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Saturday, April 18, 2009

HOM: More Mill Stories.

The millwright was doing some welding and repair under the deck and decided to take a break. He fired up a cigarette -- a HUGE no-no in the mill -- and was enjoying himself when he spotted Clay, the owner, walking over. He flipped the welding hood down over his face and went back to work, knowing that the cigarette was out of sight. Unfortunately Clay had already observed the crime so he came over and stood by the wright while he worked, and watched the smoke build up under the mask . . . Finally, eyes watering, unable to stand the smoke any longer, the wright had to flip the hood up and get the chewing out he had coming. The reaming sorta added insult to injury. ----- When a lathe operator messed up and ran the lathe chucks into the knives, the knives were ruined. On day shift, the operator was in trouble, but on swing shift the damaged knives ended up in the bottom of the mill pond outside. Ditto for saw blades and stuff the wrights were tired of trying to fix. The pond is filled in now, but someday CSI might have to dig it up. ----- One quiet evening two of the guys hid out in the shack by the Cats and killed the better part of a bottle of whiskey. When they realized it was quitting time they went in, went up over #1 lathe like they had been working on it, and then headed for the timeclock. The lead guy spotted Jones standing near the clock, casually ignored him, swiped his card through the clock and headed for the door. He was almost there when Jones yelled "Hey". He turned around, and DJ said "You forgot something!" and pointed at the floor -- where the other drinker was laying, passed out. He picked up his fellow culprit, carded him out, then carried him out to his rig. ----- Then there was the Day Shift guy who was pulling on the green chain. The DS Foreman walked by, and he asked the foreman to take his place on the chain while he ran over to the bathroom. This was pretty common, but this time the guy didn't go to the can, he just walked out and went home. He was quitting and had decided this was a good way to do it. The DSF was unhappy about the trickery and frustrated because he couldn't even fire the guy since he'd quit. ----- Then there was the night Larry was running #1 lathe when an old guy in bib overalls wandered up onto the deck, watched everything for a bit, then walked out into the lathe, forcing Larry to shut it down. Larry told the guy to get his butt out of where he didn't belong, but was ignored. A few minutes after the guy wandered away, DJ came up on the lathe with some news -- Larry had just met the co-owner of the mill! ----- Larry was doing some welding on the rollers at the back of the deck and asked me to give him a hand. He had me crawl back under the deck and hold a piece of angle iron in place while he welded it. Please note that I was crouching in a puddle of water while doing that. Larry struck an arc and zapped me at the same time. I dropped the angle iron, apologized, held it back into place. Another arc and another ZAP! I told Larry he could hold his own iron or get another helper, I was done! (also DUMB!) TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)