The Use of Tools — or — Things I Can Do That Monkey Audrey Can’t

The use of tools is what separates humans from animals. 

Well … most animals. Primates, otters, crows, and octopuses have all been known to use rudimentary tools. But human animals have moved beyond using a rock to crack open a shellfish or wiping its rear with a leaf. Well … most humans. 

When I think of “tools,” my mind goes straight to the red toolbox I keep in my closet. It contains a hammer, a few screwdrivers, and some channel locks I use to open stubborn paint tubes. But from the simple fork all the way up to these mini computers we call “phones,” we all use many, many different “tools” each and every day. 

And that has never been more evident that when I was sent to work from home. I had to quickly learn to use some tools to make it work. How to log into a Zoom meeting. How to host one. How to connect Zoom to Facebook Live. How to edit video and post it to YouTube. How to connect to my desktop through the VPN. How to host a virtual fundraising event. 

(Monkey Audrey is still digging for grubs with a sharp stick. I learned to use Waitr to get sushi delivered to my house.)

The only thing that’s defeated me is Twitch, which is a live streaming service. And in all honesty, I could probably figure it out, but I had a hard deadline and a million other things to do for this particular project. So Twitch didn’t actually defeat me. Time was my enemy. And I let myself be defeated. Discouraged. Frankly, I despaired. 

(The ability to alliterate separates me from Monkey Audrey too.)

But I used another trait that Monkey Audrey doesn’t have to solve the problem — speech. I reached out to a colleague who I reasoned (another trait! Poor Monkey Audrey…) would be able to use Twitch and help me pull the project off. And you know what? I was right! 

(Is Monkey Audrey this smug? Can she pat herself on the back? Give herself an air high five? Or is that just me?)

All kidding aside, though, the twelfth lesson(s) I’ve learned in 2020 is how to use the tools I need to do my job and lots of other things too! And I learned that if I can’t figure something out, to swallow my pride and ask for help. Maybe that’s another trait that poor Monkey Audrey doesn’t have either — the ability to ask for help. But she’s probably not bothered by pride either. 

Maybe I should try to be more like Monkey Audrey.

(This year for #BlogLikeCrazy, I’m talking about 30 lessons I’ve learned in 2020. Read the other entries here).

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