The Right Tool For The Job; Spinning Your Wheels

Posted: March 3, 2008 in Daily Blog

My Father-In-Law owns a couple Goodyear Automotive stores in Colorado Springs. He is in the top ten Goodyear dealers in the nation because of the volume of tires that move through his stores every year – it is a major operation and a family-run business. This year at the Goodyear Conference he was given 5 remote control cars for his younger grandsons. (he has 14 grandkids, aging from 24 to 2 years, and a great grandson too!) He has a big heart and loves giving, so it is fun to watch. He has us over to his house Saturday night to give my son his car, and it was a huge hit. But, the story doesn’t end there.

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(This is the car, except it is a really cool metallic red, with blacked out tinted windows.)
The car is packaged in a box with a Styrofoam pedestal to showcase the car. It comes with mounts that are about 2 inches long and screw into the bottom of the car securing it to the Styrofoam pedestal for shipping. There are four of them – I guarantee that the car will not move during shipping even if the trip had more bumps than a Republican Presidential Candidacy. It should not have been difficult to remove from the packaging, just needing a screwdriver that is long enough to reach the screws and small enough to fit them. You would think…

It took us about an hour to get the car off of the pedestal. We unscrewed, and unscrewed until our hands were numb. I say we, because I did it for about 20 minutes and then my Father-In-Law did it for about 40. The screws were not coming out. We thought maybe they were stripped out, and so eventually we busted up the Styrofoam pedestal so just the mounts were left secured to the car. Meanwhile, my son is being as patient as a 10 year old boy can be when looking at this really cool RC car that is just waiting to be driven, and the two men in the room that should be able to help him achieve his newfound passion are having an incredibly difficult time – in other words, not patient at all… I think at one point he would have gotten a hammer and pounded the mounts off of the bottom of the car had we let him!

Then, just when we were about to cut the mounts off, the solution was realized… The screwdriver we were using was cheap and the shaft was turning in the handle. It felt as if progress was being made, because there was a significant amount of friction, but not enough torque was going to the screw, the shaft was just spinning in the handle. All the frustration blamed at the toy maker for the difficult screws was all the fault of the cheap tool. Needless to say, neither one of us saw that one coming! A different screw driver and the problem was solved.

The point – sometimes when you feel like you are not making any progress in life you have to investigate the methods you are using. The thoughts, patterns, and habits you have may be failing you. You expect that everything is happening like it should be, only to be disappointed when things don’t go like you assumed. Check out your assumptions, are they valid (this screwdriver will work!) or are you missing something? We all want to avoid as much frustration as possible in life, and when you realize you have overlooked something so simple as a faulty process, tool or thought pattern, you may have wasted precious time!

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