I Know My Tools

I describe myself as a technologist sometimes when I’m explaining what I do for a living. The other day, someone asked what this means and I was reminded of something that my old boss said to me once.

I was trying to solve some problem with our software and kept coming up empty. As a last resort, I asked her for help and she went back to her desk for a few minutes. When she returned, she’d solved the problem.

“How did you do that?” I asked.

She smiled and said, “I know my tools.”

I think about this all the time. To me, being a technologist is being a master of tools. It’s knowing which one to use at which time.

It’s the way I felt about my endodontist during a recent root canal… he knew what every single instrument did, and was quicker with the tools than most endodontists I had encountered. I felt safe in his office and it because he was a good technologists.

Or another time when a locksmith next door helped my friend with the lock on his back door. He was quick and efficient. I complimented his work, and he shrugged described it as “ape’s work…” but I believe he just knew his tools.

Whenever you feel inadequate, or inefficient, it’s possible that you just have some more to learn about your tools.