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Cranky old SOB

Jackmartin Member Posts: 196
I think I am getting too old for this business it seems I am getting more cranky each week. I was in Wosley yesterday and some kid in his mid twenties was telling anyone who would listen or couldn’t avoid him ,how lousy MacDonnell controls were. He was busily shaking the linkage on one and telling the world see how sloppy they are. So, old cranky here, asks him if they would work more effectively if they were put together like a fine watch. He informs me”Yeah, that would be way better”, duh. I ask him if the boilers he works on are always gently steaming and the water never goes up and down. He says no ,they are always rolling and the water line goes up and down. So ,asking him in all innocence; would the control with a fine watch’s movement work under those circumstances and he says, “ Sure”. When this silly discussion started, there were just the two of us in the wholesale, now every heating guy in Winnipeg has shown up! I thought, I have better things to do than educate the all knowing ,and as I left he started telling the world once more about boiler controls. This takes me back to the stone age ,when I was a little younger than him and probably just as stupid. I had rigged a ten inch header valve ( correctly I thought) with the come a long chain wrapped around the stem of the valve and started to lift it ,when out of the blue my journeyman grabs my overalls at the neck and I am in mid air just as the valve gently falls to earth. I worked with old time fitters and they were big men ,unbelievably strong, so he saved me from a terriable injury. Well, after he had informed me how completely dumb I was, I felt like a very well chewed piece of bubble gum. The end of the day came and as I was the apprentice ,my job was to clean up,and it was Friday so I was in a good mood.Then the day turned a little dark. The foreman yells at me “ I want to talk to you Jake, now”! I just knew I was going down the road ,he was no one to mess with , even on a good day. He was like all the men I worked with ,a WW2 veteran and he had been a Sargent in the infantry ,spending four years in Europe. Just to make matters worse ,he was a big man among big men, six four ,275 and not fat. He puts his huge hands one on each shoulder, I guess he thought he was being fatherly, all I thought was great;,now I can not run. He looks me in the eye and tells me one of the really important rules of life. “ You know son, being stupid is a choice, you can stay dumb and blame God and the world each time you mess up or you can become a man and listen and try to be better each day, understand? I just ,I think ,nodded my mouth was so dry I couldn’t have spoken if I wanted to and the hole in my bum was about the size of a peanut. “ Okay, see you on Monday”, I could not believe I still had a job. I am not going to say I changed over night;but, as I got older, I realized how right he was ,stupidity is a choice.I am sure MacDonnell has an email by now ,telling them how they are making their boiler controls wrong, from a real authority. Yep, I am getting too cranky, All the best Jack.
rick in Alaska


  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    I think I know where some of those who refused to learn went..."sigh"... It's amazing how some get it..and some should just get....
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
    Nod yep.
    Retired and loving it.
  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 350
    Your story reminded me of a similar job related "awakening" I experienced when I was just out of high school working for a telco contractor. I was just about to do something stupid that would have caused property damage while we were burying telephone lines. A good third party "wake up lecture" from someone you respect goes a long way at that age or at least for me it did. It sunk in and I looked at work in a different way from then on.
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
    Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.
    -some dead guy