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Bad timing

DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,491
edited March 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
Some years ago, a contractor called our office to say that he had gone to the hotel for my seminar last night but no one was there and the folks at the hotel knew nothing about it. He tried calling last night but we were closed for the day.

Debbie thought for a moment and then told the guy that the seminar had taken place at that hotel exactly one year ago the previous night.

He was silent for a long moment and then said, "Oh. You know I was wondering why I had bought that ticket so far in advance."

He didn't ask for a refund.

Got any bad-timing stories? I'd love to hear them.
Retired and loving it.


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,344
    This is an ugly one.
    Years ago I had a step son that was always in trouble, counseling etc the whole 9 yards nothing worked

    He wanted to go to NYMA (where Trump went). A long ride from Western MA and the tuition was killing me. I think it was 10k a year and I didn't really have it. He begged & begged to go their. So I figured if it worked it would be well worth it, I would make it work somehow.

    So he started in Sept. and it wasn't long before the glory was short lived. When he came home for Christmas he didn't want to go back after vacation he had two weeks off.

    So finally it's time to bring him back and he didn't want to go. begged and begged to stay home. No, we told him he had to finish out the year at least.

    So we made the trip and I lugged all the luggage up 3 flights to his room.

    His roommate said "what are you doing here? you were supposed to be back a week ago"

    I felt like tossing him out the window. My jaw hit the floor I dropped the luggage turned around and got back in the car. Speechless.
  • Jellis
    Jellis Member Posts: 228
    I showed up to a house to do a scheduled tune up on a boiler, while performing the service i was confused with how clean everything was, the filters, the chamber. It looked like someone had just cleaned it! I checked the service tag and it had not been updated since the previous years maintenance.
    I finished the service, spoke with the homeowner for a minute and as i prepared to leave her husband arrived.
    "whats wrong" he said, "nothing" the wife reassured him, "just our tune up, i called last week and had it scheduled for today"
    "that's strange" he claimed. I called last week and had it scheduled for yesterday... and he came... i even have the tag he signed, he gave us a nice new one so i put it in the drawer." he presented a new service tag in a new plastic bag that the tech has left yesterday. In calling the problem into the office we discovered that the husband and wife had called the office within minutes of each other and placed the order with 2 different customer service reps at basically the same time.

    He said he did not want the clean new service card getting dirty... I told him they work better that way :) leave it near the boiler.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,491
    @Jellis That's a good one! That must have been the cleanest boiler in the state.

    @EBEBRATT-Ed, sorry you had to go through that. A family we know had a son at Villanova some years back. He decided to skip a few classes at the start of his his senior year and go to the parties instead. Then he skipped a few more. After that, he figured what the heck and skipped them all. He partied for an entire year and his parents had no idea what he was up to (they were paying his tab). Graduation rolled around and the kid still said nothing to them. He just let them show up. The whole family did. He didn't have a cap and gown so they asked him why and that's when he spilled the beans.

    They never really got over that one.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,801
    Years ago I was installing a few hundred water conditioning systems for many different houses that had tested for groundwater and well water contamination . Many houses on or near this farmland needed these conditioners.
    This was long before the use of cell phones and computers. Didn't even have a pager, and no GPS.

    Got the work order early in the morning. This particular stop was scheduled to be the last of three at the end of the day. Back then they would write down on th WO the house, house address the color of the house and any other distinguishing details. The details for this house was a simple white house with a blue car in the back parked next to the barn and the number of the house. The customer was not going to be home. The basement is open and I am to do the work without the customer being at home. Simple enough. The customer not being home was not a unusual thing at the time. Had done plenty without the customer at home.

    This house was next to the road but surrounded by farmland. The nearest house was visible about one or two miles away and the only neighbor. This place was out there!

    Got to the house. No one is home. The number checks out as well as the description, including the blue car parked next to the barn.

