Don't Be Afraid

For my first blog post, I'd like to share the most important piece of advice I got from my old boss.

The advice came on one of the first days of the job. There were four or five of us lifting a heavy stone countertop into place. As we tried to lay it down, some screws sticking up from the cabinets stopped it short. 

Since I was the closest one to the drill, I grabbed it and went to remove the screws.

It wasn't so easy. For whatever reason, I just couldn't get the screws out. I thought maybe it was the angle of it, and that's when my boss said "Don't be afraid of it."

I was a little insulted at the time. He was claiming that I was afraid of a drill, a tool that I had surely used many times before, and successfully. But as I thought more on those words over the next little while, I realized their worth. 

Not being afraid, in this case, really just means using the tool with confidence. Grasp it firmly, and with no limp wrist. Engage more than just the muscles you use to hold the tool in your hand. 

And it worked. The best thing I ever did for myself when it comes to using a drill or any other tool is to grasp it with confidence, even if it's the first time I pick it up. 

It's a concept I'd heard before. Fake it til you make it. But this time, as it so often does within groups of men, this advice came with a tinge of insult. Don't be afraid of the drill.

That incident sticks out in my mind not only because of its backhandedness, but also because it's one of the few gems I took with me from my time in that shop. The few lessons I did learn more than make up for the rest of it.