Saturday, January 06, 2007

Electric Encounter.

I guess the profession that demands the least of human traits would be being an Electrician.
I had a very bad encounter with electricians recently.
We added two extra floors to our office and decided to shift a few extremely expensive machines to the second floor.
When the blue prints were made, an electrician came to observe the existing layout required for the machines. I tend to respect people who can manage electricity ( so I always treat even the State Electricity Board Loafers with a cup of tea when they show up). He stood there, looking at the sockets and the plugs with a dignified expression on his face. I was eager to help him, so I took prints of the pdf manual for the instrument which had pictures of the sockets and the details of amperage for each component ( with details of the same installation in the USA and Canada plus everything repeated in German!!). He was very impressed, and the gullible fool that I am, even I was happy that I managed to impress an Electrician.

They wanted to give the lab an "international" look, so all the wiring was supposed to be concealed. Every time we went upstairs to review the progress, the architect would volubly explain to us about a "duct" that went along the perimeter of the building from inside the walls which contained the "wires" for a "ready made" connection whenever we feel like. This Duct was probably something equivalent to a metro rail for him.

About a week before the shifting of the instruments, they began drilling.
Every room had an apprentice ( who when not preoccupied with the drill would stare at all the female members in his line of vision; sometimes even turning around for some especially attractive specimens. His sole occupation would be to use the drilling machine.They are so desensitized and reckless. If I were an Electrician, I would feel guilty about creating such a big commotion and bringing human beings to near deafness by drilling walls. I would not have had sound sleep ever in my life. They are, however oblivious to such feelings. All they can do is screech away on the walls and have tea ( and leave paper cups all over the building).
We excused the noise in a hope that all we have to do now is pick up the machines and put them into the new sockets.

We flew in expensive service engineers to dismantle and reassemble the parts.Their rooms were booked and we went for a cursory check the night before just to realize that something wasn't quite right with the wiring. The UPS connections were screwed up and the UPS guy was raging mad at the construction electricians. Sensing dispute a few of our own electrical diploma holders jumped into the argument.
We ( The Management) were completely clueless for an hour and a half.Then the UPS guy and the Contractor's man independently described their points and we ended up agreeing with the UPS guy. The contractor's electrician had managed to conceal a horrid mess of wiring and the contractor's masons had covered it up with RCC and pretty laboratory tiles. Nobody had the heart even to think about straightening it up.We ordered samosas and tea and kept staring blankly at the polished walls. When someone came up with a solution, his opponent would come up with a new problem and outwit him. This went on till midnight and finally the UPS guy came up with an acceptable solution.

The next morning, they began drilling again. The expensive engineers dismantled the machine and sat on the lab counters waiting for the War of the Electricians to come to an end. Just as we thought everything was okay, the fastidious UPS guy would make them drill again.
The contractor's electrician packed up and fled at about half past six. The Victorious UPS guy saw it through and got everything under control. Before he left, he made us aware of the inherent dangers of using the mess that has been concealed by the contractor's electrician thus leaving us sleepless for the rest of our lives.
It came to an end late at night and the gentle whine of the turbo molecular pump that my machine gets out so musically, made my heart rest a bit.

I walked in gingerly the next day,wary of expecting a short circuit and the eventual shut down of the high speed pump but lousy Electricians were the only suffering in our Lives. As I sighed and started tidying up the lab, there was a knock on the glass door. I turned around to find a skinny guy in worn out cargoes with a drilling machine who said,"Madam, bahar aao A/C ka point laganeka hai"


RagingMars said...

I liked this!! Its good!! But ya... it doesnt really put in all the frustration you felt all the while!!

jay said...

that was funny! :)

posted a comment on ur blog! :)