    I got to work. Was putting the finishing touches on this install when I hear a voice yelling,..."Hello....Hello!" I yell back, "Hello! Im in the basement!" The home owner sticks her head down and says, "Why are you in my basement? What are you doing?'
    I replied, "Im installing your new water conditioner.".....She yells back," I didn't order a water conditioner."
    Oh no. I thought, and was starting to feel a bit ill. Then I went and introduced myself and explained why I was there and showed her the work order with all the directions, including the house description. Even the blue car parked next to the barn! The blue car she had next to her barn !!
    She stared at the work order for a uncomfortably long time. Then a odd look slowly came over her face. Then she said. " I know what happened. Years ago they changed the towns border lines. Not only are you at the wrong house but in the wrong town." "You are supposed to be at my neighbor's house a few miles over there. He never changed his number and I did change my house number years ago. I can't get that lazy neighbor of mine to do anything."

    No town line markers were ever installed either.
    A case of bad timing? Or Good? If the install took just fifteen minutes less ?

    PS Found out that she was scheduled for this install but not for another year.
    The lazy neighbor got there's installed two weeks later.

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,491
    @Intplm. Gosh. I can imagine how you must’ve felt. Did she pay for the installation?
    Retired and loving it.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,801
    I felt sick until we worked out why the mistake was made.
    Yes she did pay. A year later. And she reported that she was very happy with the installation too.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,344
    @DanHolohan , that's why my hair turned gray at 40.

    But here's another beauty.

    40 years ago working for an oil company we had a good customer who we sold a lot of fuel to. They had an employee who was switching to gas so he wanted his basement 275 gallon tank pumped out and the oil pumped into his employers tank. A "freebie" So i said ok and took a look at it. Regular 275 in the basement with a window right their. The customer was going to remove the tank.

    I had an oil driver who was pretty reliable I trusted him and sent him with a helper who was....fairly worthless.

    I gave them written instructions because no one would be at the house. 275 Somers Road (Town X) hatchway open , 275 inside and run the hose through the window.

    Well, you guessed it. The driver drove the oil truck and gave the helper the instructions and followed behind the helper who drove a pick up truck.

    They ended up at 275 Somers Road (Town Y) and proceeded to pump out a 1000 gallon in ground tank.

    Also, the homeowner came home and found them pumping her tank. They got so stressed they spilled oil on her driveway.

    I had a lot of splannin to do Lucy

  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,801
    @EBEBRATT-Ed . This one an old dear boss of mine told me once when I made a mistake. Wasn't a big mistake but he wanted to cheer me up.
    He was replacing a 275 gallon oil tank. For whatever reason, they kept the fill and vent installed outside after removing the tank.
    My boss said he went to lunch and came back only to see a oil truck making a auto delivery.
    Bad timing for sure and what a mess.

    This was long before EAP regs. but was one hell of a mess.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,491
    @EBEBRATT-Ed even Lucy couldn’t get out of that one. 😂
    Retired and loving it.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,344

    When I started reading your post and got to the third line I knew what was going to happen.

    We had a similar. Tech went on a no heat call and found the 275 empty but the gage read 1/2 full. He took a plug out of the tank a shoved his rular down their and found the tank empty. Bad gage.

    Unfortunately he forgot to put the plug back.

    The customer said she would wait for oil the next day.

    The oil driver was familier with the stop and thought the vent sounded funny so he stopped filling. It made a mess in the basement but could have been much worse
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,801
    Years and years ago this type of mistake had much less of an impact than what it would today with all of the containment and contamination and EPA issue that have surfaced over the years. @EBEBRATT-Ed , I sure would hate to have to deal with such a spill now a days !
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,441
    We were called to a new retail customer with no cooling. When my tech got to the roof, he found a defective capacitor and replaced it. The owner called later in the day telling me the ac did not work. Turns out my tech replaced the capacitor in the neighbors condensing unit. We fixed the correct unit and the neighbor said thanks but would not pay for the service call
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    About 30 years ago, my brother and I spent close to a week in an attic, installing an AC system, during the middle of the summer.

    We had an apprentice below doing all the running around for us. When we wrapped up the installation, my brother and I were toast. I told the apprentice to go up in the attic, clean up, and bring down all our gear.

