It does seem generally that most are agreed that it is too much of a risk to loan out the personal tools you either use in the every day of life or the ones you have grown to rely on to put food on the table. I have never had the luxury of having tools but for any other reason than to work and earn with. I don’t own any hobby tools. As a boy with a father and mother forming character in their children, I was taught to respect the tools people used. My mother, a time-served seamstress dressmaker, relied on her scissors and thimbles, unpickers, sewing machines and other sewing paraphernalia. From just a few years old she taught me that tools had their place and should always be returned so that they could be found there. She was an orderly working woman with no frills about her but she was kind and showed me how to organise things. My father too was an highly organised man and kept everything in place. Between him and two close friends I knew of, he shared belongings and always returned them clean and sharp. That’s who I learned from the most. When I started work, in those days you left school at 15 and started working at 15, it was simple enough. On Friday I left school as a boy, on Monday morning I started work as a man. I was still 15. Because of what my parents taught me I knew without telling to put tools away, sweep the floor and take care of the men’s tools and equipment. There was never any argument from me.
What I read in some of the responses over the past few days is that it is sort of, well, tolerant or something to loan out tools to someone you know will not return them. That it is somehow OK not to expect something to be returned. That is it is sort of OK to foster bad character in co workers, friends and relatives as somehow being the higher moral ground. Expect disrespect and not to get returned what you loan out and certainly don’t expect it to be returned in decent condition. I might ask why would that be? Where did such a thing come from and how does that help the one stealing the tool by taking ownership of it from the rightful owner? Just asking.
Young men who apprenticed with me never got a second look in if they failed to return a tool to its rightful owner in a timely order.Not unless there was indeed genuine remorse that is. It was the same with borrowed money or whatever. This, believe it or not, was how men built character in the tardy and irresponsible. It worked. Over a number of months everyone failed by their parents to build moral character in their children received what was missing from the men who cared enough for them in work to help them make it to adulthood.
So there we are again. It isn’t really a question of being mean spirited about helping someone out. I think a good thing that has come out of this is to have a second set of tools you wouldn’t mind losing or seeing damaged if that happened. Personal tools like personal fountain pens and a seamstresses’ scissors are not for the loaning. Thanks everyone for your input here. It did prove quite interesting in the end. As the sign on the mechanics shop wall said, “Don’t ask to borrow my tools as a refusal often offends!”