Poll: How good are your manual or practical skills?

My manual or practical skills are very poor. I struggle when it comes to fixing things or putting things together/DIY etc.

  • very good
  • good
  • average
  • poor
  • very poor
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I’ve always scored well on intelligence tests, but I am very poor at practical skills. At fast food jobs I get fired pretty quickly because I am too slow. I work as fast as I can, but I’m too slow.

My practical skills used to be very poor but now after so many years of doing house chore I have average practical skills. I become quicker when doing cooking , cleaning and repairing.

I said average. I may be selling myself short on this one though. I know that I’ve often found my father struggling to fix or assemble something only for me to come along and see the problem immediately. If you knew what my father does for a living you’d see the humor in this too.

But there are certainly limits to my practical skills too…

My job is very manual labor. So I think I’m very good at that. But the day to day task that keep a house from looking trashed… not so good at it.

I think… average. I can cook basic meals and I can sew basic clothes or do alterations. And then there is housework, like sweeping and cleaning which is simple enough. But I am poor at DIY tasks and can’t maintain a garden well, as much as I would like to. And of course I drive, but I’m average there, too, not too slow or too fast.

I with enough patience can assemble something not too complicated. I cannot fix a car or do electrical work. I did own a house once and did some simple plumbing took me hours but I got it done. I am a horrible wall painter, I get it on the ceiling and the floor. But I can cook and clean.

LOL…I can build a house, landscape, design things… but keeping a house clean is another story! I can get overwhelmed by trash and clutter very easily.

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I do OK at work. When I was working at Sears we had a cardboard “baler”. We opened a lot of boxes and threw the empty cardboard into the baler and pressed a button which compacted the cardboard extremely tightly.and when it got full, you did some stuff to get a 150 lb bale of cardboard held together by thin wire.Anyway, it was very tricky and it was easy to make mistakes and waste time doing it just right. I did it right most of the time, but if you blew it even a little you ended up with a bunch of cardboard strewn about that could take 45 minutes to clean up. I also taught myself to drive our forklift at this same job by watching my co-workers. It was actually fun but it was tricky too. When we unloaded 52’ truck trailers we drove the forklift onto the truck itself because the people who loaded it always put the big stuff in the very back. That’s where we had pallets of gas grills, lawn mowers, Big screen TV’s, massive tool chests etc. I got pretty good with the forklift.
I have also assembled various things. My latest was a set of shelves I bought off of I also assembled my rocking chair. And fixed it when it broke with an electric drill and screws and a bracket. I was proud of that one. I’m not super good at practical things but I can pass at my jobs. At my park ranger job I had to change the tire on the company truck a couple times. It was a little difficult. I also used a gasoline powered weed whacker, James might know about that a little. They also gave us a crash course on how to fight fires if one started in the parks. We had a 50 gallon tank of water in the bed of the truck with a hose coming out of it which sprayed the water. I only had to use it once on an outdoor grill that some picnic goers had left burning at night.

mine are quite good, but I tend to avoid such tasks. Like setting up a LAN party, which is when you put two xboxes together on two tv’s and play a game together, I did that without any trouble, but I can’t think of anything else like that recently. I mean I drive and keep organized better than most normal people.

I dislike mechanical stuff. I let the people at the shop and jiffy lube fool with my car. I dont have a clue how that thing works. I loved legos when I was a kid though.

But yeah I think my practical skills are fine- I can figure things out, like computer crap, but I am not a computer wizard and I have zero knowledge of code.

I love legos even as an adult…brilliant little bricks those legos.

I know that if I don’t practice my skills they are easily forgotten over the years…like when I was living on a community farm I was regularly doing metal work/ARC welding, doing the more basic repairs on trucks and tractors, carpentry, construction, all manner of repair work really, maple syrup production, milk processing etc…

I guess my point is if I were to try to do most of those things today I’d find that the skills I’d picked up probably went out the window long ago. Some things might come back to me such as the welding but without regular practice I tend to forget most of what I picked up.

My father has brilliant mechanical aptitude but personality is ugly…He can build a house, car, computer but only treats the dog or cat okay. Mother is run ragged working like a robot and dealing with all the projects. She has the personality though but major OCD-control freak while raising us. Sister and I raised ourselves in school that only used book instruction without parental interest…Sister is pretty one so she ended up socialized and gave up on rest…dingalingy but trainable to work. (I try to take care of my own needs 100% and not make things worse for Mother but no way I can satisfy her OCD drive on lots…Dad won’t let me take care of lots of things. It won’t do.)

*I’ve eaten a lot of homemade gruel my parents like but what I cook is ‘s–t’…I can cook something healthy equivalent to restaurant quality.
*Got to wear homemade ‘fashion emergency collection’ as kid but I can sew hems and repairs. This is nice as I’m short and shop places without reliable petite selection.
*Comfortable repairing my own computer.
*Good at home maintenance and gardening. I got to do a lot of this as kid regardless of my desired activities.
*My parents have the ‘roadside find collection’ tastes from being raised poor, problem is they pay first-run prices now for tacky… But, I have decent eye for pleasing aesthetics.
*Learned numerous computer programs for work & work systems, even while psychotic, and performed fine. Took a while to learn to ignore the noise but offices always have noise anyway…Insomnia is terrible now sometimes plus lots of social harassment after trying to socialize while psychotic & some people have problems. Harassed at jobs too much to even do it here & not getting too many calls after trying to work for too long…(Never wrote up but twice in 20 years, never fired except right after nervous breakdown, just took too many desperation jobs and got enough attention to be discussed behind my back at places I would want to work. Also in every computer database for good employers in town with multiple versions of resume and will not get calls any longer. In my new field, employers are treating lots of workers to 6-9 months of employment and firing them for over 7 years now at multiple places. Things are better down the road. This is one thing blackball means…)

I’m fairly decent with cosmetic repairs around the home such as painting and new trim, but you don’t want me to be the one arsing around with the plumbing. Here is what my wife’s office originally looked like:

(Realtor photo - room in use by previous owners. Note the nasty brown seventies window casing and baseboard trim.)

(Painting in progress.)

(Painting finished with trim and updated power outlets installed. Hadn’t found a white phone jack at that time.)

I am proud of myself for getting the work done given that using the mitre saw scares the hell out of me.