This Lesson Really Stings, Part 3

, , , , , , | Legal | April 17, 2021

I have submitted a few stories about my father-in-law, including this one. My father-in-law is a pretty smart man, especially when it comes to anything construction, and the company he has worked with for several decades really values him.

My father-in-law is tasked with transporting a rather large piece of construction equipment to another part of the state down an old highway. It has to be loaded on a heavy-duty tractor-trailer; it’s huge, tall, wide, and expensive. My father-in-law prefers traveling late at night where there isn’t as much traffic and there’s a lower chance of ending up in an accident. Because of the size, he is required to contact the state Department of Transit (DOT) and get permission to go down the highway so as to make sure it can safely pass under the bridges on the way. My father-in-law takes time to measure the height and width at least three times.

So, he starts off. About four hours in, around 2:00 am, he comes upon one of the lowest bridges on the route. The bridge has a sign on it saying the height is 13’6″, which is about 6″ higher than the equipment he is hauling. He knows it is going to be a tight fit but feels confident he will make it. You already know what happens. Yep, he crashes right into the bridge. He calls the state police who show up with a DOT inspector, who just happens to be an old friend of my father-in-law.

Inspector: “Man, [Father-In-Law], you did a number on that old bridge. I am awfully sorry, but I am going to have to hit you with a number of fines and this could affect your license.”

Father-In-Law: “No, no, don’t apologize. This is my fault. I screwed up. You gotta do what you gotta do. I just don’t understand it. I measured carefully and I usually don’t mess up like this. Thank God there weren’t any other cars around. There is at least $20,000 in damage to the equipment and I don’t even want to think about the damage to that old bridge.”

As they are inspecting the damage, my father-in-law notices that one of the state troopers almost falls off the side of the road because it is high up. He begins looking up at the bridge and down at the road. He turns to one of the state troopers and asks him if he would mind measuring the height of the bridge from the road.

He does, and it comes out as 12’11”, a whole 7″ shorter than the measurement on the sign and the paperwork the inspector has. My father-in-law points it out. The state police begin measuring all along the road under the bridge. It comes out the same. The inspector is completely confused. My father-in-law calls him over to the edge of the road.

Father-In-Law: “I think I know what happened. Look at the road here and the layers of asphalt.”

The inspector comes over.

Inspector: “Looks like fresh asphalt. Yeah, they just repaved the road, but that doesn’t add 7″ to the road.”

Father-In-Law: “Yeah, but how do they normally pave a road?”

Inspector: “They scrap up the old pavement and…”

He trails off, rolls his eyes, and lets out a cuss word.

State Trooper: “Could y’all let us in on it? What’s the problem?”

Father-In-Law: “The way you are supposed to pave a new road is you tear up the old pavement and then put down the new asphalt. It’s what they do on the interstates, but this is an old highway that’s been here for over seventy years and they tend to not be as thorough.  They just lay down new on old and…”

State Trooper: “…build up the height of the old road.”

Father-In-Law: “Yeah, it’s not uncommon on these backcountry roads and this one has about seventy years’ worth of layers on it. I just have never had an issue before now.”

The inspector and state troopers stated that my father-in-law was not at fault. However, from then on, my father-in-law sent a lead vehicle two hours ahead of him to measure every bridge he had to go under to make doubly sure that it was safe.

Related:
This Lesson Really Stings, Part 2
This Lesson Really Stings


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This Lesson Really Stings, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | April 2, 2021

I submitted this story about my father-in-law. My father-in-law is a pretty smart man, especially when it comes to anything construction, and the company he has worked with for several decades really values him.

The construction company teams up with another company to do a very big and lucrative highway job. My father-in-law has a lot of experience with repairing big machines, so they send him to the site to work on the big and incredibly expensive machines. 

The mechanic from the other company, for some unknown reason, takes great offense that my father-in-law was put in charge and is just a jerk the whole time; he argues with him every chance he gets, even over things as simple as putting the correct type of oil in the machinery.

My father-in-law gets a call and has to go home for a family emergency. He instructs the mechanic and the helpers from the other company that he is in the middle of changing the oil on a piece of equipment and asks them to finish it.

He gets an urgent call the next day to come in to the job site, which he quickly does. In the office, the owners of the construction company and some big wigs from the other company are arguing, with the other mechanic sitting in the corner with his arms crossed and a smug look on his face. Apparently, the piece of equipment’s engine froze, which resulted in something worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars being worth nothing but scrap. The company blames my father-in-law because he was working on it, and they are demanding that the construction company replace it.

My father-in-law figures out what happened pretty quickly. He tells them he will be right back, and he returns with a box and a scared-looking helper. He dumps out the box of parts onto the table. They are bluish in color, which is what happens to engine parts when they are run without oil. He gives the poor helper an angry look and growls, “Tell them!”

The helper stammers that they restarted the engine without any oil because the other mechanic told them to. At that point, the mechanic in the corner looks scared and starts getting angry looks from his bosses.

Before storming out, my father-in-law yells, “It won’t run without f****** oil, dumba**!”

The outcome was the mechanic lost his job and was blacklisted from several other construction companies as word got around, and the company apologized to my father-in-law and had to pay over $200,000 to replace the equipment.

The owner of the construction company took my father-in-law out for a steak dinner.

Related:
This Lesson Really Stings

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This Lesson Really Stings

, , , , , , , | Working | December 22, 2020

My father-in-law is a pretty smart man, especially when it comes to anything construction. The company he has worked for for several decades really values him and has offered him numerous promotions but he won’t take them. He prefers running the big equipment and not being responsible for idiots — his words. Unfortunately, every so often they hire some new young supervisor for a job who thinks that, because they have some fancy college education and an expensive shirt and tie, they know more than anyone else.

