Years ago I took a job at the local Monkey Ward’s putting together sporting goods equipment. To be accurate, I was bequeathed the job by my friend, who was moving. He showed me how to work the shop, which of the staff to avoid, and the best spot to burn a quick hitter on your break. We were model employees. There really isn’t much memorable about a part-time retail job like that, which paid the minimum wage possible, but it was still part of a journey.
You collect a fair amount of mechanical skill when, left on your own, you have to figure out how to assemble three hundred plus metal bits into a serviceable garden shed. There were also many bikes to assemble every day, for folks largely uninterested in the fine art of building things.
As time passed, there were so many times things had to be put into some kind of mechanical order that I became a goto guy for these kinds of projects. Building household goods is much easier when you actually read the instructions, check your parts list, and allow yourself time and space to do it.
We live in an age of manufactured space, flat-pack furniture, and custom 3D printed and CAD rendered objects. But to make it all work we still need that pimple-faced inattentive dreamer in the back room to put it all together. Good job bicycle repair man, and thanks for the ride.