JSW Prompt — 21st Century

Aaron had been successfully running his sheet metal fabrication shop for the past forty years. He was rapidly approaching 70, and he felt it was time to bring his grandson, Andrew, into the business. Aaron considered himself to be an artisan and wanted to teach his grandson the art of sheet metal fabrication from a master.

Andrew had just completed a graduate program in mechanical engineering and was thrilled when his grandfather offered him a sizable stake in the business. And he was eager to bring his grandfather’s sheet metal fabricating business into the 21st century.

After six months of apprenticing with his grandfather, though, Andrew was losing patience with his grandfather’s old school way of doing things and he saw an opportunity to exponentially increase capacity and revenue for his grandfather’s business.

Andrew decided to sit down with his grandfather and discuss his ideas with him. Aaron agreed to meet with his grandson to hear him out. But when Andrew said he wanted to invest in CAD/CAM technology, Aaron balked.

Andrew explained that CAD/CAM was the integration of Computer-aided design (CAD) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAD/CAM software that could be used to design and manufacture prototypes, finished products, and production runs of products using a single development tool.

With a stern look on his face, Aaron said, “That’s not how we do things in my shop. It doesn’t work like that.”

“It does now,” Blake said.

Aaron turned around and was surprise to see his son standing behind him. “Blake,” Aaron said, “what are you doing here? You’ve never shown an interest in my business. And what the hell does ‘it does now’ mean?”

“Dad, do you remember that, when Deborah and I got married, you gifted us each a twenty percent stake in your business as our wedding present?” Blake asked his father. “And you also gave Andrew a twenty percent stake as an incentive for him to join you in the business as his apprentice. Well, Andrew came and spoke to Deborah and me about his ideas to grow the business and she and I agree that they have merit.”

“So what are you saying, son,” Aaron asked Blake.

“I’m saying that Deborah, Andrew, and I pooled our sixty percent ownership to your forty percent and we’re backing Andrew. I’m sorry, Dad, but your old ways of doing things doesn’t work anymore.”


Written for this week’s JSW Prompt from Athling2001. Sorry that I exceeded the suggested 300 word maximum.

12 thoughts on “JSW Prompt — 21st Century

  1. Lou Carreras May 9, 2023 / 8:01 pm

    Combining art and technology requires willingness, an open mind, and driving need to keep your business current. But clearly the younger family members had no interest in art, and none of them had open minds. Evidently the business owner lacked that also.
    I loved this piece as much as it disturbed me!
    I wrestle with the design/art/techology interface all the time as a videographer and in my personal business as a carver. My two assistants in video are two twenty-one year old video hot shots from a nationally prominent film/video program – tact and humor are needed to make it all work, and work it does. “Old School” still has something to teach “New School” and vice versa. It’s important to start all things from a position of mutual respect, Even if there is a little trepidation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 9, 2023 / 8:37 pm

      You’re right, there has to be a balance between art/craftsmanship and technology. I had mixed feelings about this post, too. The lack of empathy and coldness of the younger generation was disconcerting and disrespectful, but the inflexibility of the man who wouldn’t even consider embracing something new. That said, that kind of conflict was set up by the writing prompt: “It doesn’t work like that” versus “It does now.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 10, 2023 / 8:41 am

      Sounds like a fantastic team, they and you. And they’re blessed to have you. (You got me guessing what school/program from which they might have hailed.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen May 12, 2023 / 10:31 am

        (One of my sons wanted to go to Full Sail, back in the aughts. The place wanted a ton of money, for the entire program on the whole up front. No one wanted to pay it, nor did anyone have confidence it’d pan out to anything really meaningful. I wasn’t completely against it, but just wasn’t sure.)

        I’m the kind of person who likes new ideas, things, and ways but is also offended or even surprised at the stupidity of covering over phone outlets, for example.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bushboy May 9, 2023 / 9:05 pm

    It turned out fortuitous but what a cheapskate wedding gift 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maria Michaela May 10, 2023 / 2:40 am

    I have mixed emotions for this. I hear both sides. Maybe a balance of both old and new ways should be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor May 10, 2023 / 5:18 am

    You can’t fight the future. You either accept it, or you get run over by it. Nice story, Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

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