1st National Bank

The 1st National Bank

Glasgow, Montana was and still is a small town.  In a small town you get to know at least half of the people fairly closely.  As a family we knew the First National Bank President, Vice-president, and the Farm Home Loan officer.  My wife had gone to school with some of the tellers.


One winter the bank did a remodel and the shop I worked for had the electrical contract.  Inside the bank, scaffolding was erected over the entire bank floor.  We did all of our work over the top of the ongoing banking operations.


The General Contractor Company was out of Minnesota and the job foreman, a great big Swede, came with the job.  He was quite a character.  When it was time for him to saw a board, he would look around for the girl with the big black up-do on her head.  Then he would saw the board so that the sawdust drifted down onto her head.


I don’t know if she ever caught on to what he was doing but I heard her and another teller talking once.  The girl with the up-do said she had to wash her hair every night; “It is so messy.”


One time I was cutting off a length of conduit and I made the comment “Shoot!  I cut it off twice and it’s still too short.”

The big Swede was standing there.  He looked at me in a stunned way and said; “Of course it’s too short.  Did you think it would get longer?”


He walked over to one of his crew and said; “That crazy electrician cut off a conduit twice and says it is still too short.”  No wonder they do terrible work.”


I just let it go.  Some people don’t understand a joke.


Two other electricians were working with me on the job.  Somehow, though there was no official word on the subject, I seemed to be the one running the job.  A  point in the job came when we were all on the roof.  We were working on the air conditioning and heating units.  The other two men were standing and counseling together discussing how we would hook up all the equipment together.


I walked over and laid out the plan; “First we will do this (indicating one portion of the job), then we will do that (another portion), and then we will do that, and it will all work.”


They looked at me and asked; “How did you figure that out so fast?”


I told them; “Well there must be some reason why the boss put me in charge of this job.”


What I didn’t tell them was that I had been going over the job in my mind for some weeks.  (No time for singing on this one.)  I rarely bragged about anything as I had found it can have pretty bad repercussions.  However, it felt pretty good to be able to excel in this instance, as these two guys had been a little critical of me at times


Not so much after that.