A post on the Creative Bead Chat Group on Facebook recently got me to thinking about women in the "Tool World." You see I just happen to work in that world and it truly is a different kind place. I am the Merchandising Manager at Harbor Freight Tools in my hometown.
I have worked there almost a year now and I wanted to share a few things I have learned. One thing I wanted to point out is that it really is a "Man's World." The majority of our customers are men and sadly most of them still believe that a woman is not going to know anything about tools! I have even had several male customers ask me outright if there was a man they could talk to!
I have to admit I knew almost nothing about tools when I started and while I have learned a lot I still have a long way to go. One of the things that I would most like to point out is the "Tool Culture." I know what you are thinking, "How can tools have a culture?" But they do! Tools have several different names for example. Or Tool Slang as I like to call it. For example this is a Shop Crane:
|2 Ton Foldable Shop Crane|
I have recently been expanding the list of tools that I want to purchase because I want to try my hand at metalworking in jewelry thanks to inspiration from Melinda Orr. So I have been slowly adding things to my tools like tin snips and sanding blocks and steel wool. And don't forget the trusty Ball Pein Hammer lol!
I am finding that in the tool world it is a very intimidating place sometimes for women. I have seen women ask male employees for help and watched the males attitude really become condescending. It seems to me from my experience that when it comes to tools a woman would still rather have a man help them if they are not very comfortable in what they are talking about. Which really surprises me! So it is not just the men that have that sexist attitude towards women in tools but also women as well!
Now do not get me wrong, not all men, or women for that matter, have that kind of attitude regarding women and tools but it does happen more often than not. On the other hand I really get a kick out of it when a man asks me for an item and he thinks I am going to be clueless and I happen to know more about that item than he does. So I guess I am helping to change the culture of tools, one man at a time. Ha!
Oh and for you folks that want to know about the quality of HFT Tools......
Well to be honest you win some (more often than not) and you lose some but the prices cannot be beat. The employees there will always be happy to give you their opinion on the product before you buy it. And we do have a very liberal return policy as long as you have a receipt (90 Days). We also offer replacement (covers everything but loss or theft) plans on most items that extend that up to two years! And yes pretty much everything we carry is made in China, which I have to admit I am not crazy about but it does seem to be the norm these days :( Oh and please for no reason what-so-ever should you ever purchase anything from HFT without one of these babies:
|It works on Sale prices too!|
Which you can find almost anywhere on the web including the Digital Savings Page on HFT's Facebook Page! These coupons change every month and always check your expiration date on them!
So to wrap this up, one thing to keep in mind is that some people will always be more knowledgeable about certain types of tools than others regardless of sex. For example if you ask me about what tools are needed to work on cars....well.....I am pretty clueless on that. However just from learning from our customers if you ask me about a fork you need for your Tie Rods than I am going to know that you need one of these:
I just may not know how to use it! So if you go tool shopping just tell the salesperson what you are wanting to do and if that person cannot help you just ask if someone is there that is more knowledgeable about what you are looking for! Do not allow all the different tools to overwhelm you! Remember Knowledge is Power!
I do love my job! I do like working in what most consider a "Man's World." I want to put a footnote in saying I do not know what HFT's policy is regarding using the images (copyright) from their website or my opinions on it. But I DO NOT want to lose my job over this post lol. Thanks so much for joining me on this post. I hope you are able to take away something from it. And if you ever have any questions about tools know that I am here to help!
Peace and <3
P.S. Lori Anderson's wonderful ebook about blogging called "Follow the Path" really helped me with this post! So Thank You Lori!