I was helping another electrician install 4-inch PVC conduit from a basement to a second floor panel box. After the panel box was mounted and the conduit run installed, my coworker decided to use the inside of the box as a temporary shelf for a small can of glue. But instead of setting it on the inside base of the panel, he accidentally hit the bullseye, dropping it straight down the 4-inch conduit we had just finished installing. The can of glue dropped down the pipe approximately 25 feet and got stuck in a 90° elbow. Although it was rather funny at the time, my boss wasn't too happy about it.
The Yarn Spinner
Many years ago, an apprentice was helping us upgrade our company accountant's office with Cat. 5 cabling. First he'd been shown how to cut a small “+” pattern in the carpeting and then drill down through the floor carefully to create a path for the cable. We already knew the areas in the basement below were clear. However, he decided it would be quicker to measure and cut the holes from below, so as not to have to move and replace all the furniture in the room.
I was in another part of the basement but just happened to come around the corner after he started drilling the first hole. I immediately knew there was some kind of problem when I saw him chinning himself on the ½-inch drill motor he was using. “What's wrong?” I asked. “I can't get the drill out!” he replied. “It's stuck on something.” With a sick feeling brewing in my stomach, I quickly ran upstairs, only to find a ball of yarn bigger than a softball wrapped around the auger. The new carpeting was pulled for 10 feet in both directions!
Needless to say we called the boss to tell him what had happened. Luckily, he had a sense of humor and immediately called the accountant and said, “Let's stop for a drink after work; we need to talk.”
Illustrations by Clint Metcalf