For some reason one of the bureaucrat expressions that seems to be increasingly popular generally contains some reference to a “toolbox”. This expression is probably one of my least favourite* because it feels meaningless; it’s become a catch all phrase that is a crutch for people to feel like they’ve reached a solution:
- “We need to develop a toolbox so that when the stock reaches the lower reference point we have a suite of tools available in the toolbox to appropriately respond.”
- “We need to make sure there is a toolbox of applicable actions to deal with the situation.”
- “We are developing a toolbox to address the situation and it will be available online.”
- “Was a toolbox meeting held?”
- “We should look in the toolbox and see if there is a screwdriver”**
Perhaps a toolbox makes sense to some people but really I think what we need to develop is a knitting bag. I mean think about it: a knitting bag can deal with just about any situation and is so much easier to carry.
- You need to know if you’ve reached the random measurement – grab your measuring tape (assuming you can find it).
- You need to remember where you are – grab a stitch marker.
- You’ve fallen below the lower reference point – grab a crochet hook and pull that stitch back up there.
- Not sure if your solution is the right size – grab your knitting needle gauge and see where it fits.
I’m sure similar things could be said about toolboxes; they will likely contain a measuring tape more frequently than my knitting bag does. I understand the functionality of a hammer and saw though wrenches are still a bit beyond my capacity. I’m sure there’s rationale of why there are so many freaking different kinds of screwdrivers that makes sense in someone’s world. I tell myself it’s like different kinds of needles though I remain skeptical. And while I will never dispute the multi-purpose functionality of a roll of duct tape, I truly believe that overall the tools in my knitting bag will be more applicable than those in any toolbox, real or metaphorical.
Now to convince fishermen…
* “Low hanging fruit” remains my all-time least favourite.
** That last one may have been me trying to fix a scrapbook.