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#14858 05/30/05 12:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,370
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
My own "favourite mistake" was the time I had a service change one morning. I got there early, set up, and was all ready to cut the wires when the homeowner came out and askd "Who are you and what are you doing?" OOPS- I was off one street, in a place where two streets were only every so slightly different in name!
I packed up, with apologies, and got to the right place on time. Set up, was just about to cut the wires, and ....BANG...BANG, followed very quickly by a zip zip as the bullets went whizzing by.

That day was wasted, as police dealt with a barricaded gunman, and my truck was wrapped in crime scene tape. The gent had taken exception to a traffic stop, had raced home, and in the drama that followed, killed one of the cops- whose last words were "come on out- we only want to talk to you!"
By the way, this is the ONLY service change where it hasn't rained on me!

#14859 05/30/05 01:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
Remind me never to get near you guys, your all bad luck!! [Linked Image]

#14860 05/30/05 01:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
D'oh! That's the second time I double posted! Gotta stop doin' that! Sorry for the double-posting.

[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 06-13-2005).]

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
#14861 05/30/05 08:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Hey Guys,

Don't feel bad. I was in business for 15 years with 4 trucks and several employees.

More than 1 drilled holes in floors and walls and through carpets.

1 formen ( Not his fault) blew up 4 TV's and a radio. (Open neutral on a multi branch circuit.)

1 foreman ( Lic. man and lic. inspector) drill a 4" hole through a floor and rug. The ceiling in the kitchen was actually the floor of the bedroom upstairs.

1 journeyman (also licesened) ( lucky I caught it before we energized it.) hooked up 120 control circuits to the 480 power line to some motors. This same man couldn't hook up a 3 phase reversing drum switch. ( He forgot to tell me that he was color blind!)

While working on a job as we were just done with the job and removing a large ladder, we knocked over a planter and shattered it. (We also got blamed for putting dents in the hard wood floor. It wasn't us though and the insurence didn't pay for it.)

Another time a man tripped over an 8 foot 2 bulb strip light fixture. It slid across the room and "Tapped" a lady in the ankle. We asked her if she was OK and she said YES! 5 Minutes later she said that her ankle swelled up and I had better give her the name of my insurence agent. Lucky for me the manager of the store saw her not a day later walking normal on the street and said to her, "Gee, I see the swelling in the ankle went down. That is good news. I can tell Harold that everything is OK." That one never went through either. The manager loved me and we took care of him on the next service call! Shall I go on? [Linked Image]

It is just part of the job. Yet they wonder why it costs so much. Last thing and I will get off my soap box. I was working at a new car dealer. I was going to drop off my truck to him to get work done. The owner of the shop tells me, "Harold, take it easy on me and don't rip me off." I replied back to him, " Gee, I charge you $ 50 per hour for 1 man and you charge me $60 per hour for yours and I have to bring my shop to you!" (This was back several years)

#14862 06/02/05 08:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 40
Ahhhhhhhhh the drilling through wood floor trick
I used to carry wine corks in my truck
they blend in great the homeowner always has stain in the basement yuck yuck

#14863 06/02/05 10:51 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 23
Hmm. Trenched through a TV main last week.

Saw a guy drill through a hardwood floor from the basement up, that was cool.

The most memorable at the moment was the time that I happened to work on a job for a day, where a six-plex was under a tight deadline to get done, so the boss was throwing extra warm bodies at it.

Well, I happened to have the super's number on my Nextel, and the guy running the house (a guy named Scott was filling in) didn't. Scott asked me to call the super and ask a question about something, I got the answer I needed, and then the super said, "By the way, safety meeting is at 10am, you need to be there."

I knew that the super didn't mean me specifically, but I asked Scott if he wanted me to go, since it was my first day in this six-plex and perhaps his time would be less wasted than mine at a stupid safety meeting. He agreed, and so off I went.

Well, the safety meeting was 3.5 seconds of "framers, get off the roof when it's windy," and then the super went around the circle of trades, asking if we were going to be ready for inspection. When he got around to me, I just kinda nodded and shrugged. I hadn't heard anybody say there was no chance of being ready by the next day...


Scott was not at all pleased with me when the inspector showed up the next day, and the super wasn't too tickled at his building being behind, unannounced, either. [Linked Image]

Now days, if I'm a guest, I "have no idea." [Linked Image]

#14864 06/02/05 11:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,291
2 (among many boners that I've pulled) that stand out in my memory:

I sent a couple of guys to "Make safe and demo" an office area in a 2 tenant warehouse building that was vacant. The new tenant would be getting some new offices.
The next morning the superintendent called me and asked what had happened. The guys hadn't done a thing.
I called our electrician, who told me that he'd completed the job and already dropped off the paperwork at the shop. Then I pulled the work order up on the computer.

-I had sent them to the wrong side of the building, and they'd demoed about 2500 sq ft of office that was to remain....oops

soon afterward

I ordered a 625' pull of 750kcmil aluminum, however I failed to write aluminum on the order. This happened about a month after I had told our inside salesman that he didn't need to ask if I wanted al or cu, "Just send copper unless I specify otherwise"
Fortunately, they took back the 4 reels of 750 copper, so it wasn't expensive.

But it sure was humbling.

#14865 06/03/05 06:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
When I started doing resi service work, A older gent once told me about doing work in attics, he said:

" you do this work long enough and sooner or later you will fall through a cieling"

And sure enough it happened, right into a master bedroom.

Anyone else have this unfortunate accident?


#14866 06/03/05 10:34 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 54
ok here is a couple of `mistakes` that i personally have made during my varied carreer.

doing a remodel of a bar in the New Forest area of Hampshire, apprentice on the first floor looking for my soon to emerge drill bit, he says " i can here it mate but cant see it" so i move it over a bit, wind the bit through the ceiling, "still cant see it", so i move it again by another inch or two.

the next thing i here is a loud scream, and the plumber comes down the stairs with his hand on his rear,

i drill into the bathroom and not the stairwell straight into his rear end!!!!

(not a very happy man)

drilling into the corner of a wall in a basement, managed to hit a 2 inch water service, before the stop valve!!

lots of water and a lot of cleaning up!

knocked a whole box of 8 foot fluorescent tubes of a tower (i was up about 20 foot) onto a new cleaned wood floor, now that was a scary one.

fell through a ceiling in a shop remodel took out a load of troffers and best part of the ceiling, broke three ribs and knocked myself out, 2 days in the hospital and a $3000.000 bill at the end of it, Insurance covered it and i still work for the client to this day.


#14867 06/03/05 11:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 316
One of my worst mistakes happened on an extra I talked the customer into! Was doing a finished basement and talked the homeowner into installing a recess light above the fiberglass tub. While installing the can for the recess I dropped my kleins into the tub putting a nice chip in the finish. Cost me $125.00 to have a chip, smaller then a quarter, fixed. Trust me I don't go near those tubs with out putting drop clothes in them !

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