A few weeks ago, an Adelaide Community Bicycle Workshop volunteer, ran a session on chains and gears. Participants learned to use chain breaker tools. The workshop has 2 or 3 ; they were all in use; Don lent his personal multi-tool - to one of the visitors.
After the workshop, Don realised, the person he’d lent it to, had not returned it.
Don waited for a call or email - nothing
Don mentioned it on the ‘mutli tools’ thread – still not returned.
Don has been without it for over a fortnight now
That's not something that should happen, to people who volunteer at the Workshop... .
So it’s time to say a few things, about people who borrow tools, and don’t return them when they should. It raises issues for the Community Bicycle Workshop. We lend out tools. Also for the cycling community. From what I hear, it's common to be asked to lend tools - then for them not to be returned. Or for the owner, to have to go to a lot of trouble, to get them back. That's not acceptable behaviour in my book. It makes things harder for everyone.
Most people are honest. They intend to return things, but have genuine difficulties –so it’s perhaps a bit unfair to use the term “theft” at this stage.
However, for the person who lends but doesnt get back -" theft" is what it can feel like.
The principle: – if you borrow something – the responsibility is yours, to seek out the owner, and return it to him/her promptly.
Let’s say you borrow one of the Adelaide City Free Bikes. It is your responsibility to return it; It isn’t up to the City, to have to find you and ask for it back.
It is your responsibility to take it back to where you got it from. It isn’t up to the City, to pick the bike up from you, wherever you happen to be.
You would not expect to take one of the City Free Bikes home, and keep it for 2-3 weeks...
With Adelaide City Free Bikes - You would not expect to keep the bike indefinitely. Or keep it until someone asks for it back. Or keep it until you happen to feel like returning it, whenever that happens to be. Same principle with tools, and the time works out like this. You borrow the tool when you actually need it; start that job immediately; and return it as soon as you have completed your work. Unless otherwise agreed.
Re Community Bike Workshop . The Workshop keeps a big stock of tools. A cyclist can turn up, and, with little fuss, be lent tools to do the job. We lend based on trusting people - we trust they will respect the system and people; we trust they will do right thing. So far, nearly everyone does.
I dont want to see the workshop, having to get contact details and signatures from all visitors. Or having to charge deposits. Or having to check tools in and out, all the time. But if there is a risk of tools not being returned, or other property going missing, we may have to.
To finish, back to the multi-tool, that went missing. If you are the person who borrowed it: just make sure Don gets it back, please? Let Don or me know you have it. Drop it by the Workshop this Saturday. Postit to me at 13 Mines Road Campbelltown 5074, in one of Australia Post’s plastic pre-paid envelopes. A small donation to Workshop funds -a blue one with Banjo Patterson and “$10” on it - may help make amends ....
When the workshop started - we considered a formal system for tool loans - e.g getting people to fill out a form and sign; we ask for deposits or sureties; we issue tools out and check them back.
However - working on trust, seemed friendlier, so we decided to start off thus. More community minded - few formalities - visitors prefer it - volunteers spend time on bikes - not running a tool loan scheme.
So far, working well.
Yes, if losses become an issue - we may need something more formal - as you suggest.
It was bought on eBay
It did not cost a lot the screw drivers on it were very basic.
It was handy to have a few times.
I have another tool in the post it may even be an upgrade :-)
There is a strategy in business "the speed of trust"
While it is true that occasionally you will get burnt using this strategy generally you are ahead.
I enjoyed doing the chains and gears workshop and I hope to do another workshop in the future.
Clearly this incident raises the issue if security.
If people nick "stuff" eventually the workshop will just be an empty room.
Very disappointing .
I hope Don's tool turns up .There was only about 8 of us there that night , & I wouldn't have thought anyone would have taken it home .
I know the only thing I left with was a chunk of cream bun , thanks to Don's hospitality .
+1 Michael, very disappointing indeed. I would have to agree that none of the few present seemed the dishonest kind, lets hope it was an honest mistake & the item makes it's way back to it's rightful owner. It doesn't matter where it was bought or for how little, the issue at hand is trust & respect.