I've had similar experiences as Larry except my wife doesn't ask anymore. I prefer to feel the nuts and bolts with my fingers, I just haven't worn gloves enough to get used to them.
After repeatedly scraping my wrist (against a shield) while getting the drain plug out on my E320, I took an extra 5 minutes to remove the shield. This was the best 5 minutes I spent.
If there is an obstruction in the way any can be removed easily, I find that the job goes faster (with less scrapes and cuts) by removing the obstruction.
1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles