When I was a young apprentice, I once took on a job that required me to work in the crawl space of a very old home. This took place before battery drills hit the market, so I ended up dragging a drill and extension cord along with a handheld flashlight with me as I made my way deep into the space. My journeyman stayed inside the house — at the point where I needed to drill a hole up through the floor and into the wall space above. To help me locate the spot to drill, he began tapping on the floor above. As I entered a separate section of crawl space, my light reflected off a bunch of little eyes staring back at me. I immediately thought of rats and began to scramble back to the entrance. Moving as fast as I could to exit the space, my journeyman began to hammer harder and louder, which scared my little friends even more. As we all reached the crawl space opening at once, I buried my head in my hands and began to scream bloody murder. It scared me so badly I actually wet my pants. The funny part was it turned out to be rabbits, not rats.
A few years ago, I worked for an electrical contractor in San Francisco. One morning, one of the material drivers was asked to make a delivery to the city of Red Bluff, which is located about 240 miles north of the Bay Area on Interstate 5. Before he departed, he was asked if he knew how to get to this particular project site. After a quick confirmation, he loaded up the truck and headed out.
About five hours later, the same driver phoned back to the office, stating that he'd broken down on the interstate and needed help. When asked to give his exact location, he told the dispatcher he was at a gas station near the small town of Gorman. The problem was Gorman is located about 260 miles south of the Bay Area, in the opposite direction of where he was supposed to be. I don't remember if he got fired for this error or not, but this screw up sure did generate a lot of laughs in the shop that day.
Illustrations by Clint Metcalf