Home > Uncategorized > Harry Pope, the Pareto principal, and living a balanced life.

Harry Pope, the Pareto principal, and living a balanced life.

Sign posted in the shop of barrel maker Harry Pope ~1941:

NO DELIVERY PROMISED. TAKE YOUR WORK WHEN DONE OR TAKE IT ELSEWHERE. IF YOU MUST KNOW WHEN I WILL BE THROUGH WITH YOUR WORK THE ANSWER IS NOW. TAKE YOUR WORK AWAY. I DON’T WANT IT. I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING WHEN I WILL BE THROUGH. I WORK ELEVEN HOURS A DAY. DAILY INTERRUPTIONS AVERAGE ONE AND ONE-HALF HOURS. DARK WEATHER SETS ME BACK STILL MORE. THERE IS BUT ONE OF ME. I’M HUMAN AND I’M TIRED. I REFUSE TO LONGER BE WORRIED BY PROMISES THAT CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT ALLOW ME TO KEEP. YOU’RE A LONG TIME DEAD. IT IS TIME TO BEGIN TO LIVE.

A cranky old man inadvertently selling exclusivity. Lots of people utilize the Pareto principal to make the most of their energy; author Tim Ferriss has made quite a life for himself by promoting this rule of thumb.

I’ve read about the concept of selling exclusivity and, while I don’t personally have the time for it myself, don’t have a problem with people who make a conscious decision to do it; exclusivity for its own sake is always a contrivance and it doesn’t matter whether it’s the work of the buyer or seller.

What little I’ve read about Mr. Pope suggests he cared about nothing in life but marksmanship and the fine workmanship that facilitates it so it’s safe to assume that his exclusivity was created by his clients; honoured to own a fine weapon with a barrel fitted by the savant tool maker in his cluttered Jersey City shop.

The last sentence of the sign made me chuckle. As I said earlier, what I’ve read suggests his life revolved around his work and that he spent most every waking hour either building or using rifles; he apparently wouldn’t go home for days; I simultaneously admire and pity him.

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