I’ve real admiration for people who make stuff.
Not just any oul stuff mind you, I mean those who make quality stuff and apply themselves positively.
I just think these people are great, they have such positive energy about them.
You know the ones - They dedicate themselves to doing the best job possible no matter what it is and no matter what the challenge.
There’s this bloke I work with, he’s a GO and he has the most amazing work ethic you could ask for. His energy abounds.
Nothing is a problem, he’ll always answer in the affirmative and if something seems difficult he’ll simply figure it out.
But you know what?
These qualities are rare.
The Can’t-Do Attitude
This bloke is considered by our society as a low skilled worker and is paid accordingly. I happen to think he and those like him are gold.
In contrast here’s this engineer, a mechanical engineer. Spent several years in college, has a high degree of technical ability, good experience, and has a B. Eng…
He has a task to take care of that involves mechanical and electrical elements and he tells me;
“Sorry I’m mechanical I can’t do that”
“What the fuck!”
“You complete waste of fucking space, get out of my sight!” I said.
Ok, so I said that in my head. But I wish I had said it out loud.
I got stonewalled by a supposedly intelligent and capable engineer on a simple task, that had he applied his abundance of ability he could have completed easily.
Instead he said “I can’t” and so he didn’t.
What a useless can of piss.
So our system rewards this engineer for being a lazy brain by paying him more than the GO. What’s going on there?
Dad, How Can I Get A GoPro?
On Sunday my 9 yr old kid was trying to figure out how to get a GoPro Hero camera costing €350.
So he was on eBay and a few other sites, asking me my advice, can he get a cheap one, maybe a second hand one…
He found a cheap chinese yoke and wanted to buy it for €40.
I didn’t think that was a great idea so I told him to wait, save his money, pick the right time and get the camera he really wanted rather than a cheapo brand that will be dust inside a month.
He wasn’t too impressed.
So I reasoned a bit more with him and he seemed to get the message.
“It’s coming into summer son, go out and cut the neighbours gardens for a fiver a garden and before long you’ll have the money to buy the camera you really want” I said.
(Alright, I can hear you all out there; “What a miserable git! Only a fiver!” Well he’s got to start somewhere. If he’s copped on enough he’ll figure he can get more for bigger gardens or even hire other kids to help him. It’s Zen and the art of summer garden cutting and he’ll learn better by getting it wrong for a while.)
“Can I cut our grass Dad? Will you give me a fiver if I do?”
“No sweat”, I said. “I’ll even give you a hand to get the petrol mower going”.
So I did.
The Boy That Caught Fire
I had a flashback.
A good number of years ago now, I was walking down through Wadelai Park heading out for pints with the lads when I saw this kid with his tracksuit on fire.
Ablaze he was! on the grass verge on the side of the road.
“Holy fuck!” I said out loud.
He and his buddy were out with a petrol mower and were probably fooling around with the juice.
Needless to say I put the kid out.
Off he went minus his tracksuit bottoms and the outer epidermis from his legs.
Anyway, I digress…
So I got my kid going and off he went cutting the grass with the most intense degree of attention imaginable.
It was great to see.
And it didn’t stop there. I told him that any job worth doing is worth doing right and so cleaning up was as important if not more that the cutting the grass bit.
I watched him from the kitchen as he went at the path with the yard brush with equal intensity.
This kid could teach my engineer a thing or two I thought.
The world is filled with people who fail to realise their potential, who make excuses at every turn as to why they cannot do something despite their innate ability.
This is true even of people who dream of doing that something — It’s amazing to me.
Take my engineer friend. I was sitting beside this guy, I looked him in the eyes and I told him he needed to make it happen.
It was like staring into an abyss.
I felt his energy, there was just no way I was getting through to this guy.
And you know maybe I did him a disservice by not insisting he find a way, I don’t know.
I like to think I rather did myself a service by not getting a job poorly executed a huge headache to boot.
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Originally published at larrygmaguire.com on April 19, 2017.
Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.
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