A Change of Plans
I had to do a punch list at a school in Concord, Mass. It wasn't my job, so I wasn't familiar with the correspondence methods that the various trades were using on the project. After going through the whole building — 30,000 square feet over 8 hours — and making all of my comments, I couldn't believe how badly the contractor had messed up. I had four pages of notes and a bunch of comments on the drawings.
I walked into the trailer feeling a little uncomfortable because I didn't want to make the contractor look bad. After I showed him my list, he asked me the date on my drawings. I said, “August 2002, of course.” He handed me a set of drawings dated December 2002. Needless to say, a lot can happen in four months. I walked into the trailer embarrassed for the contractor and walked out with my tail between my legs.
While completing the electrical work in a remodeling project at a small office building several years ago, I was working with another electrician in the attic. There was an access hole to the attic space that we were using by means of an 8-foot ladder. The fellow I was working with was a nervous-energy type of person. He went down out of the attic to get a drill motor and cord, and while he was gone a carpenter moved the ladder because it was in the way. Not noticing it had been moved, the nervous electrician came tearing down the hallway, up the ladder, and right through the ceiling up to his armpits. Of course, we asked for an RFI to have the electrician-sized hole fixed. I can't say for certain if the incident had any bearing on his decision, but he went on to be an electrical inspector.
Illustrations by Clint Metcalf.