Don’t Let the Job Get You Down

I usually tried to work alone.  It was easier than working with someone I had to teach as I worked.  This meant I had to do some jobs, which were usually designed to be done by more than one person, alone.  One of the more difficult jobs to do alone was to pull wire through conduit.  In the process I developed certain tools that were specifically designed to allow me to work a two man job by myself.

One job I remember required me to lay two inch steel conduit in a ditch.  I prepared the job by laying out the conduit alongside the ditch.  Then I went into the ditch and assembled the pipe as I went along, pulling the material from the top of the ditch.

With rigid conduit you have to thread the couplings and pipe carefully.  If they are not lined up perfectly you will get easily cross-threaded.  The weight of a ten foot piece of 2” rigid pipe is significant.  It can be quite awkward getting it lined up to thread together when you are alone.  It was a long hard day!

Later on I was complaining (telling a story) to a painter friend of mine about the hard work I had done.  I said; “I would take the pipe off the bank, thread it together and I was quite well along in the run when I checked the job.  I found the pipes were on the bank and I was lying in the ditch.”

He replied; “Adrian, I told you not to let the job get you down.”

I heard a story about a plumbing contractor, pipe, and employee motivation.

After his men had screwed together a number of lengths of pipe, he would turn on the water and they would have to screw the pipes together before the water got to them.

Today, most plumbing and electrical pipe is made of PVC or plastic and they are glued together.  Sewer pipes snap together with a rubber ring.  Seldom do we use threaded pipe anymore.  Plastic pipe is lighter, easier to bend and does not rust.  There is no known life of plastic pipe.

But the old stories are fun to remember.