The Bubble Machine
In the early '70s, I worked for the Navy in a shop that primarily performed maintenance for Navy housing. Neither myself nor my fellow electrician had any experience in the use of automatic dishwashers, even though we could fix them. One day we answered a service call and found very stagnant and smelly water in a dishwasher. We removed the water and fixed the problem. Now all we needed to do was run the machine to clean it out. The tenant didn't have any automatic dishwashing soap on hand, but this didn't stop us. We grabbed the liquid dishwashing soap, hit the start button, and moved on. After letting the machine run for a while, we returned to see if the smell was gone. The kitchen was one of those walk-through types with the stove and refrigerator on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other — about a 4 foot by 8 foot floor area. You guessed it. When we opened the door, we saw that we had filled the entire space with soap bubbles. Looking back, I do not think we had enough sense between us to be embarrassed.
Step Right Up!
While working as an apprentice at a hospital in New Jersey, I was told to knock out the hollows of the block walls where the outlets were going. This worked fine with a lump hammer until one day when I couldn't find it. So I picked up a sledgehammer. After being told to be careful, I said, “Don't worry about it”, and took a swing. To my surprise, I could see light coming through the hole. When I knelt down to look through it, I could see the hand of a very old lady. I got my foreman, we walked into the room, and quickly saw that I had blown out the wall in this patient's room. Needless to say, my boss wasn't very happy.
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