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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lightbulb Moments

The tow truck guy rolled the car back upright, and it fell with a crunch. The left rear tire was still about 18" off the ground. This car was crushed in a funky way, for the tire to be off the ground like that. Yet, the 18 year old kid who rolled it end-over-end on prom night was merely rattled. Signed a refusal against our advice and wasn't transported.

We were sweeping crap off the road when a power company truck appeared out of the darkness. One of my guys, but I didn't know who. Wrong hat at that moment. The pole that had been clipped was OK, the primary still firmly attached, but technically a journeyman needs to eyeball it for our company to call it good.

I went to meet my serviceman, and saw that it was Gary, the new guy who was promoted from the line department to fill Howie's position.

"Hey Gary, who are you with tonight?" Gary is still in his training window and assigned to another guy for a couple more weeks before going solo.

A slight pause. And then, "It's just me, we're busy tonight and no one else was available."

"Let you out all alone huh? Well, cool. The pole has a nick but is fine, I haven't looked at the primary real close but it seems OK. Let me know if you see something I missed."

Gary shined his light at the crossarm, and all was well.

"It's not as if you're new at this anyway, right? We all know you don't need the training month except for how to deal with customers one-on-one when they get shifty." Just giving him friendly guff.

Gary looked at me for a couple of beats. "You look really familiar."

My lightbulb moment. Gary didn't know I was a fireman in my other life, and has only ever seen me driving a desk or with a white staff hardhat at job sites. Now it's night, in a downpour, on some back country road, flashing red and blue lights, I am dressed in turnouts and am totally out of context.

"Sorry Gary, the context is wrong.  I'm Grumpy,....your new boss."

Gary's lightbulb moment. Your boss is also a fireman.  I introduced him to the other guys on my crew.

Too bad I can't play that trick more often. And it could have had so much more fun with it if I had only known of the possibilities beforehand.  Next time.....

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