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 Worst/best/funniest jobs in the field.
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 5:46:42 PM on 26 February 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 878

Brad is right we should have a spot for these look backs in time.
Here we go, come on guys post away!
i'll go away and think of something.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 6:41:18 PM on 26 February 2020.
BringBackTheValve's Gravatar
 Location: Linton, VIC
 Member since 30 December 2016
 Member #: 2028
 Postcount: 240

Sounds good to me Fred.

People I tell this story to think I made it up. Not so. One of my job cards issued for the day described a Philips with poor focus.
According to the card, nobody would be home but a key would be left underneath the back door mat. When I arrived I walked straight
to the back of the house but did not see a door mat. I looked in the meter box, found a key which opened the door and walked in to find
a Sanyo instead of a Philips.

The fault was quite common (N.P. electrolytic cap upsetting EW symmetry). I repaired it, locked up and went onto the next job, eventually
working my way home. The next day the boss asked if I had forgotten the Philips. "No" I said, "And it was a Sanyo not a Philips".

He then told me the customer had reported his Philips had not been repaired. I had gone to the house next door. It was such a strange
situation. I was sent promptly to the 'right' house, repaired the Philips (new focus HV resistor-----remember the tiger stripes?) and never
heard anything more.

When I think back I can see now why my boss insisted we 'say nothing' about the mistake. Someone got a free TV repair that day.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 7:28:02 PM on 26 February 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

When I was 20 I worked on diesel trucks for the health department.
One day I turn up to work and I was still a bit stoned from the party the night before.
Anyway first job of the day was to service one of those night street sweepers.
After I serviced it I drove it out into the yard and filled it up with diesel.
I then tested all the hydraulics.
The sealsin the hydraulic rams popped and it sprayed diesel all over the yard and workshop.
I was so out of it still ,i had filled the hydraulic tanks with diesel!
What a mess!
These days I draw the line at coffee and a cig,
But we were all 20 once.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 7:39:30 PM on 26 February 2020.
BringBackTheValve's Gravatar
 Location: Linton, VIC
 Member since 30 December 2016
 Member #: 2028
 Postcount: 240

I can relate Pete.

A few cans of very light beer is my treat these days.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 8:02:37 PM on 26 February 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1898

Somewhat similar story:

Despatch at the TV service company where I worked in the late 60s and early 70s were having one of their regular "go around the back if no answer" rule enforcements. That is, if there was no answer at the door we couldn't just radio in and ask Despatch to phone the customer.

So, on a service call on a sunny day in Sylvania from memory, I got no answer at the door and so went around the back. I was about to open the gate when I saw the resident lying on a towel by the pool, eyes closed and completely starkers! (Quite a talented, nicely tanned young lady she was too...)

Well, what's a guy to do? I couldn't in all conscience call out "Errr .... Excuse me....!

So going back to the car I requested a Phone The Customer to save her the embarrassment..

"Did you go around the back?"


"Is the customer home?"


"Well why do you want me to call them?"

"Look, trust me on this, just do it" (we were on a busy, shared simplex VHF network and my QTH was favourable so many others could hear all this).

"But why? You know the rules"

"Are you sure you want me to tell you?"


"Well the customer is lying next to the pool and she has no clothes on"

You can imagine the comments from others on the network. When Despatch eventually got back to me after a good half minute you could hear the laughter still circulating through the office......

Anyway, the phone call worked, but once inside I had to try very hard to avoid mentally undressing the poor girl!

 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 8:49:36 PM on 26 February 2020.
BringBackTheValve's Gravatar
 Location: Linton, VIC
 Member since 30 December 2016
 Member #: 2028
 Postcount: 240

Hmm. Initially I thought Fred cocked up when he wrote this thread was suggested by Brad instead of Ian.

Now I realise that if we are to talk about 'smokes, booze and women' we are sanctioned by the boss himself.

Brilliant move Fred.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 8:58:49 PM on 26 February 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hmm , music can relate to any topic


 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 9:14:55 PM on 26 February 2020.
BringBackTheValve's Gravatar
 Location: Linton, VIC
 Member since 30 December 2016
 Member #: 2028
 Postcount: 240

Yep. Ageing sucks.

This thread may end up anywhere in the cosmos (or is it Cosmos?)


 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 1:13:57 PM on 27 February 2020.
Tinkera123's Gravatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 5 October 2009
 Member #: 555
 Postcount: 410

Okay ... I got one ... and you will have to trust me that it wasn't me who did this .... and yes, it is true!

A good friend ... not 'handy' at all ... bought a new Clothes Dryer ... he hung it on the Laundry wall ... as most of us have done.

Wife puts on a load for drying and they watch some TV and go to bed.

Next morning wife goes into Laundry to collect the dry clothes.

Dryer is sitting on the floor ....

..... and ..... there were two thin lines up the wall to where the Dryer used to be .... Smile

My friend had used thin, threaded bolts through the plaster .... not into a Noggin, nor a Stud.

The bolts had cut two very nice, clean slots in the plaster ... the Threaded bolts acting like Saw blades with the Dryer vibration .... Smile

And wait .... there is more ...

Same friend ..... put up shelves in Lounge room for his new stereo ..... big crash during the night .... whole stereo now on floor.

Cheers, Ian

 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 1:50:42 PM on 27 February 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4333

Ahh yes! Its very believable. It is amazing what one sees from those who are "challenged" and should never be allowed to touch any form of tool nor machine.

