Everyone makes mistakes. Some are just funnier than others.
The office we were running conduit in about 30 years ago was of typical wood-frame construction, about 9 feet high, inside a 25-foot warehouse. I was walking along the wood ceiling joists of the small office, placing the conduit handed up to me. Being young and with good balance, I was certain I would not step through the drywall ceiling. As I got to the last 10 feet of office space, I saw several very large pieces of cardboard laying on top of the joists. Making boxes from these huge sheets was the business of this company, so it wasn't surprising to see a few sheets up there. I just continued along the line of the ceiling joists for one more step. In the next moment, I was headed toward the floor. Fortunately, I just caught myself by grabbing the top of the wall. The manager on the phone at his desk was looking through a cloud of dust at me hanging in the corner, and at the cardboard now laying on his absent partner's desk. In an instant, he started laughing out loud. It turned out that they had “expanded” their office space by building walls only, using their cardboard for the ceiling.
Monterey Park, Calif.
An Unexpected Shower
Two one-year trade school students were assigned the task of wiring a lathe in the trade school's machine shop. Power was to be connected through a 4-inch box recessed in the shop's concrete floor. After making the connections — and to prevent metal chips from the lathe from entering the connection box — the students were instructed to fill the box with a thick insulating liquid. After pouring what seemed to be a large quantity of liquid into the box without filling it, the enraged instructor of the school's auto body shop one floor below suddenly appeared, showered with the thick liquid. Apparently, the flush box was nippled to an empty box in the ceiling below.
Illustrations by Clint Metcalf