A Good Man

A Government job with union workers is not very efficient at times.  On one job we were assigned to work in pairs.  My partner was a young man who also owned a saloon.  He liked the good pay on a union job, so he would take that work when he could.

He was also an excellent manipulator.

We were given an assignment to make a run of conduit to a junction box in a specified area.  Due to the secrecy of the project, the plans were written out in a very unusual way.  They were written in a code you had to be familiar with in order to read them.

In a day and a half we were nearly done when my partner got in touch with our foreman and explained how it was a mistake to run the conduit the way the plans called for.  He convinced the foreman who told us to take it down and do it over.  We finished the day taking it apart.

Day three we started over doing it the way it had been changed.  By the fourth day the superintendent came by with the foreman.  My partner got them to look at the plans with him.  The superintendent agreed to change the way of running the conduit it to a third way.  By the end of day five (Friday) we were exactly where we had been at the start of day one (Monday)!  All week-end I wondered how long this would go on.

Monday morning my partner did not show up.  The foreman asked me where he was.  I didn’t know.  All I could say was; “He didn’t show up.”  The foreman returned with the superintendent and informed me that my partner had decided to stay home and take care of business at the saloon.

The superintendent told the foreman; “Too bad.  He was a good man.”

Do you sometimes wonder why government work is so expensive?