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Toolmonger photo pool member Tssparky posted this great image of Marketing at work. It’s a classic example of the dismal state of tool education in this country.  Here’s my guess on how this image came to be:

The call went out to a marketing department somewhere for a photo of “construction work” with a strong lad doing quality craftsmanship — something to inspire consumers to shell out for the installation package at the local big-box.

Not finding any appropriate stock art, they had to stage a photo shoot to get the picture on the banners. That means they had to find the guy — probably fresh off work in the latest Gap ad — and dig up a drill from who-knows-where in order to do the shoot.

The really funny part: clearly has this guy not only never used a drill before, but for some unfathomable reason he’s selected a hammer drill for use on soft wood. And, as Tssparky points out, the model isn’t even holding the drill correctly. If he hit something hard, it’d whack him in the ribs. It is impressive, however, that he’s able to install countertop without getting that cream-colored shirt dirty at all.

The sad thing is that as this photo traversed the approval process, no one knew the difference. Not one person looked at this picture at any point before it went out and said, “That looks wrong.” 

The end effect is funny, but I worry for the future.

Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]


18 Responses to Editorial: Funny .. And Not

  1. Tyrone says:

    Thanks to the guys for posting my image. This was taken at BJ’s in Fairfield, CT. They should have hired someone who looks like me – a guy out of shape with a gut perhaps, a beer on the side, and holding the hammer drill CORRECTLY.

  2. Fred says:

    I’ll bet there is enough material out there in the wild to make this a continuing series. Ya think?

  3. Tyrone — Friends don’t let friends Drink and Drill.

    I think you’re being a little to critical of the choice of a hammer drill. If I have a hammer drill close by, I’m going to pick it up and use it rather that go get another drill. Most hammer drills let you turn off the hammering action, hell even if it didn’t I probably still would us it if it was just for a hole or two.

    Maybe it’s the only drill the guy had. For someone who gets mad when people tell him that he needs a table saw to make bookcases, it might seem a little hypocritical.

    Not that I disagree with your point, but what is the actual problem? Is it that people in marketing have no clue about reality? Or is it that people don’t do things for themselves anymore — thus don’t know how to use tools? Complaining about the first is like sooting fish in a barrel. I’m not so sure about the second though, I keep reading in various home improvement magazines that more and more home-owners are becoming DIYers.

  4. Doug says:

    At least the model is wearing safety goggles — although they clash with his studiously haphazard tousled metrosexual hairstyle!

  5. l_bilyk says:

    At first i thought he was holding a jigsaw

  6. Tyrone says:

    Who has a hammer drill but no regular drill handy?

    I stay sober while working on my projects, no fear.

  7. I sometimes hold my cordless drill similar to the manner shown above. Then again, it doesn’t have an auxillary handle.

    Also, so what if one uses a hammer drill on wood? I have a limited budget and was in the market for a corded drill since my needs went beyond my cordless’s capabilities. I use masonry bits occasionally – enough that I could benefit from a hammer drill. Rather than spend my money on a low end hammer drill and a decent corded rotary drill, I sprung for a nice Bosch hammer drill that I now use more in rotary mode than hammer mode.

    Back to the point – I wouldn’t trust a contractor that gels his hair and wears a shirt like that to a job either.

  8. SuperJdynamite says:

    How can you be sure that it’s a hammer drill instead of a drill with a handle, like this one, or this one, or this one?

    Maybe he’s just starting the hole and trying to keep everything steady and square?

  9. Trevor Dyck says:

    I, unlike all these party poopers, do see the humor in it… which I’m pretty sure was the whole point of the user submitted photo and posting 😉

    “studiously haphazard tousled metrosexual hairstyle!”

    Hahahaha, nice.

  10. Phil says:

    Simply change the ad copy and you have a pictorial ad for Abercrombie and Fitch for selling $40 tee shirts to design school dropouts looking to butch up their image.

  11. mike says:

    I saw the same ad in the line at the Manchester CT Bjs. I too laughed when i saw it. No-one is that clean or holds a drill that akwardly.

  12. James B says:

    Man, you guys are tough on the ad department. I mean what guy doesn’t shave his arms? And the safety message is strong: that drill could splash dangerous chemicals in his eyes, so he really needs those chemical splash goggles.

  13. Those aren’t chemical goggles since they’re likely the uber cheapo version that have direct venting around the frame. 🙂

  14. Zathrus says:

    Stuart – I have two pair of “chemical goggles” as required for college-level courses that look just like that. And have the venting you describe as well.

    The point isn’t to keep vapors away; just to keep chemical splashes from hitting your eyes (and the vents will still prevent that).

  15. Teacher says:

    “Man, you guys are tough on the ad department. I mean what guy doesn’t shave his arms? And the safety message is strong: that drill could splash dangerous chemicals in his eyes, so he really needs those chemical splash goggles. ”


    I’ve used my hammer drill in regular drill mode a few times, but still, the guy in the pic looks as out of place as the Dolphins in the Superbowl.

  16. Zathrus, there is a huge difference between chemical goggles and cheapo safety goggles. I received a freebie pair of safety goggles from Estwing the other day that look like the yellowed cheapo pair my father still uses. I also have chemical lab goggles and general purpose goggles.

    From a distance, the two types can look identical. I’m assuming that the model above isn’t wearing chemical goggles since it is just more likely they are regular goggles.

    Anyways, chemical goggles must have “indirect venting” such that, as you mentioned, the user is protected from splashes at all angles. Cheapo impact protection goggles, on the other had, have direct vents and holes aroud the perimeter of the goggle shell. If there is a chemical accident, liquid can splasy up into the goggles, or find their way to your face via direct vents on top and around the goggle.

    It is alright to wear chemical goggles in a regular shop environment, but not okay to wear regular shop safety goggles in a chemical environment.

    Lastly, I trust that you would know the difference between the two types of gogglesby visual inspection, but I felt that it would be beneficial to describe the differences for anyone else who may happen across these comments.

  17. Steve says:

    Lack of tool-skills (or a general lack/decrease of people in the skilled trades) just creates job security for those with the skills.

    That means many toolmongers will have good side-jobs for their retirement.

    It also means that people will inevitably start going into the trades when the market shifts to correct itself.

  18. Brad Justinen says:


    Someone fire that photographer!

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