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What Skills Do You Find Useful/Not Useful?
Old 05-16-2014, 07:16 AM   #1
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What Skills Do You Find Useful/Not Useful?

I'm wondering what skills people have learned over the years that they find particularly useful. Or not useful. I'll start.

In no particular priority order:

  • Knife Sharpening (best instruction Instructional Videos - Carter Cutlery Co.)
  • Plumbing, Wiring, Carpentry, General Home Repair
  • Weight Lifting
  • Cooking
  • Vacuuming (last birthday card from DW showed a man with apron vacuuming and said "very sexy")
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:36 AM   #2
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Cycling - when you are not in a hurry, it is a great, guilt free way to explore. I find people much more accessible to chat with when I am on a bike - than surrounded by metal and glass, zipping by.

And the best thing is how much you get to eat when you cycle.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:41 AM   #3
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Sewing and mending.

A.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:52 AM   #4
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1. Confidence that I can figure out how to build/fix something so I am willing to try even if it is something that I have never done before and a willingness to risk failing.
2. An ability to know when something is over my head and I need to call in an expert.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:54 AM   #5
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Coming from a midwestern background of poor, self-sufficient folk...

I have gardened, repaired, sewed, plumbed, wired, painted, nailed, <ahem> screwed, cut, driven, built, demolished, hauled, loaded, and generally done most everything...

Sometimes badly!
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Useful - writing skills, organizing vacation trips - great for independent travel, cooking.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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These must all be in the "useful" category vs the "not useful"?
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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Coming from a midwestern background of poor, self-sufficient folk...

I have gardened, repaired, sewed, plumbed, wired, painted, nailed, <ahem> screwed, cut, driven, built, demolished, hauled, loaded, and generally done most everything...

Sometimes badly!
Although a South-westerner by birth, I've got those poor, self-sufficient hillbilly genes. Pretty much jack-of-all-trades as well. But my most important survival skill is keeping my wife happy!
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:08 AM   #9
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These must all be in the "useful" category vs the "not useful"?

Most of the specific skills I use at w*rk are not useful in the "real" world...
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:40 AM   #10
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At the top of my list is "how to find information using the internet". Because with that skill, I can learn to do just about anything.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #11
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In general, as some have mentioned - the skill to learn. That's a bit like asking the genie for the wish that all your wishes comes true, or 'teach a person to fish'.

I'd also say that far too much of what we were taught in school is/was useless. I think we need to take a fresh look at education, strip away everything, and re-construct just what we should be teaching. With a strong focus on learning how to learn - that is a skill that ever goes out-of-date.

-ERD50
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:04 AM   #12
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Most of the specific skills I use at w*rk are not useful in the "real" world...
Most of the specific skills required to actually do my job are beyond the comprehension of those supposedly “managing” my work. Those skills, including getting others to do stuff I don’t always fully comprehend – is just my little pigeon hole in the bureaucratic quagmire of Megacorp.

Now the skills employed by those I get to do things–-fixing stuff--those are valuable skills. I guess that’s part of the reason why I never aspired to climb to higher pigeon holes, in the long run the knowledge and mutual respect gained from working closely with my direct reports seemed more valuable than what my manager(s) had to offer.

45 w*rk days to go!
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:07 AM   #13
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Playing music. I'm not sure if that's "useful", but people like it!
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:09 AM   #14
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My MIL would take a drag from a cigarette, swallow the smoke, recite a poem, then bring back up the smoke, exhale and even blow smoke rings.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:12 AM   #15
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When I was 10, I discovered that I can move the muscles in my scalp which wiggle my ears. One ear at a time, or both! Other kids couldn't do it so it is probably a useless ability, versus a useless skill. But it's definitely useless.

A.

Quote:
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I'm curious what you'd call categorically useless? Can a "skill" be wholly "useless?"
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
In general, as some have mentioned - the skill to learn. That's a bit like asking the genie for the wish that all your wishes comes true, or 'teach a person to fish'.



I'd also say that far too much of what we were taught in school is/was useless. I think we need to take a fresh look at education, strip away everything, and re-construct just what we should be teaching. With a strong focus on learning how to learn - that is a skill that ever goes out-of-date.



-ERD50

I don't disagree, ERD. But your comment makes me chuckle, as thinking and learning were the two main reasons I retired. I was tired of doing both and don't have any real intentions of doing either again. I am part of that subset stereotype on why businesses don't want to hire older people. Unwillingness to learn new things!


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Old 05-16-2014, 10:35 AM   #17
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Excel and other spreadsheet apps. Very useful.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:40 AM   #18
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When I was 10, I discovered that I can move the muscles in my scalp which wiggle my ears. One ear at a time, or both! Other kids couldn't do it so it is probably a useless ability, versus a useless skill. But it's definitely useless.

A.
You make me laugh. One of my managers could do the same thing. He would do this in meetings, staight faced to a bunch of SR. management, turn his head so only I could see the ear wiggle. I was stuck trying not to laugh. Pretty amusing.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
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When I was 10, I discovered that I can move the muscles in my scalp which wiggle my ears. One ear at a time, or both! Other kids couldn't do it so it is probably a useless ability, versus a useless skill. But it's definitely useless.

A.
The ability to curl/roll one's tongue is another fairly useless talent (I can do that as well as wiggle my ears) that I think is genetic. I cannot raise one eyebrow, though.

I was really good at making smoke rings, but have not used that skill for 39 years, 4 months, 14 days. Not that I miss smoking
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:55 AM   #20
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Being able to do It.

Being able to not do It
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