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How do you handle people touching your tools.

I have a friend who was always coming over and using my shop/lift/tools/supplies.

One day I happened to be at his house, in his meager 2 car garage, and noticed in his toolbox were several of my tools that I hadn't noticed around my shop in some time. Hmmm. I loaded them up in my pockets, didn't say a word to him. Luckily, I knew I was moving soon so that problem fixed itself.

Another friend went to work for his son's masonry business....a successful business doing high end stone and brick work...no residential, only large buildings. As is the case in most of Texas, his crew was almost entirely made of citizens who were born in Mexico but as a result of the rights granted them by the US Constitution had entered our country without all they documents and had every right to be here and receive benefits.

So anyway....he quickly noticed his tools were vanishing. I mean, he would 50 feet walk to the truck to get a drawing and when he came back his tape measure - with his name on it - was gone. As it turns out, he learned that amongst the American-Mexican peoples, if you left anything of yours out of your possession, it was considered perfectly OK for someone else to take it - after all, you had left it behind. This was not stealing, to them, but rather fair game.
 
I came to this problem early in life, at age 16 or so. My Mother managed to break my folding GI trenching tool by forcing it open by putting her foot on one side and pulling up with her whole body, not understanding that you had to unscrew that prominent locking collar.

Rothco Folding Shovel

This was the last straw. I locked all my toolboxes, despite all her complaints. My Father stayed out of it.
 
I wouldn't look to management or communication to solve this issue. That's policy and training, I don't see that solving anything long term. This is going to require an "engineering control", think guard rail or benches with arm rests to keep bums from sleeping on them.
Figure out a more convenient way to lock your box or get a new box that is convenient to lock or learn to live with it or get a new job.
The work bench issue is easier, make some bench covers from plywood with handles, same size as the bench. Think big dinner trays just no sides. Use this large tray as your work surface. When you find your surface has been disrespected just lift the tray and all the offending material and place it in the other work room on the community worksurface. Viola' your work bench is clear. You could dump the offending material onto the other surface, ground or garbage can as needed.
 
My boss is very aware I will not buy any tools. His profits, his expenses. He is buying my labor and nothing else.
 
I think a lot of this is an issue of morals and property rights in society. Many are hypocrites and would rather be able to have right's over things that are not theirs, but don't want people touching THEIR stuff. If someone makes a stink about you using something, they're just getting in the way of you doing your job, and in their view your snobbery over who is using the tools benefits only yourself. Tools that are missing? Broken?..... well that's someone else's fault. Let's point the finger over there now..... You can't pick and choose responsibility, like owning a dog when it's cute and fluffy, but it's someone else's when it needs to be fed.

If you (as a person or company) have ownership over something, it is your right and responsibility to see that it is cared for. If you own your stuff for your own use, then it doesn't matter who wants or even needs it. It is not your responsibility to share. If you own it expecting to share with others, then it's your responsibility to see that those who borrow stuff are caring for it and bringing it back, because if they don't then everyone else who needs to use the stuff can't anymore. If something is "communal" (or IOW everyone has free range over it with no oversite), there is no mechanism to keep the idiots and pilferers from ruining it for everyone else. "But they're only tools!" Exactly. Buy your own or work for a company that provides everything, but don't step on abuse your fellow man's responsibilities for your own gain.

If you use your own tools or company tools at work, either way can work, but it's a question of who bears the responsibility of organization, dispersal, upgrades, repairs, and replacement. If a company hired you so that the other employees can use your tools, it would be dishonest for them not to be compensating you for losses and damages from that arrangement.
 
On the subject of tool boxes Im from the keep it locked camp.
A while back a co-worker said leave a five dollar bill and a screw driver on a table in the lunch room. The money will get turned in and the screwdriver will grow legs and walk off.
The money means something to the average joe... they have to put out a defined amount of effort to earn $5
A screwdriver on the other hand is just a thing with no monetary value.
 
When I was studying clockmaking, each student had their own bench with lockable cabinets underneath. The tutor used to nag us about keeping our benches clean and mine was front near the tutor's bench, so anything left on my bench was "cleaned up" into my cabinet. Got some nice stuff that way.
 
A lot depends on the shop you’re working at. One place I worked at everybody left their boxes open and their tools out on the bench. All the time. Nothing ever went missing. A big place with about 700 employees.
I had one of those die cast drill stands 1/16” to 1/2”. It was always full of drills and just left at the side of my toolbox, none ever went missing.

When I changed jobs I put the drill stand out next to my box. Every morning I’d come in and 1 or 2 drills would be missing. After the first week I locked the drill stand away. No so big a place with about 150 employees.

Regards Tyrone
 
This is the exact reason I don't allow outside tools in the shop. Everyone better treat the tools the right way because I own them all.

I would take my personal tools home and have them buy what you need.

The idea that a machinist should supply their own tools has never made sense to me, especially in this day and age.
 
I had a coworker a long time ago that used to borrow and loan tools from and to his next door neighbor. Garage space being at a premium, their rule was that if you borrowed it you had to keep it until the owner wanted it back.
 
By the time I was working for the sandblasters ,all my tools were over 30 years old,all the chrome worn off ,and pretty well used.............and well greased up too.
 
I honestly think they are autistic or something. You know the type.

Question is how would you handle it.

1) xxx xxxx xxx xxxx **
2) stop being a crybaby, they borrow a tool once in a while, bfd.
3) don't like it? leave. (May not be better anywhere else.)
4) Buy a second set of Harbor Freight tools your fellow workers can use.
5) whatever aggravations do you have working there? This can't be the only one.
6) learn how to get along. It just makes life easier.
7) get an ak47 and show them how you really feel (the american way)
8) get some counselling
9) don't forget to take your meds (you can tell when I forget to make mine)
10) go to a strip club, get a lap dance.
11) probably 10 other things I've forgotten (none likely not very usefull)

** edited to avoid offending anybody who's easily offended, and to avoid another pm from mods
 
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