Honest Work?

The human condition has deteriorated to the point that honest workmen are no longer just “expected.”  That is what I found when I was sent to some large jobs.  Theft was everywhere and on every job.  I have seen men walk off the job carrying fluorescent tubes, and/or new parts and pieces.  You’ve probably heard the song by Johnny Cash – “One Piece at a Time.”  There is a lot of truth in that song.

One of the Government jobs I was on was using a type of oil that cost $70.00 per quart.  It was not usable for any residential application.  At all.  But just because it wasn’t usable at home did not prevent many of the men from emptying their coffee thermos and filling it with the oil and walking off the job with it.  It ruined their thermos and was not usable, but Hey!, it was expensive.

I wonder how many residential garages still have a quart of that oil that nobody knows how to use or what it is for.

One time I was driving a truck for an electrical contractor and parked it on the street at the job.  The spare tire was mounted in front of the radiator.  One of the times I came out of the building to my truck the tire and wheel were gone.   I immediately called the shop.  They were to report it to the authorities and I had to return to the shop without a spare.

A couple days later, one of the men in the office approached me a asked what I got for the tire.  I asked; “What tire?”

“The one that was a spare on your truck.”

I remembered the saying “I thinketh the gentlemen protesteth too much!”, so I said; “Not enough to risk my job over.”

Years ago I heard a story about a man who left his job every day with a wheel barrow full of straw.  Everyone knew he was stealing, but they couldn’t tell what he was stealing.  The guards at the shack would search diligently every day and find nothing except straw.

Some time later, one of the guards was on another job with this man, though he wasn’t working as a guard this time.  The Ex-guard asked the worker confidentially; “I knew you were stealing something and I never could understand what.”

The guy answered; “Wheel barrows.”