Ambiguous Visual Controls: Ignage

Imagine my disappointment, upon hauling my gardening implements across town after a long and difficult season of tilling the soil, to be informed by the store proprietor that they could not in fact help with the repair of my hoes. It’s no longer easy to find a good repair shop in this disposable, consumerist America.


If the adage of the cobbler’s children going without outdoor footwear holds true, the root cause of this situation may be that the sign repairman is too busy to put up a sign allowing customers to locate him, like an advertising agency too busy to advertise their services or a kaizen consultancy too busy to… let’s not go there.

If anyone knows of a good ignage repair business in the north Puget Sound, I know a cobbler who could use their services.


  1. John Santomer

    October 26, 2011 - 10:49 pm

    Dear Jon,
    Empathize with you on this one. But take heed that a lot more of our brethren had better footwear coming from the same store.
    Granted he may have a problem with his S’s (ignage); he could have taken a hint that someone has come to his store with garden tool repair jobs at the least he could have a ready address for a nearby HOE repair shop… 😉

  2. John Hunter

    October 30, 2011 - 9:41 pm

    It is a shame. It is especially sad when you have all sorts of people thinking they care about environmentalism. Lean is very much in harmony with much environmentalism. Reduce (don’t use what you don’t need). Reuse (don’t buy what you already have) – to me repair is part of reuse. Recycle is better than trash but hardly ideal.
    Here is a post about a group in Brooklyn you could take it to 🙂

  3. Robert Drescher

    November 2, 2011 - 8:03 am

    Hi Jon
    Unfortunately the hoe repair business is pretty much dead. Farmers are to capable of doing it themselves today and paying for someone else to do it is to expensive. Generally other than a handle replacement (a good handle can cost more than a new hoe), the only repair a hoe needs is sharpening, I personally use a standard file for sharpening mine. If you really want someone else to do it try either a farm supply store or a farmer.
    I have totally given up at looking at signs, in our community it is normal for a business to get a sign in place barely before it moves or goes out of business.
    Good luck

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