Bring your own tools

March 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago we had ‘spring’ fashion week here in New York City.  I still don’t know why they have ‘spring’ fashion week in the middle of winter, especially when fall fashion week is actually in the fall, but I digress.  As a lighting guy, fashion weeks are my two favorite times of the year because I can usually make quite a bit of money (assuming of course I can get on the right crew).  This year I didn’t work a lot, so I was a little financially disappointed but I still enjoyed the gig nonetheless.

The main reason I enjoyed it was because everyone I worked with was the cream of the crop.  These were electricians that have been working in the industry for many years and really know what they are doing.  Everyone was on top of their game and really understood what they needed to take care of.  Nobody needed their hand held, or needed anything explained to them.  It was such a breath of fresh air to show up to a gig and just be able to get the job done, and get it done right.  So many of the jobs that I work on are staffed by people who don’t know their ass from a teakettle.  It’s not just that they are inexperienced.  In fact, some of them I know are experienced, because I’ve worked with them before.  The problem is they don’t seem to take anything from this experience.  They continue time and again to make the same mistakes.

One thing that drives me absolutely crazy is people who don’t bring their own tools.  Now, I don’t expect people to show up with a tool cabinet fully stocked from Home Depot, but it would be nice if they could at least bring the minimum amount of tools to get the job done.  I always show up with enough tools so that I can be self sufficient 99% of the time, and not have to bother the crew head to borrow their tools all the time.  It just boggles my mind that people who show up to electrics calls come without tools.  At the bare minimum they should bring a crescent wrench.  (Really they should have a c-wrench, multi-tool, flashlight, and gloves.)  In my opinion, unless it is expressly said that the company or theater you are working for are providing the tools you need, it is a sign of disrespect and laziness if you show up without tools.  And honestly, you should still bring your own wrench.

I’m having a hard time expressing how much I hate it when people show up without their own tools.  You’re an electrician.  And unless this is your first time at the rodeo, you know damn well that you need to bring a wrench.  I am so tired of having to loan out my wrench to people.  I really should not have to bring extra wrenches to gigs that I run.  (I only bring extras if I’m in charge.  Otherwise I try not to worry about it/get worked up about it.)  And don’t give me that nonsense about how you can’t afford to buy a wrench.  You know how much a wrench costs at the local hardware store? $10. Tops. And that’s for a really nice, solid, last a long time, wrench.  And you know how much most electricians in New York City make an hour? $18-$25.  So go, work for an hour, and then go out and buy a fucking wrench.  (You know I’m serious because I dropped the f-bomb, and I try not to drop said bomb in my writing.)

It says a lot about you as a person if you show up unprepared.  If I don’t know you, it gives off a terrible first impression.  It shows me that you just don’t care enough to take the time to make sure that you are prepared for the job you need to do.  And I know it’s not always fair, but first impressions are hard to shake.  And if I run into you again on another gig, I will expect less out of you and be able to rely on you less.  Oh and if you show up to the next gig unprepared then I will never want to work with you again.

I’m not completely unsympathetic.  If you show up without a wrench, but give me a good reason why you don’t have one I’m much more inclined to let it slide.  Maybe you broke your wrench on a job you had yesterday, and haven’t had time to go get a new one.  Maybe your grandpa just died and you’re a little preoccupied.  I understand that sometimes things happen.  But you really need to talk to me about it (this is assuming I’m in charge).  If you don’t–if you just show up without a wrench, and don’t  say anything about it, and then expect to borrow a wrench all day, then I won’t be happy about it.  And god help you if you show up day after day without a wrench.  Once is understandable.  Twice is forgivable.  Three times is unacceptable.

Now, how can we apply this to our favorite little pass-time?  How many people do you know that show up to raids unprepared?  How often do you show up without your own ‘tools’; buff food, flasks, scrolls, drums, etc.  I would even say having your gear properly gemmed and enchanted would fall into this same category.  Even if you can’t yet afford the top of the line stuff, you should have *something* to tide you over.  If you are always asking people for flasks, or never contributing your own fish feasts (even if your skill isn’t high enough, you can buy them from the AH), it shows a lack of respect for the people you are raiding with.  Basically you are telling them that you feel that your time and resources are too valuable to be wasted on them.

Stop behaving like this.

Even in the most casual of settings, you should have at least enough respect for your fellow players to show up with the minimum amount of supplies and knowledge to get the job done.  You should at least have some idea of what the fights are like.  Even if all you do is read the wow-wiki article it’s better than nothing.  If you aren’t contributing, then someone else has to pick up your slack.  And it’s just unfair to expect other people to do your job for you.

Bring your own tools. Find out what you need to contribute, and then do it.  Lay down a fish feast every once in a while.  Toss out a ‘scroll of fortitude’ or ‘drums of the wild’ now and again.  Everyone will benefit from this, I promise.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”


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