Collateral damage

Merry Christmas
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Chamuit

Grumpy Old Man
Location
Texas
Occupation
Electrician
About two months ago, I installed some trac lighting. Job went great. Moved everything out of my way everything spic and span. Put everything back. Last table was slightly (just leave it alone) out of square. Nudge it the last 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Bam! Broke a one of a kind glass vase. Thought I'd bought it. Little old lady looks at me and says, "I've been waiting for someone the break that g**d**n thing."
 

e57

Senior Member
We dog people take care of our dogs and our dogs take care of us ( except maybe at the track, then sometimes ).
Just don't take care of the dog in my front yard - I'm thinking of an electric fence.... ;)

I live in a city - I live on a busy street.... and IMO it is cruelty to keep a dog in one. And for many - the suburban lifestyle of keeping a dog is something they feel a selfish need for.

But anyway, a few years ago I was away for the day, and my van alarm went off - when I came home I reviewed the video footage from the security camera. It has a motion sensor that activates everytime there is motion in a certain area in the video signal. That registers as an 'event' and tapes the activity... So I'm watching, dog - dog, dog, dog - Dog - dog, dog, dog - Dog.... Finally fount the footage of someone checking the window.... Then, dog, dog, dog - Dog - dog, dog, dog - Dog.... So I backed up and counted them all - 76 something dogs pissing on the same bush... literally 75% of pedestrian footage was someone walking one... I backed up to the previous day - another 50 or so... Sorry but thats disgusting... There have been a few that allow the dog all the way up my driveway... Sure its the owner allowing it - but I wonder what they would think if I showed up and took a whiz on thier doorstep once or twice a day. (FWIW that bush is gone now - I wonder whats next.... I had it removed solely because I can't stand seeing my daughter near that health hazard when shes out there...)
 

stevenje

Senior Member
Location
Yachats Oregon
Well if you want to know about all the things I have drilled, cut, knocked over, ran into, scuffed, burned up, or similarly damaged or broke, then this is going to be one long post.

When I was an apprentice. I worked on a remodel were my journeyman cut in a remodel outlet box into a pocket door. It give a whole new meaning to an electric door opener.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
So I backed up and counted them all - 76 something dogs pissing on the same bush... literally 75% of pedestrian footage was someone walking one... I backed up to the previous day - another 50 or so... Sorry but thats disgusting...


I'm thinking of maybe a pay toilet for dogs, this could be a gold mine. :grin:

On the serious side I do understand your problem and agree that there are to many humans on the planet which doesn't leave room for other wild life. When people are forced to live in cities they do have to give up a certain life style.

I used to go hunting in areas that are now covered with sub-divisions and new houses and I find that disgusting.
 

e57

Senior Member
What? Why I aughtta....:grin:

I do understand that irresponsible dog owners should be tasked for their actions, but blame the owner, not the dog.

Where in SF do you live? I grew up in the Sunset
Like I said - it's in the dogs nature to mark any other place that some other dog did... And yes - the silly owners are disconnected from the realities of urban living. But I figured the "Fire breathing Lion and dead dog" sculpture would be a subtle reminder that the owners would get more than the dog would - and better than me standing out there getting progressively more firm in reminding them. Since most of them really don't understand that not only their Fido likes to hit my front walk - but every other mutt as well. Whats worse is there are SOME who flaunt this type of thing by ignoring "No Dogs" signs in parks and playgrounds because they see it as 'unfair' that all those kids have all that grass and nature type stuff dogs like to deficate on - reserved for just 'kids'... :mad:

Anyway - I'm not sure if you know this - or when you left SF, but the population replacement program known as the Dot Com era booted many of the people who grew up here (Unfortunately) and replaced them with way too many suburbanites and there is a dog for every 3rd person now...

I live in Miraloma Park - some people who grew up cant place it sometimes. It's little known 'hood between Mt Davidson and Glen Park - Over by Juvenile Hall if you know where that is????
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
Anyone who has worked residential or retail has done it. Broken something, drilled through something unintended, marked up a rug etc. My typical reaction is to do the best I can to minimize the apparent damage and than tell the owner. My question is if you do a good enough job of putting it back together are you "covering up" or did you fix the problem?


The subject of collateral damage is a good topic for discussion even without getting dogs and cats involved.


Most people do break something or make a mistake from time to time in any line of work and someone ends up paying for it in some way. Even the time needed to repair a mistake is an expense that has to be figured in with the cost of doing business.

Many people think that a contractor should work for what they consider a fair wage and not charge unreasonably high prices. They don't make that kind of money at work so why should you? Most people don't realize that when they make a mistake at work they are still on the clock when they repair said mistake so the company they work for actually absorbs the cost of the mistake as one of the cost of doing business.

Liability insurance doesn't cover the cost of most minor mistakes and if it did it would be so expensive that you couldn't afford it.

You really walk a fine line here, you try to work fast enough to make the work profitable and afforable for the customer and at the same time there is the need to work slow enough and carefull enough to keep mistakes to the minimum.

Dealing with mistakes is a major business concern. I guess that's why there is normally a punch out list at the end of a job. It's understood that due to the need for speed that everything wasn't perfect the first time around, there were some mistakes made or things left out.
 

jumper

Senior Member
I live in Miraloma Park - some people who grew up cant place it sometimes. It's little known 'hood between Mt Davidson and Glen Park - Over by Juvenile Hall if you know where that is????

I left in 1989. I know where you are at. A quick google search shows that the cross is still standing on Mt. Davidson.

