High Pockets

High Pockets

….That’s what we called him.  I don’t remember his name, but he probably doesn’t remember the name of the sarcastic electrician he had to put up with either.


He had two carpenters working under him.  They were brothers, who had built and owned a skating rink west of town.  I got along fine with the two brothers.  One of the brothers was notable by his stature and demeanor.  He was short and cheerful.


I guess I should have been a little nicer to High Pockets.  His boss had an odd practice –  he would dole out exactly so many nails to each man every morning.  I guess he thought it was wasteful to drop a nail on the ground and leave it.


Usually when I was wiring on a house, if I needed a nail or two, I would look around on the floor or ground and find plenty.  On this job I could never find a nail when I needed one; and the carpenters were not anxious to give me one.


High Pockets would complain if I visited too long with the two brothers.  I was wasting their time!


One day I came on the job to do some work.  I was only going to be a few minutes, so I grabbed the carpenters’ ladder rather than bring in my own from the pick-up.  High Pockets came over and chided me for using their ladder – I should bring my own!


I was done with what I was doing so I returned the ladder to him without saying anything.  The two brothers were apologetic as they weren’t using the ladder anyway.  It bothered me that 1). He didn’t want me using a ladder that wasn’t in use, and 2). If it was needed I wouldn’t feel backward about getting off of it, and 3). If I needed my ladder and someone was using it, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell them I needed my ladder.  I didn’t care if it was someone 12 feet tall and 350 pounds!


Later on I had to come back to the job again.  I walked up to the cheerful brother and said; “What does an electrician say to a carpenter when he first comes on a job?”


He said; “What?”


I said; “Take me to your ladder.”


Both of the brothers burst out laughing.  What I didn’t realize was that High Pockets was standing around the corner and heard all this.


He didn’t seem to like it and it didn’t improve relations between us at all.