To Sleep, Perchance To Die

, , , , , | Working | May 15, 2018

At the company I work for, we have to travel a lot to different construction sites. On my first day, they told me not to fall asleep in the passenger seat during those rides.

A couple of weeks later I was traveling with a very quiet coworker after having a terrible night. Naturally, I fell asleep during the two-hour ride, only to be suddenly awoken by loud noises. My coworker was screaming in horror, and there was a truck only a meter in front of our car. I was sure we were still driving and a deadly crash was imminent… until my coworker started laughing.

Turns out, as soon as he noticed me sleeping, my coworker pulled out at the next parking lot, searched for a truck, parked behind it, and put the car in neutral. Then he honked, slammed the gas pedal, and started screaming.

I mentioned this to another coworker the next day, and he told me this guy does that to everyone who falls asleep in his car. “If he can’t sleep during work hours, the passenger won’t, either.” One coworker even had a nervous breakdown because of this. I get why. It’s now over 20 years later, and I still can’t sleep while being in a car.

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The Drive To Scam

, , , , | Working | May 13, 2018

(We have just had a house built. A lot of mistakes were made in the process. Broken bricks were used in the front wall of the house. Windows were scratched, and then the frames damaged while replacing the glass. We get a bill for the laying of pipes along our very long driveway, pipes that were installed and paid for, by us, years before. The only thing that needed to happen was for them to be connected to the water mains across the road. The company is threatening us with legal action if we don’t pay, as they have fulfilled their part of the project by getting the house completed and livable by the contracted time period. The only thing that needs doing is to turn on the water, gas, and power. It’s now gone over the final payment deadline.)

Company: “But you have to pay; we’ve got a bill here from the contractor for the work.”

Me: “That’s funny, because I have a receipt right here from when we had the work done years ago.”

Company: “The contractors have said that they laid the water pipes themselves, down your whole driveway.”

Me: “I’d like to know how they laid twenty metres of water pipes three feet under the driveway without actually digging up the driveway.”

(After a few weeks, they finally send their inspector out.)

Inspector: “I thought I’d let you know that, as a courtesy, we are taking the laying of pipes off your bill.”

Me: “As a courtesy?”

Inspector: “Yes, for the sake of good customer relations. You don’t need to tell anyone else about this, either.”

(The next day was finally the day when the power, gas, and water were to be turned on. It was then discovered that the grounding wire for the electricity had been attached to the gas pipe instead of the proper pipe. And when the water meter was installed, they found that it wasn’t even connected to the mains. So much for the contractors doing the work in the first place. And yes, we told everyone we knew not to go with this company.)

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Couldn’t Just Come Out And Say That

, , , , | Working | April 30, 2018

(I work with two guys who have a compulsion to always be right. Whatever you say, whether logic is with you or not, they’re right, and you’re wrong. We work at height a lot.)

Coworker: “We need some eye bolts to tie the ladder to when we’re going on that roof next week.”

Me: “I’ll get some at the weekend.”

(Monday rolls by.)

Me: “I got the eye bolts. They didn’t have the ones for the plastic plugs, so I got all metal, instead.”

Coworker: “They’re not big enough.”

Me: *I’ve read half a page ahead* “That’s okay. Here. I got the next two sizes up, as well.”

Coworker: “They’re… too strong.”

Me: “You’re going to be 30 feet in the air, and these eye bolts could save your life if something went wrong, and they’re too strong?”

(Pause:)

Coworker: “I already bought some.”

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Your Own Personnel Hell

, , , , | Right | April 4, 2018

(I work as an apprentice for my father’s electrical contracting business in a small town in the rural South while in high school. It doesn’t take long to realize that the general contractors who subcontract with us often demand things of the electricians with attitudes they never would DREAM of using with my father. In one particular case we are experiencing a construction boom in the area and Dad doesn’t have enough electricians to fully man all of our worksites.)

General Contractor: “We had to make a change to the work order, and we need the electrical roughed in to the out-building by Monday when the drywallers come in.”

Electrician: “Can’t. We’re already scheduled on another project this weekend.”

General Contractor: “No, you will. The drywallers come first thing Monday morning, and that electrical will be roughed in.”

Electrician: “No, we won’t. We’re already working seven 12-hour days a week. We can’t drop everything because you made a work order change. We just don’t have the manpower for it.”

(He is absolutely right. I helped make the schedules myself. We’ve hired everyone in a 50-mile radius with any electrical experience at all and we are still barely making our obligations.)

General Contractor: *sneering* “That sounds like a personal problem.”

Me: “Actually, it’s a personnel problem.”

General Contractor: “…”

Me: “Two Ns and an E. Personnel. Easy words to confuse.”

General Contractor: “…”

Electrician: *tries not to laugh*

Me: “It means manpower. We don’t have the personnel. Personnel Problem.”

(Everyone on the job site tries not to laugh.)

General Contractor: *quietly turns around and walks away*

(To this day, I’m not sure if I got away with that because I was the boss’s son or because he couldn’t think of a reply.)

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Needs To Stop Doing That

, , , , , | Working | February 9, 2018

(I’m riding my scooter down the street and I come to a construction zone. The road is closed off to one lane and the guy with the stop/slow sign is signalling for my side to stop so the cars going the other direction can go through. I stop, and when I do, the worker holding the sign starts walking toward me. I figure there’s either an issue he’s going to inform me of or he wants to comment on my bike.)

Worker: “Hey, did you need something?”

Me: “Uh… No?”

Worker: “Why’d you stop, then?”

(I wordlessly pointed to the stop sign he was holding in his hand. He looked up at it and just said, “…ooh!” in a tone that made it sound like he only just realized he had it in his hand.)

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