As an adult I have something like 3 flaws (with a factor of 9 attached to them). Among that had been being the least mechanically inclined human being I knew. Words like “wrench” and “phillips head screwdriver” were these abstract constructs to me. Embarrassing as it is I had never used a drill, never fixed anything, never even assembled an IKEA dresser (successfully or without it swaying like a makeshift skyscraper in a hurricane). Frankly, I was embarrassed and ashamed (I stole that line from Tony Soprano). The idea of fixing anything on my own was sort of a “why wouldn’t I get someone to do that for me?” ideology.
This past summer I made the decision to take a break from New York City and move to Portland, Maine. There were several factors involved and at that time it was the right thing for me to do. Part of this decision was based in the opportunity to work at the family business which is…………working with fitness equipment. Buying it. Selling it. AND. FIXING IT. Suddenly, I went from white collar marketing guy to a jack of all trades. Which is great. I still get to do marketing, I get to work on operations, and I also……fix things. My first month on the job was 100% learning time.
Here are a few things I have learned:
- If something isn’t working there are two important questions to ask: is it plugged in? Is it turned on? You would be shocked at how much money there is to be made by plugging in treadmills. SHOCKED.
- Sweat won’t kill you. Not your sweat. Other people’s.
- Cumberland Farms has 99 cent any sized coffee.
- Do not get your hand stuck between a treadmill’s belt and the rear roller. Not sure if I have ever been in so much pain. I am glad to have my finger.
- Treadmills are heavy. Carrying one of those things up or down a flight of stairs sucks.
- Tip the guys who deliver a treadmill to your house. Seriously, don’t be a dick. Or movers, or anyone doing manual labor for you. If you give a bartender $5 to pour you a couple of 6 ounce martini’s you should probably snag a twenty spot for the dudes hauling a 500 pound piece of machinery up your spiral staircase all while not knocking the lovely family photos of you and your family at your second home in Martha’s Vineyard.
- Going to the gym for personal use is really not my #1 option after spending the majority of my day working in them.
- I have yet to see a Lunk alarm go off.
If nothing else, I am challenged by new problems each day that make me think much differently than I ever had to working in finance or marketing. Though maybe it isn’t my long term career path, challenging myself in a new way has been incredibly enlightening and has filled me to the brim with empathy and admiration for people who can fix shit.