Some Jobs Just Don’t Work Out

Thirty-five or Forty years ago, I worked on a Safeway store on the South Hill.  It was constructed on a slope, so one end of the building had a 4 foot high foundation wall.  I decided I would run my entrance conduit on that end so that I wouldn’t have to dig it in.  However the General Contractor started leveling the ground with a small “Cat”, and since I was using PVC conduit, I had to leave it out until he was done so that it wouldn’t become damaged.  That job was a loser from the start.  I wound up having to hand dig a 3 foot deep ditch to get my conduit installed.

There was a large steel beam running from one side of the building to the other.  It had been installed and the block workers had laid their block to cover the ends of the beam.  We were late into September by then and there was no heat in the building.  One Monday we came to work to find that the beam had contracted enough from the cold that it had pulled the block covering the ends, into the wall area and had busted up the block.  It became necessary to re-design the block layout to account for the expansion and shrinkage of the beam.

Another morning we came to work and found that someone had broken in and stolen some of the contractor’s tools.  Some of our electrical tools were stacked by the back door.  The thieves had apparently been scared off and did not take the electrical tools, either through anxiety or because of forgetting them in the dark.

On Christmas day that year, thieves had broken into the clothing store located at one end of the building.  They had taken a large stack of clothing off the racks.  The owner of the clothing store said that they apparently knew what they were doing, since they had taken only the most expensive items.

In the spring, when the job was nearly finished, water poured into the site and soaked some of the larger gauge wire.  I had to get the wire out in the sun and let the water drain out and dry so that it could be used.

Apparently the inspector missed it or I would never have gotten away with it.  (It has worked fine for these 35 or 40 years!)

I was disappointed in the way the job went.  I did not want my first decent sized job to be a loser.  For that reason, the last week I worked on that job I didn’t turn in any time.