It never ceases to alarm at the number of people we have now, who have absolutely no mechanical aptitude & skills in that direction.

Had a guy in from a tyre place to sort out the tractor tyre: Did not have the strength to undo the wheel nuts I had loosened off by hand.

I have also mentioned the guys from repair café, where I ended up with it because they did not have anyone that could understand a clock-work motor.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 4:08:11 PM on 27 February 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1898

Dateline: 1974.

In customer's house looking for long-term intermittent "hiccup" of a Kriesler 59-01 TV.

As old timers would know there are many possible reasons for this kind of fault in the switched mode power supply. So I brought the scope in from the van and hooked it up to trigger from a drop in the 155 volt rail and also monitor the gate circuit of the crowbar SCR.

Naturally enough, the fault didn't appear for some time. However, as I was about to give up, "sstik", off she goes.

But wait a minute! Why did the scan collapse on the scope at the same time? What the hell...?

Aha! Mains voltage!

The TV's power supply was very effectively covering up the low and fluctuating mains voltage, until it dipped out altogether for a second.

You guessed it, bad fuse holder contact in the meter box.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 5:05:39 PM on 27 February 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 398

I was called out to look at a Philips K9 back in the mid seventies.
Upon arrival yes it was a K9 sort of.
The front panel looked odd and the rotary tuner knob was on a bit of an angle.
On closer inspection the front panel had originally had a push button tuner selector of some sort and a ragged hole had been drilled through the lot with the rotary tuner shaft protruding through.
I took the back off to reveal a bastardized installation of a standard K9 rotary tuner in from behind with the 75ohm coax simply poking through the plastic back panel.
I gingerly switched it on and a poorly tuned picture appeared with lots of hum in the audio.
The picture and sound could not reasonably be tuned together using the fine tuning ring and, not to mention the channel knob moving all over the place as the tuner was barely supported mechanically.
To get better access I unplugged the flying 75 ohm antenna lead which produce a nice blue spark and the hum in the audio disappeared!! Then I noticed the switchmode supply was a different beast to the normal one.
The penny dropped. This was an imported K9 with a live chassis!!
I asked the lady of the house what the story was and she said that they had been living in Singapore and bought the set there.
When they decided to move to Australia they brought the set with them without checking whether it would work with our standards.
When it could not be made to work they called in some cowboy to modify it.
Not only was it never going to work with just a bodgy tuner swap (Wrong sound IF etc) there was no isolation network on the antenna input which effectively made the antenna live!!
When I explained what a death trap this represented she recalled an incident which had recently happened where some roof plumbers were fitting new zincalum sheets to the roof and one of them swore blind that he had been zapped from the TV antenna.
No one believed him!!
I unplugged the set and told them to discard it as it was butchered and lethal.
They were very lucky the roof plumber hadn't been killed.
Her face was quite pale at that point.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 10:05:20 PM on 27 February 2020.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1573

I got a good one for you.
In my days at telecom one of my jobs was to travel to all of the country substations to replace all the 1200 Amp fuses the guys in villawood had inserted into the 600 amp power cables ( hmmnnn ).

There is also the one about the painter at the Tamworth telephone exchange. He was painting the battery room when he saw these awesome red bars ( a foot wide ) and Blue bars ( read buzz bars ) . He thought what a great place to rest my paint tin lol ( between the bars ). Needless to say the room got painted in a flash lol.

Then there is the one about the farmer that rang to complain that his phone didnt ring but he knew if some one was calling because " HIS DOG WOULD HAVE A FUNNY BARK" .
When the lineys went out to take a look they found the cable was shorting on the fence and the poor old dog was chained to the fence and would get 100 volts pumped through him whenever someone would ring.

Yep all true stories.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 10:27:54 PM on 27 February 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6340

On the subject of busbars:-

Back when I was doing my apprenticeship I received a call to come back to work one afternoon because the hospital I worked at was blacked out. We didn't really know where to start because tis had never happened before. So we started at the beginning - the substation. As we approached we could see smoke billowing from the air vents.

On approach we quickly worked out we'd found the problem but what caused it. After opening both doors (enclosed substations must have two exits, by law) and letting the room air out, we found that a cat had got in via one of the subfloor ducts and decided that across three busbars was a good place to have its afternoon lie down.

By the time we got the carcass off the busbars, it was just a skinfull of bones. The stench lasted in that room for months.

This reminds me of something - I should start posting a few more ghost stories about that joint on the "Ghosts of Gladesville Hospital" thread. There's four or five more fairdinkum tales to put up.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 12:42:11 AM on 28 February 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4333

Being rural, one sees some interesting demises. It's not so much Cat-astrophe but more Possums. Putting possum shields around a post is not a deterrent. If they want to get to that post they will climb another & walk the tight rope back.

I fixed a bit of tractor at the semi abandoned part of the farm as that was where the engineering stuff was. On the way back on property (1Km) I noted this massive purple halo suddenly appear ahead of me: Knew I would have no power at home, as that was another feral going up in smoke.

Of course such incidents can be caused to happen. SEC decided to add new lightning arrestors. This was a "Wilson" one with an oil tank. So the logical place to put the line tap was above the tank, with no thought for the consequences. Of course a short distance like that only encouraged the Arachnids to web it.

So the web filled with bugs. Five or six fuses & dead Magpies later, they decided to wrap it with tape which of course is not weather proof. After that abject fail they moved the wire. That transformer failed a while back & new got lowered as it was too close to the stay guy wire? Only took 40+ years to realise that.

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