By Timothy Gamble
Ever had someone borrow tools from you, then forget to return them? Or, if they did return the tools, they were rusty or otherwise damaged? It has happened to me several times. I once had a socket set returned with two missing sockets. A hammer was returned with one of its claws broken (no explanation, apology or offer to buy me a new one). And a very nice set of precision screwdrivers was never returned (a co-worker kept promising to remember to return them, up until the day he quit and I never saw him again). It seems people, even well-intentioned ones, have trouble taking care of something if its not actually their own personal property. Its enough to make me want to quit lending my tools, especially my high-quality, costly ones.
On the other hand, I want to be friendly and helpful towards others. And building goodwill with our family, friends, and neighbors is a good thing. So, what to do?
My solution to this quandary was to create a set of "lending tools." This is a box full of cheap, no-name hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, saws, and other tools. Some of the tools in the box are old or low-quality tools culled from my good tools. Others are no-name, made in 3rd world sweat-shops, bargain basement tools purchased at Wal-Mart or the dollar stores. Many were bought super cheaply at yard sales. They may be low-quality, but they are good enough to get the job done. And if they get lost or broken, so what? My good tools are safe and sound, right where I can find them when I need them.
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