The Wrong Tool

In a discussion with a colleague yesterday I decried the inefficiency of improper tool use.  I don’t mean using a tool improperly, I mean not using the proper tool for a given task.  We were talking about software, but this analogy popped into my head:

“You can use a hammer to pound in a screw,” I said.  “It may take a few extra whacks, but a hammer will drive a screw just fine.”

True enough!  It will work.  But it’s not the best tool for the job.  Many people use the wrong tool out of basic ignorance.  They simply don’t know any better.  What they have works and they have no incentive to wonder if there’s a better way.  But I frequently encounter people who, when faced with a screw gun, view it not with wonder and gratitude, but with fear and indignation regardless of its potential to ultimately make things easier for them.

And then I remembered the sign that used to hang in a former Facilities Director’s office:

People Would Rather Live With A Problem They Cannot Solve Than Accept A Solution They Cannot Understand

“This…is wrong tool!”