Staying Sober On the Job

Electricians inherently work in dangerous situations with a high probability of dangerous outcomes.  You would think an electrician would know enough to stay sober while on the job.  One slip and you could have a mountain of a mess on your hands.

Some guys would amaze me with how much they drank on the job and were still alive.

One fellow I worked with in Montana was pretty heavy on the bottle.  I don’t know why the boss kept him on but he was a pain to the rest of us.  One time he was working on a job and the boss sent me down to help him out.

When I got to his job, he was going to pull wire.  However contrary to common sense he had pulled all the wire off of the wire reels.  It was in one big mess in the center of the floor, with him in the center of the mess, like a bird in the middle of a huge nest.

He was of the opinion that he could handle it, and sent me down to the other end of the run to pull the wire.  His plan was to untangle and feed the wire as I pulled it.  We would pull about 4 feet of wire and then have to stop while he untangled more.  Finally I suggested that I go work on other things while he worked on untangling all of the wire.

About 4 hours later he came and told me he was ready.  It took us about ½ hour to pull the whole run.  After that I tried to avoid working with him because I didn’t know what kind of mess he would get into.

In the Electrical Union drinking on the job was one ground to fire a man immediately.  A foreman and a superintendant had to observe the man drinking alcohol on the job.

One time there were about a dozen of us electricians working on a job with one heavy boozer.  Every few hours he would disappear for a short time and reappear fully loaded.  The foreman approached a couple of us and told us to watch where he went when he disappeared.

After a time we saw him crawl up into the attic space and into a dark corner where he got his re-blast.  We informed the foreman and he went and got the superintendant.  They got a powerful light and caught him red handed.  Or should I say red faced.  He was gone within the hour.