Everyone makes mistakes. Some are just funnier than others.
A co-worker and I were working on a job that involved pulling some coaxial cables through the building in a drop ceiling from one room to the next. We were trying to figure out a faster and better way to get the cables through the ceiling and complete the job on time when an idea hit us. We took a 10-foot stick of 1/2-inch conduit, taped the cable to the end of it, and started pushing it through the ceiling. It worked great. We started moving faster, and soon we were throwing it overhead — one of us would be on one end waiting by the open hole in the ceiling to intercept the conduit when it came by. Well, my partner misjudged when the conduit would reach the hole, popped his head up too fast, and it hit him in the face and knocked some teeth right down his throat. Needless to say, we didn't get the job done that day.
After working three years as an electrical contractor, I moved to southeastern Massachusetts. As my business expanded I ended up with two nice jobs in two towns on Cape Cod. I got into a dispute over the phone with the local inspector in the first town. I was young but I wasn't stupid, so I gave in. Later, I had already roughed-in the first floor of the office building I was working on in the other town and had been approved for closing. As I finished roughing in the next floor, the general contractor asked if they could drywall over the weekend. I said I'd visit the local inspector, whom I had yet to meet. I went to his office and talked to him, and he told me he had seen my work and liked it, so he gave me the go-ahead. We got to talking, so I told him about my dispute with the inspector in the other town and remarked, “What a pain in the butt, huh?” He got up from his desk and said, “I don't think we've been formally introduced. I'm that pain in the butt you just mentioned. I serve both towns.”
Illustrations by Clint Metcalf