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Use the Tools You Have | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Use the Tools You Have

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This is a blog about cooking, but it applies to computers. 

My 2 babysitters growing up were old lady cooks. One made divinity to die for. She insisted on the most expensive brand name products when she cooked and would accept nothing less. 

The other took whatever she had and made a feast of it. If you gave her a can of corn, a dead possum, flour, and an open fire, she would have made a feast fit for a king. She used what she had. 

I help cater for 4-H fundraisers and sometimes cook on the go in church kitchens. We bring in our own cooking utensils and make good food with whatever their kitchen holds. It could be a state of the art oven or an old one that takes 45 minutes to bring to temp. Whatever they have, we make it work. 

The same applies to business technology. Businesses cannot always afford the flavor of the month latest available tool. Their employees work with what they have. It’s like science fiction movies where the mechanic makes the old junker spaceship work. 

Whatever the field – be it food preparation or computer technology – equipment and ingredients are the tools. A talented mechanic takes the tools at hand and makes a great product. 

As a computer instructor, I’ve walked onsite into unusual setups. Once a client had me give a class onsite. I didn’t know till I got there that their training “lab” had machines running Office 95, 97, and 2000.  Yet I was expected  to train 10 employees on Word, Excel, and Access, with students on all 3 systems at the same time. The employees were each running different versions and desperately needed my help. 

We made it work. It was not easy. Every step of every exercise often meant 3 separate sets of instructions as the software had different sequences. 

It would be wonderful if we all had the latest and greatest. I would love to one day cook in a dream kitchen too. 

Untalented cooks can make dinner in a dream kitchen with perfect ingredients and still create a disaster. Ditto for people with computers. 

It’s training, talent, and experience that often make the difference between a flop and a banquet. 

Go for the best you can afford. Update when possible. Look for free alternatives. Make the most of what you have. 

Don’t apologize for your tools.

2 Responses to “Use the Tools You Have”

  1. Jacob Yount February 1, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    If you’re not faithful with the least of these tools, how can you be faithful with that, that is much?

    Many times, folks want to hold out for the better tools or even situations. Avoid being the person that gives 50 reasons on why, “if they had _ then they could do _ “. But like you said above, Mary, some cooks, some computer whizzes, some “whatever the career” can have all they need and still mess it up.

    We all could use the MacGyver attitude, where we think, “whatever you give me, I’ll make it work”.

    Great reminder and post!

    • Cindy March 9, 2017 at 1:06 am #

      You get a lot of respect from me for writing these helpful areltics.

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