know So-in-So down the street? Their garage was open, and they had bales of flour (They come in bales?). Why don’t you run down and ask them for a cup or two?”
Now, you are standing in front of their door, ready to knock. You’re thinking about how to address this “asking for flour” thing. How to bring it up. How to break the ice. If you are like me, you could be there for hours and not come up with anything better than, “Need flour! You have. Give to ME!”
Let’s change the situation just a touch. You need a tool that you don’t have. You have tried to rig something up to get out of needing the tool, but all of your efforts have been for naught. Your wife, seeing your distress, says, “Hey, didn’t we pass an open garage the other day that was full of tools? Maybe they have something that would work.”
What we saw in the garage was a drill press. The guy had a drill press where most people would park their car. You don’t start off with a drill press. A drill press is not an entry-level tool. When the most prominent tool in your garage is a drill press, you’re telling the world one thing: You mean business. And your business is tools.
Now, you’re standing in front of this door trying to think of ways to ask for help with your “lack of the right tool” situation. What do you say?
The fact of the matter is, what DON’T you say? There are so many openers. I (Yes, this is a true-ish story) went with, “I’m Tom. I live down the street. I noticed the other day you have a drill press, and I thought, ‘Hey, if anyone could help me with my tool problem, it was you.'”
Did he give me a weird look? Did he think it was odd? Of course not. THE MAN HAS A DRILL PRESS IN HIS GARAGE. He knew what I was there for the minute I knocked on the door.
I had ripped the head off a screw and needed a back-out tool. Did he have it? You’re joking, right? Drill. Press. He had exactly what I needed. I used it, brought it back 10 minutes later, and thanked him with a copy of the Pro Tool Reviews magazine and a promise of beers to come.
Tools are more than a common interest. They aren’t quilting or scrapbooking or collecting comics. They are something more. A tool is the path from a problem to a solution. Providing that tool makes you a traveler of that path. And whether you are three wise men, Lewis and Clark or a couple of hobbits, traveling together inspires camaraderie. And comrades never let the other down when they are in a bind.
Also, if you have a drill press, don’t put it in your garage where people like me can see it. We’ll just interrupt your dinner looking for tools.