Who Was That Guy?

I was working alone one time on a job requiring quite large wire.  Here came a husky young fellow the shop had sent out to help me.

I had the conduit run and was ready to pull in the wire.  When we measured the wire, instead of using a string to measure, I counted up the lengths of pipe.  We went back to the shop and cut the wire.

We returned to the job and proceeded to pull in the wire.  The husky young guy was on the pulling end and I was on the pushing end.

Actually the man feeding the wire in (the pushing end) has to do it just right.  He can make the job easy or impossible.

It is necessary to leave a certain length of wire at each end, outside the conduit, to land the wire.  When there was just enough wire to land it on the feeding end, I hollered to the young guy; “That’s all you can have.”

He said; “The wire is just barely to the edge of the pipe.”

I couldn’t believe it!  I went to the pulling end and sure enough, the wire was ten feet short.  I had miscounted the lengths of pipe by one pipe.  We pulled the wire back out.  With that size and length of wire, it was a pretty spendy mistake.

It was the end of the day.  All night I worried about telling the boss in the morning.  Should I tell the truth and take the heat?  It was my mistake.  I drove to work the next morning with a heavy heart.  I was met at the door by the estimator and the first words out of his mouth was; “Cut the wire too short, huh?”  (How did he know?)

I admitted I had miscounted the sticks of pipe.  He told me to; “Put the lengths of wire on the shelf and cut new ones.  We can always use it somewhere else.”  (Whew!)

Later on I found out that the tall husky apprentice was the boss’s son.

Lesson learned – it’s always better to be out front with everything.