What high school did you go to? I went to Lincoln.
 

fondini

Senior Member
Location
nw ohio
I once drilled thru a roof with a diversabit,felt it go thru but when I checked the attic couldnt find it. I got out my ladder and found it sticking up about a foot in the air. Luckily the ho had shingles in the garage so I replaced one.
 

bpk

Senior Member
I remeber one time me and and an apprentice got sent to a job because the HO (who happened to be the sheriff) was very picky about details and the two of us had a good reputation in our shop for being clean and doing nice work. We had to re-trench a UG cable to his detached garage at a very nice lake home.I was running the trencher and the old underground had been disconnected on the house side but was still connected in the garage panel. As I got close to the garage the trencher hit the old cable but instead of cutting through it the old cable became tangled in the trencher chain and it pulled the cable and the old 100 amp panel right thru the outside wall of the garage. It all happened so fast I couldnt believe it at first, but after a few seconds me and the apprentice looked at each other and burst out laughing.
 

bpk

Senior Member
I also had two good ones in the same week once. We were finishing up a new church and I was hanging a custom made neon sign above the front door. It was round with a cross and a torch on top of it, and I dropped the thing and it exploded on the sidewalk.
Then a few days later we were putting in a service at a new city owned liquor store and the panels had come from the supplier with all the breakers installed according to the panel schedule. Well someone (not me) had set the panel interior into the can but not bolted it in. I grabbed it to move it out of the way and the interior fell out of the can and landed on the concrete floor, it broke the handle off of almost every breaker in it. They were all Qo bolt ins-most three phase. My boss told me if I broke one more thing I was fired, now as a business owner I cant believe he had so much patience.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
I've left marks on the floor from my lacing eyes as well. I'm constantly searching for a better boot design.


Well around here I only use soft slip on shoes when working in a finished home or place of BIz. I carry hospital booties and a spare set of shoes. I change to clean shoes when I enter the home and Change back when I need to go to the truck. I have several pairs of those pull string boots ( not work safety type) I realize this might be against OSHA but I am the owner and I don't like to pay for damaged floors.
 

stevenje

Senior Member
Location
Yachats Oregon
I remeber one time me and and an apprentice got sent to a job because the HO (who happened to be the sheriff) was very picky about details and the two of us had a good reputation in our shop for being clean and doing nice work. We had to re-trench a UG cable to his detached garage at a very nice lake home.I was running the trencher and the old underground had been disconnected on the house side but was still connected in the garage panel. As I got close to the garage the trencher hit the old cable but instead of cutting through it the old cable became tangled in the trencher chain and it pulled the cable and the old 100 amp panel right thru the outside wall of the garage. It all happened so fast I couldnt believe it at first, but after a few seconds me and the apprentice looked at each other and burst out laughing.

I worked on a job where the lawn sprinkler installers got to close to a chain link fence with one of their trenchers. That baby crawled 3/4 of the way up the fence before they could shut it off. I'll will never forget the sight of that trencher hanging off that fence. It must have taken those guys a good couple of hours to get all that fencing out from underneath that trencher. A couple of days later the same crew had one of their guys break an arm using one of those four handled power post hole diggers. Talk about having a day at work.
 
The old 6' flexibit. I was about a 3rd year and was trying to old work some cans into someones kitchen. We (my journeyman and I) figured we could use the flexibit to drill between bays and get the job done w/ no notches. Well when we had the bit in the proper depth and could not find it in the bay we started looking elsewhere. Elsewhere happened to be through a copper roof. I still can't believe the HO's settled w/ a patch on the copper panel rather than making us replace a much larger section.

The one I feel bad about to this day happened when I was a first year. I moved a bedside table to work on a receptacle behind it. This was a high end home w/ very expensive furniture. When I stood up a screwdriver that was sticking out of my pouch gouged a 6" long line through the finish. I was young and figured that since it was the side next to the wall that no one needed to know about it. I'm sure the HO blamed the movers when they changed location.

But besides amusing anecdotes I'm wondering how much you own when something goes bad. I was working in a liquor store recently and dropped something off a ladder that took out about 4 bottles of wine. I felt terrible but the workers assured me it was no big deal. They return the necks to the distributor and get credit for them. I was completely prepared to take the blame and have the owner take it out of my fee but was convinced by the workers not to worry about it. So again the question comes up what is covering up and what is fixing the situation? Is full disclosure always necessary if no recurring problem is evident? I don't know if there is a correct answer but I'm curious how others look at this.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
Don't ever beat, sawzall, hammer on a wall without looking on the other side first!!!

shadow box full of irreplaceable glass figurine collectibles, one costly lesson, but was paid by my liability insurance about 25 years ago.

As far as 6' snake bits go, had a few go through roofs, out side walls, and other places where they never been before, but I couldn't live without them.

The most funnest situations (now, not then) was me and three co-workers were doing an up grade to a house, running new 20 amp circuits to the kitchen.
The home owner was nervous and she kept asking us to make sure we don't make a mess or damage anything, the place was spotless, all plush living room and such, well I had one guy at the panel pushing up the wire, another in the attic running it across and pushing it down the wall where I would bring it out the cut in box opening, when all of a sudden I here this loud crash in the living room where the home owner was watching TV on the couch, when I went in there to see what happened, the guy from in the attic was sitting on the couch right next to the HO, she was just shaking with a blank stare, covered in insulation, and drywall dust, I wanted to crawl back to my van and get the you know what out of there, I told her not to worry that I would have a restoration crew there asap, called serve pro and they had it all cleaned up and drywall replaced by the time we quit for the day.
That one cost us a bit.

found out latter the guy just stepped between the rafters right on the drywall with both feet, one of the most embarrassing times of my life.
 
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stevenje

Senior Member
Location
Yachats Oregon
found out latter the guy just stepped between the rafters right on the drywall with both feet, one of the most embarrassing times of my life.

I would say he was real lucky he wasn't straddling that rafter on his way down or he would be singing soprano for the local church choir.
 
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