    He wasn't up there two minutes before he stuck his foot through the middle of the living room ceiling. The house was large and had an open floor plan, one room bled into the other; one uninterrupted ceiling for the most part.

    I ended up paying for not only the ceiling repair, but a paint job for the entire ceiling.

    Steve Minnich
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 114
    My freshman year of college, buying airplane tickets on the internet and e-tickets were still relatively new. I bought my ticket to fly from Bradley International in Connecticut back home to Missouri. Went up to the counter, gave them my name, and said I was headed to Kansas City. I watched the gate agent type away, make a face, and then say, "Uh... we don't have any more flights going to Kansas City today."

    "Are you sure?" I asked. I pulled out my printout, and sure enough, I had purchased the ticket going from Kansas City to Bradley International instead of the other way around. Also, no cell phones then, so I had to call my mom collect to tell her I was going to be a day late for Thanksgiving.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,491
    I did that reverse-ticket thing more than once, and on ferries as well. Caused me to smack my forehead every time.
    Retired and loving it.
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 518
    When I first started doing AC installs I was in the backyard getting the condenser ready for start up..

    I had already pulled a vacuum and just had to crack the valves, the lineset was relatively short so I didn’t weigh anything in before cracking the valves..

    Well I started to crack the valves and learned a very important lesson...

    I didn’t disconnect the vacuum pump from the service hose, nor did I close the valves on the gauges. So, when I cracked the valves the refrigerant rushed thru the gauges, right thru the vacuum pump..

    There was a 10 foot high stream of vacuum pump oil flying out one of the ports of the vacuum pump.

    And at the exact same time this was happening the lead installer on the job turned the corner.

    I spent the next 2 hours scrubbing and trying to fix their patio blocks... :(
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,605
    Ha! That's how I learned about the solenoid valve in Liebert units.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    working for a supplier, we had a rather large gentleman who did oil tuneups.. He called in a panic one afternoon saying he was trapped behind a boiler, My self and another lead ran to the address intending to give him a hard time... problem was, he wasnt at the assigned address. Called his cell and he swore up and down he was there. We drove around for 15 minutes and found his truck 4 streets over. As we walked up to the house, the owner came home questioning why we were in her yard. Specially since she got oil from the competition... She was nice enough to allow us to free our co-worker (his belt got hung up on a pipe) and we of course completed the tune up free of charge.. and yes..I was nice enough to take a picture of him trapped back there...
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,491
    Love it! 😂
    Retired and loving it.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,344
    What a great thread!

    We had a guy who was a service tech. How I don't know but he hung on in the business for years.

    Super Bowl Sunday he's working on a walk in box. he can't get the compressor running because it's pumped down and the solenoid valve is closed.

    So he call in the supply house to open up on SB Sunday to get a condensing unit and changes it out. It still won't run solenoid still closed. Starts pumps down shuts off won't run again

    So he calls the s house guy back in again for a second condensing unit.

    They were not very happy with him
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Years ago when I was very green on refrigeration, we were called to remove a largish (may by 20 ton) R22 cooler in a produce storage facility. They were moving to a new location. It was winter and maybe 10 degrees outside. They had used a big tractor to snowblow to the condensing unit outside. I decided that since it was about 45 degrees inside that it would be much better to recover the unit at the evaporator and minimize my time in the cold.

    I had brought several empty recovery cylinders in anticipation of a lot of refrigerant. This unit hadn't been running for about 6 months, and it was my first time even seeing it. I pulled maybe 20 pounds out and it was holding a nice vacuum of about 10"WC.

    My coworkers and I had been working on the demo of the electrical feeding the condenser in the meantime. We left for lunch and my gauges showed no rise in pressure.

    We shovel out the rest of the condenser and proceed to cut the copper..... needles to say I learned what a pump down system was when we got to the liquid line.....we ran away, knowing there was nothing we could do in time now.

    My boss drove in as we were running and the frosty fog was emanating from the hole in the snowbank. That was the last time I ever had uncontrolled refrigerant escape.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 518
    I learned what king valves were in school...

    But the first time I put my gauges on a condenser with king valves in the field I did not realize!!