Shears and Silliness

I am taking an art metals course.  Today, we learned about a bunch of tools in the studio/shop and cut copper into squares.  This requires a tiny bit of measurement, shears, and some force.  The shear I used was fairly small and had a lever to pull the blade down.  There is a very small space between the guard and the surface where the metal sits, so you have to put the metal in at just the right angle/place sometimes.  Fine.  People figured that out with little complaint.  Problem #2:  When the handle/lever is not all the way back, the guard is down.  This means the metal is secured–it won’t come out with you just trying to pull at it a bit.  Solution?  Put the handle back all the way like you should have the first time.  Not too difficult.  Or so I thought.  One lady in line ahead of me had this problem and asked for help; took two seconds to find and solve the problem, then she continued her work.  A while later, another lady had the same problem.  I looked up upon hearing her complaint and struggle to see her and a guy in the class trying to pull the sheet of metal out.  To my amusement, she touched the handle…and brought it back down in the cutting motion…why?  I don’t know.  She obviously didn’t understand the tool very well.  I was getting a bit impatient and thought I would be nice, using my knowledge of physics and the previous problem that was exactly the same to step in and offer a suggestion.  So I asked what she was trying to do and suggested that she push the handle up/back (it was all the way down at this point).  She did and *poof* the metal was loose.  She then began to argue with me, saying that it had been all the way back before.  Obviously, the tool must have malfunctioned…there’s nothing on that tool to malfunction except human error and maybe a dull blade!  Anyway, from where I was standing, I could see the distance between the handle and the wall.  It should be less than two inches when all the way released.  When she started, it was at least four inches away.  No, it was not all the way back, thank you very much.  And yes, I did know what I was talking about and obviously was right.  Long story short, people are silly/stupid sometimes.

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