I recently took a course at a local community college, to build an accoustic guitar. On arriving, the place looked loaded for bear. All those big expensive machines ready for use. Or… maybe not. Seems they had been used, as in hard used. Appearances did nothing to improve the adage good from afar, far from good. it’s not that the machinery itself was bad, it was just badly used. One look around the shop area told the rest of the story. Sorry, it’s a generational thing. The shop space was shared with a bunch of yahoos in their twenties who were looking to get their trade certificate, but perhaps more interested in Friday night when they could all go drinking and wake up the next day with impunity. At least, temporarily. That’s what the impunity of youth is… temporary and unfortunately, only age teaches you that.
The equipment in question, all slightly off kilter with parts misaligned and blades not sharp. Nothing really working properly. Feed in that expensive wood and you will get a realtime lesson in good money after bad when you have to pay the price of starting over again. All that was needed was a bit of care. The teacher complained and got someone actually doing their job, making sure that expensive equipment was properly set up in working order. Expensive or not, it was worth nothing when not maintained.
Related perhaps to my weekend experience. I have been revamping my shop. My table saw needed some repair and I bought a twin from an auction site that sells construction equipment for companies going out of business. This was a jobsite saw, used to being hauled around in the back of a truck. It seemed too good to be true. I got it for 25 cents on the dollar of the original price. But… on closer inspection there is all that undisclosed stuff that comes with the territory of “as is”. You would have to be an optimist to delve much in those markets.
Turns out, silly me. the table saw was missing its fence and I didn’t notice in the picture. Hard to replace and expensive to order as a part. So I have really in the end, one good saw and one to use for parts. When I tried to open the saw stand, I realized one foot was missing and whoever owned the saw had in fact broken off the bolt in the carriage.
That’s some hard use. You would have to be a bonehead to use an expensive piece of equipment that way.
But the thing is with boneheads, that their consequences are never up front. They are delayed, and or, will hit someone else. You never really learn until the consequences come home to roost and you have to do a bit of extra work to fix something or clean up someone else’s careless mess.
So.. it was me down there in the workshop trying to drill out the bolt from the broken joint. Though mild steel, it is proving to be a challenge. I am still on it.
Juxtaposed with all of this, a picture this morning on Facebook of a few teens caught throwing food at a black woman in the USA. I suppose in the present media circus it got attention because it was a black woman, but to me, that is not really the point. The good question, is what kind of an idiot throws food at a lady, an old lady, never mind an old black lady? Who throws food at another human being and thinks it is a good idea? Somebody not fearing consequences I guess. This is borne out by the subsequent picture of one of the offenders giving the finger to whoever was taking the picture. He didn’t seem to care that his image was immortalized for posterity. Good luck with that future job kid, when they check Facebook.
And so… I guess time will have to bring that lesson home. One day that kid will be old, and perhaps the one being abused by somebody else. Maybe then he will think back and regret. Still, meanwhile it is no fun for anybody else. It makes me angry.
I have some advice for the kid. We only have one kick at the can. Whether in equipment used by yahoos, or life used badly by yahoos, the results are the same. Unnecessary grief for someone who did not deserve it. But life has a way of coming around so that “deserving” eventually hits home and you get stuck with the consequences for your own actions. Those kind of people are really sorry. First that they got caught, second that they got stuck with the consequences they thought they would dodge.
So my advice... Use gently. Eventually the life you abuse is your own. It seems to be the old kind of sage advice that has to be relearned with every generation. Use gently… I am still trying to drill out that broken bolt, dammit.
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