One day, they are clearing land for a road. My father-in-law is operating a closed cab backhoe. It’s not common to see a closed cab but it essentially surrounds the operator in glass to protect them from brush and such as they are moving through an undeveloped area.

He comes upon a tree that needs to be knocked down and realizes that it is hollow. Looking upward, he sees what looks to be liquid flowing down. My father-in-law knows that means a mighty big beehive. He also knows what will happen if anyone so much as touches that tree. He shuts down the backhoe and climbs out to take a better look to decide the best course of action.

The new supervisor comes stomping over.

Supervisor: *Shouting* “What the f*** do you think you are doing?”

Father-In-Law: “The tree is hollow. You can see up there…”

Supervisor: *Cutting him off* “I don’t give a d***. Get in there and get to it!”

Father-In-Law: “But you don’t understand. If I touch that tree…”

Supervisor: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I DON’T UNDERSTAND?! I will have you know that I have far more education than you! Now get your stupid, uneducated a** back in that cab, you old f***, and KNOCK DOWN THAT TREE!”

Big mistake. Now he has ticked my father-in-law off. So, my father-in-law climbs back into the cab and starts up the machine. The supervisor stomps off to a group of big shots, inspectors, and such that are standing nearby, talking about how sometimes you just have to crack the whip on these stupid laborers, and they all chuckle.

With the biggest smile he can muster, my father-in-law begins hitting that tree. And, like an explosion, a solid mass of bees pour out of a hole at the bottom of the tree. They immediately attack the backhoe, but my father-in-law is perfectly safe. At that point, the bees turn their attention to the supervisor and the others standing nearby. It is not pretty. The bees swarm them. But my father-in-law just keeps hitting the tree. With every hit, more bees pour out, even angrier than the last ones.

The supervisor starts screaming for my father-in-law to stop, but being in the enclosed glass cab and with the engine running, there is no way he can hear him. At least, that is his story later on and he sticks to it. My father-in-law does not stop until that tree is knocked down, and hundreds of angry bees chase the supervisor and all the others for about a mile.

After the supervisor and others got out of the hospital, they had a meeting with the company owner — who thought of my father-in-law as a brother — and all the higher-ups. The supervisor, of course, tried to blame my father-in-law. The owner and others who knew my father-in-law well could barely keep a straight face when my father-in-law said, “Well, I am just a stupid, old laborer and was just doing what the highly-educated man told me to do.”

Of course, my father-in-law didn’t get in trouble and there is a happy ending. My father-in-law said that the supervisor became a much more humble man after that, never mistreated any of his employees again, and learned to listen to the more experienced people under him. Every so often, the two of them still treat each other to a beer.

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Anti-Vaxxers Are Dumber Than Cats

, , , , | Right | February 19, 2020

(I work as a veterinary technician at a vet’s office. I’m the first one to greet the clients and get some background before the doctor comes in.)

Me: “So, it looks like both your cats are due for the Feline Distemper Vaccine, so we can take care of that today.”

Client: “That’s great! Are the vaccines safe?”

Me: “Well, with all vaccines there is always a risk of an allergic reaction. If you’d like, we can pre-treat both of them with Benadryl before they get the shots.”

Client: “That’s all right. They’ll be fine. But that’s not what I meant.”

Me: “Do you have other concerns with the vaccine?”

Client: “Yes, I’m concerned that the vaccine might mess up their little heads.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Client: “I don’t want my babies getting autism or anything like that.”

Me: *screaming internally* “Well, I can certainly check with the doctor before we give the vaccines to make sure they’re safe.”

Client: “Good. I want to keep my boys healthy!”


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He Motor Boated Himself

, , , , , | Right | September 27, 2019

(My husband and I own a mobile marine repair business. We do not have a shop; we repair boats dockside or in a person’s backyard. I have submitted several stories about things that happened at our business but this one really shows the stubbornness of some people. Keep in mind that we charge a minimum of $100 to even look at a customer’s boat and then give advice, so we are paid many times just for our expertise. We get a call in March from a gentleman about getting his boat ready for spring. My husband sees ice in the motor.)

Husband: “Um, sir. Did you winterize this boat?”

(Winterizing a boat entails several things. The biggest step is making sure all the water is drained out of the boat and motor before cold weather hits.)

Owner: “Winterize?” *laughs* “This is the South. That is why I moved here to get away from all the cold weather. You don’t have to winterize anything down here.”

Husband: “While we don’t normally have the cold weather you see further north, we do get temps below freezing during the winter months; plus, you have stored this in your yard in the shade underneath a tree canopy. This motor is full of ice and I don’t even want to think about the ice that may be under the deck. The only thing I can suggest you do is get a heat lamp out here and put under the boat. Let it warm it up for a couple of days and then we can see if the motor is damaged. I won’t charge you to come back and check on it.”

Owner:What?! That is ridiculous. You have no idea what you are talking about. It didn’t get cold enough for ice to form. You have the keys; just start it up.”

Husband: “No, sir. I will not be responsible for what will happen.” 

(My husband wrote on the invoice what was wrong and that the customer was ignoring advice, and insisted that the owner sign it. Then, he handed the man his boat keys. The owner told him he was being silly, climbed up in the boat, and started it up. The motor roared to life and owner smirked at my husband. A few seconds later, there was a huge boom which jolted the boat partway off the trailer, the motor stopped, and black smoke poured out. He stood in the boat, stunned, for several minutes. Embarrassed, he asked my husband to look at it . My husband told him he wouldn’t even have to. The motor was blown and the guy ended up doing over $20K worth of damage to the motor and boat. Why pay us for our expertise and advice if you aren’t going to listen to it?)

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