Short Circuits

Short Circuits

Everyone makes mistakes. Some are just funnier than others.







Laundry Looters

My brother and I were adding a receptacle at a dry cleaners, and the work required moving a desk and file cabinet away from the walls. The female employee on duty at the time spoke very little English. As my brother went out to the truck to get materials, I went between the file cabinet and the wall to do my work down by the floor. The next thing I knew, the girl was frantically speaking in Japanese, and I heard my brother say, “If I were you, I'd stand up real slowly.” As I rose from behind the filing cabinet, I saw my brother…with a shotgun-armed policeman. Five more were standing behind him. Unknown to us, moving the desk and file cabinet set off the silent alarm. I explained, as my brother had, that we were simply doing electrical work. The girl finally got control of herself and started speaking more calmly in English. The guns and hands went down, and we all tried to cope with that leftover adrenaline.
Scott Cline
Monterey Park, Calif.


Caught Sauce Handed

After receiving a service call to repair an emergency light in the ladies' room at a local BBQ restaurant, I pulled up to the rear door, went in through the kitchen, and told them I was there to do the work. I went to the ladies' room, checked the light, and found that it was remote powered. I looked all over the place for the main unit that had the battery and even had an employee help me look for it. After a half-hour of hunting, waiting, and checking, I found that the fixture was working just fine. Just as I'm packing up and finishing my paperwork, my boss walks in and asks what I'm doing. I told him the story, and after he finished laughing he told me that the restaurant I was looking for was a couple doors down. Thanks to two-way phones, the whole crew knew about it a few minutes later.
Stephen McArthur
Rock Hill, S.C.


Illustrations by Clint Metcalf

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