It’s a professional unless he or she is one of these. These are the people who turn a desk into a living room on a dime.” I asked Paul, who also runs a business that deals entirely online with woodworkers. “I’m a woodworker.” he said. Now we were at that point, at a standstill. What about the woodworker whom I had first mentioned to the writer? He was not a professional woodworker. The woodworker was a freelance writer who made it to the bottom and was looking for one more big opportunity. After asking the freelance writer, he turned back to me. “Can you buy me a good woodworking kit?” he entreated.
“I’m really sorry, I don’t know how much it’s going to cost,” I told him. He smiled, and then he said, “I’m going to work my ass off. So you’re getting me a wooden hand saw, and a couple of tables.” He took a box of sawdust and made his case out. I thought he was being modest, but he was really, really, genuinely helpful. Paul seemed to value what he called my expertise, I think. “I have a wood working kit,” the freelance writer said to Paul. “It should be a full set of hand tools; a pair of chisels, a circular saw, a set of chisels, an assortment of sanding planes.” He had asked for chisels. I handed her the money to pay for the kits and she was looking down her nose. “I don’t have any chisels. I don’t know how to chop wood, and this is all an experiment.”
What an idiot. So, my first instinct was to point out that what she had been offered to sell was a box of inexpensive tools—chisels, chisels, chisels, and sanding planes. I asked Paul, “Did you see that she was trying to sell you not a set of chisels, but a set of “hand tools”—and she didn’t have any. I asked her if that’s the best you could do? He told me, “You’re just making assumptions.” No, she was just asking for people she knew who had a set of chisels. What about the other people she wanted to make a deal with? He wanted what was in the box. “You’re not asking for a set of chisels. Are you asking for a
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