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Of Course, He Would Like to Make Marbles

I spent my summer holiday with my parents in Wisconsin. I enjoyed myself.

My stepfather is great but he and I are absolutely nothing alike. Opposites in fact. We don’t agree on food, news channels or political parties. We have different sentiments about the role of government, health care, and car brands. This often puts us on opposing sides of discussions around the dinner table, yet in the end, it’s all a wash. It is because we have at least one powerful connecting point, his garage.

My stepfather is a tinkerer. After retirement, he expanded his garage to have space for his hobbies. There’s all sorts of stuff in there–wood filler, glass, spray paint, stain, sandpaper, brushes, cement, knobs and doohickeys, molds, clamps, bits and parts and vice grips. He even has an old air compressor. This is the space where he and I get along best. I have a lot of fun there, even if I don’t know what I’m doing, which is often. When I go there, I only need to have an idea. Chances are I find the rest in that room.

Many of my family members go to the cottage to work on projects. In his space, you are responsible for your project, but he will help you. He typically has all sorts of a doodads you didn’t know about that will make your project look better. Basically, you lead but he mentors.

This brings me to the title of this story. While on my recent visit, his friend Tom came over. I like Tom. He’s also retired. Tom stopped by to show him some marbles he’d recently purchased. Tom wanted to know if my stepfather had the equipment to make marbles. (Well of course, he did).

Tom’s wife asks my mother if she thought my stepfather would like to make marbles, and my mom replied, “Well, of course, he would like to make marbles”. This made me laugh out loud and I immediately wrote down the expression because it drove home a point.

In another week or two, there will be fresh marbles.

I am not a recruiter by trade, but I want to give some advice to people who are… when you find these types of people, the ones that enjoy trying new things, who aren’t flustered when something doesn’t work and like sharing a work experience with others, HIRE them.

I see time and time again that there is an over-emphasis on fitting to certain molds; to gravitate toward compliant people in the recruiting process. When you do that every time, you end up with a workforce who can’t adapt when their documents won’t print, or the internet is down. If you hire people who have ingenuity, who have a natural ability to make things, we all achieve so much more.

And no, I didn’t stay around for the marble-making project. I’ll settle for pictures.


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