Who’s The Boss

Who’s The Boss?

One job I was on we were wiring a large building near the railroad.  I was the guy that was running the job for the company.  One day at noon, we all went to the large roll up doors to sit on the loading dock to eat our lunch.

While we ate a Railroad work crew came by in an extra cab pick-up.  It was loaded full of railroad workers.  The vehicle was traveling about 1 foot per second.  In effect it was traveling REAL slowly.

It took several minutes to get to us and go past.  Our guys looked over their guys very closely as the pick-up went by.

After it had gone some distance past, one of the guys sitting there eating lunch said: “Adrian, I want to go for a ride.”

A different time we had a number of school houses that were being remodeled for the next school year.  We were taking out old fashioned light fixtures and replacing them with fluorescent fixtures called “Slimlines.”

Getting to the job, there was one truck completely loaded with fixtures, miscellaneous materials, ladders and tools.  Three of us electricians rode with the boss in his car. The lighting fixtures were a new technology at the time and none of us had worked with these fixtures before.  As we were driving back the first day, the boss was figuring costs out loud as he drove.  He was trying to see how close he was to his bid.

I was sitting in the back seat.  As the boss was figuring out so many fixtures for so many houses for so many men I was also doing the same figuring in my head.

I did a quick calculation in my head and realized that he had miscalculated.  I blurted out; “No, Roy (we were on a first name basis), that’s not right.”  (How is that for tact?)  I saw Roy’s shoulders bunch up but it was too late now.  I then went over my thinking, out loud, in front of the other men, and explained that we were at ½ hour per fixture.

He was a good man and did a re-figure based on what I said and then stated; “That’s not bad at all!”

I have since learned to be a little more tactful when I disagree with someone.  Especially since for over twenty years I was the boss.