Lessons Learned The Hard Way: Take Care Of Your Equipment

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Heeheehee. I said “equipment”.

I am Cornholio.  I must have TP for my bunghole!

I just finished watching Beavis and Butt-head Do America. Therefore my mind currently resides in a dark place.

If you want to score you have to take care of your equipment. When scoring time comes (I said “comes”) you can only score if your equipment is in top notch condition.

Let’s start this story back in the olden days when everybody had to walk uphill to get to everything. When I was in the military we had a saying. “If you take care of your equipment your equipment will take care of you.”

Upon returning from a two week field training exercise first thing everyone wanted to do was eat some real food and get drunk. Instead the first thing we did was clean, inspect and properly store all of our equipment.

Anything that was broken was tagged for repair. Our weapons were completely stripped down. I said “stripped”. Weapons were cleaned, oiled, reassembled, function checked and turned into the Armory. All other equipment was cleaned and stored properly. Then we got to take a shower and leave the base for food and booze. Usually followed by a visit to a strip club.

I said “stripped” again. I’m totally gonna score!

As an infantry soldier I relied on my M203 40mm grenade launcher and M16 rifle to keep me alive in a combat situation. If those weapons failed I could lose my life. Thus it was critical for both of them to be in nearest perfect condition possible.

If your weapon is not well-maintained it may jam or fail when you most need it. And warfare is just like sex. If your weapon fails so do you.

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This is a lesson I have brought with me back to the civilian world. Whatever equipment you have, especially if it’s equipment you rely upon for something very important, is equipment you have to maintain. Otherwise it’s going to fail when you need it and it’s going to cost you in more than one way.

Here’s the specific incident that inspired this edition of Lessons Learned The Hard Way.

At one of my multitudes of jobs we have a company vehicle to transport both people and equipment from one place to another. The company vehicle developed an oil leak. People at the company bitched and complained about it. People at the company told other people at the company about it. People at the company ignored the fact that the oil leak had to be fixed. People at the company said “not my job.” People at the company chose to look the other way.

There was an all around failure to maintain the equipment. Not surprisingly the equipment failed.

You may not know this but if you drive a vehicle without having oil in the engine the engine will burn up in the vehicle will become inoperable. That’s why you have to put oil into the engine.

At this point I know many readers are saying “Why do I have to put oil in my car’s engine? Didn’t it have oil in the engine when I bought it?”

Yes it did. And soon you will be learning a lesson the hard way.

The fact that the company truck is now dead is costing much more money than it would have had the company truck simply been maintained.

Had the vehicle been taken to a mechanic before the engine burned up and during a time when we did not need the vehicle for company purposes the financial damage would have been much less.

Instead of having an oil leak fixed it’s a destroyed engine that must be fixed. On top of that the truck is out of commission during a time when we need it for business activities. Therefore we have to rent a truck to replace the company truck. And pay people to go pick up the truck that has to be rented.

All of this because no one could be bothered to take care of the equipment on a regular and ongoing basis. No one could take initiative or responsibility. And I know those are both dirty words to a great number of you.

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Whoever you are and whatever you do take a moment and think about the equipment you use each day in your life that allows you to do the things you want to do and you need to do. It might be your bicycle, your computer, your guitar, your rifle, your woodworking tools, or even your penis. Do you perform regular maintenance on that equipment? Do you take the time to clean and inspect and function check that equipment?

If you don’t there may come a day when you need your equipment and it is not there for you. It might cost you money. It might cost you opportunity. It might even cost you your life. If you take care of your equipment your equipment will take care of you.

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