The Difference Between Making it Work and Doing it Right

For years my dad reminded me that if I took one of the tools from his workbench it was critical I returned it. Through my grade school years, I was notorious for taking a wrench or socket from dad's toolbox, using it to fix my bicycle, and leaving them strewn across the garage floor as I rode off with my buddies. It wasn't until I became a father, and watched my son exhibit the same behavior, that I realized why he was so insistent on me returning the tools.

Why did it matter so much to him, and now to me?

It mattered because even though I addressed my immediate problem, straightening the handlebars on my bike, I had inadvertently created a new problem for someone else. A sneaky one that would avoid detection until the next person needed the 3/4" spanner to fix something else, or I needed to fix my bike again. By not putting the tool back where it belonged, I hadn't finished the job. And an unfinished job is not a job done right.

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Mar 23, 2022