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Wire stretcher back story - read last #68718
08/14/06 06:38 AM
08/14/06 06:38 AM
PEdoubleNIZZLE  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 176
McKeesport, PA, USA
This is the back story to the Wire Stretcher post. Read that post before you read this one

I posted the back story seperately as it would have ruined the atmosphere had i posted it together.

Someone bought a bunch of run down real-estate trying to make money. They had the old houses demolished and created a small rich-person's community This was the apprentice's first build. It was the last day of the build, and the final circuit in the last house was ready to be hooked into the panel.

One of the journeymen told the apprentice to get some more romex from the truck. There wasn't anymore (in that truck.) The apprentice went to the master electrician in charge and told him that there was no more wire. The master electrician knew there was romex in the other truck because he put all of it there as part of the set up.

"Well," said the master electrician, "Keith (the journeyman) radioed to me he needs six more inches of wire for his last run to the panel. If we don't have any more wire, you're gonna have to find a wire stretcher. Go down to Busy Beaver and ask for Dale, he'll hook you up. And hurry back."

Dale wasn't working that day. It was me, my boss, and the cashier. The apprentice came in asking for a wire stretcher, which I know doesn't exist. I felt bad that he had been duped, but I didn't wanna tell him. I made him one so he could dupe his boss.

His boss called my boss. He told my boss that he was playing a joke on his apprentice and because of me it backfired. My boss, who has a whimsical sense of humor asked the master electrician if he wanted help getting even. That's when the "order" for ten wire stretchers came in.

My boss took some flat bars and rods from the allthread assortment home and made twenty wire stretchers (if you didn't read the story, ten for the electrician, ten for stock). He printed up some packaging for them and put them in a box. He went in early the next day and placed it with the shipment from the electrical supplier.

They all came in the next day on their day off to pull the prank on me. The apprentice drove me home and told me everything that happened behind the scenes.

The moral of the story - The master electrician knows all.

As for posting it a year and a half later, Busy Beaver has a policy where 18 months after you quit, if they found out you did anything that you could have been fired for while working there, you would become ineligible for rehiring. Didn't wanna take my chances, since this is in the public radar.

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Re: Wire stretcher back story - read last #68719
08/14/06 03:54 PM
08/14/06 03:54 PM
jraef  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 101
San francisco, CA, USA
That is a great story! The back story makes it even better. Must have been fun to work with people with a sense of humor like that.

I had a similar experience when I first went to work for an electrical supply house in 1979. I had been working residential and thought I knew everything, but got hurt and had to get a desk job. The supply house I went to work for was primarily industrial but I was too proud to admit I was over my head. My first day on the job I messed up and sent a contractor 4000' of 1/0 cable instead of 1000' of 4/0. Later that same month I got a call from US Steel for a warning siren to go on a machine, and he insisted it be 125VDC. I took a short cut and looked at the price sheet only because it showed the voltage in a nice neat column next to the price, so I ordered him the only one I say that was 125VDC. I thought $3500 was a little steep, but what the heck, industrial stuff seemed to be a lot more expensive than residential anyway, and again, I was too proud to ask for help. What arrived was a motor driven air raid siren meant for a small town, about 5 feet high and 4 feet in diameter! The thing got delivered and I became the laughing stock of the US Steel Plant. They made me a running joke about excess: "If you need a new pickup truck, just call Jeff and order a shop dolly!" I didn't hear the end of that for 5 years.

It turns out the other inside salesmen knew that I was over my head and taking a lot of shortcuts in ordering and pricing things. So they set me up to teach me a lesson, knowing that by asking for 125VDC the only one in that catalog would be the air raid siren. They also knew that the local Dow Chemical plant was going to need that siren so there was no risk of having to return it to the mfr. Needless to say I learned my lesson in humility.

Re: Wire stretcher back story - read last #68720
08/15/06 10:54 AM
08/15/06 10:54 AM
Mike Wescoatt  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 161
Cedar City, Utah
Had a similar one, but not my fault...
I sent an order to purchasing for among other things 5000 ea zip-ties. We had just been told by purchasing that everything was to be ordered in "each" so they could work out the best price/packages. So a week later there is 6 pallets of zip ties in the receiving dock and I'm told the rest of the order is on back order from the factory. We had cleaned out Newark's entire stock of zip ties in bags of 1000. Thats right, I had 5000 bags of 1000 on order, or 5,000,000 zip ties. Purchasing never thought to ask why we all of the sudden needed $25,000 in zip ties. Needless to say we cancelled the b/o and didn't have to order that size of zip ties for a few years...
Next week we receive a memo that purchasing will be ordering verbatim from our purchase requests.
We did try to order a wire dolly once. You know the white one, v-6 ford brand with auto transmission and climate controlled cab.
That one was denied...

Mike Wescoatt


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