Functioning for a Dumbass, or Sorry I Electrocuted Your Worker



There will be individuals who are bothered or even offended by the inclusion of the word “dumbass” in the title of this publish. All those who are not aficionados of the Cluttered Desk in distinct could be shocked by its use in this kind of a popular manner. Those people who are familiar with this weblog, on the other hand, may rest additional comfortably when they study that this isn’t really a scathing commentary on some hapless moron who crossed my path on an intensely bad day. No, in this instance I am the actual dumbass to which the title refers. And my impression is that we need to not shun the phrase, but relatively embrace it.

Following all, we as an market are rather dependent on the existence of dumbassery. Without having it we would have absolutely nothing to do, or at the incredibly minimum a lot considerably less to do.

You are welcome.

I not too long ago wrote about a kitchen rework we completed. As element of that transform, we bought all new appliances, and in the post, I discussed our new induction stove. What I did not point out was, of the four new appliances we obtained, dishwasher, stove, wall oven and fridge, we have experienced to have repair men and women out various instances for 3 of them. Only the dishwasher has however to give us any difficulty. I will not want to mention the maker, as that might awesome relations among us when repairs are getting done. That would seriously cause some Frigidaire – I signify frigid air.

Whew, that was shut.

Anywhoo, Thursday a technician was out to swap what was considered to be a faulty element in our new induction countertop stove. He instructed me that we would want to get rid of the electricity to the stove right before he disassembled it. Our aged kitchen experienced a solitary selection with stove leading, and the new one has the countertop stove and a independent wall oven/microwave combo. We experienced to have some electrical function accomplished to accommodate the addition of the wall oven, given that independently they are not able to run on the similar breaker. The repair technician adopted me to the garage, and I opened the subpanel with the breaker I meant to change off. I pointed to the (new) breaker that said “Oven,”, flipped it off, and mentioned, “Oven’s off. You are good to go.”

Only a handful of minutes experienced handed, when the partially disassembled stove commenced beeping. I was common with the beep, as it is a warning that occurs if steel is touching the glass major with out a burner remaining on. The technician and I both equally stood there, fairly dumbfounded, not sure how it could be beeping when we had equally clearly noticed me switch the ability to the unit off. Not to be dissuaded by such a seemingly trivial concern, the mend tech ongoing. In hindsight, perhaps the beeping was just an additional warning. A few minutes later he jumped back and stated, “Whoa! That issue is even now sizzling. It obtained me pretty good.”

We equally returned to pondering how that could possibly be. Just after all, I experienced evidently turned the oven breaker off. Had our electrician created an mistake in the wiring? Slowly, it commenced to dawn on me. I experienced turned off the oven breaker. But this was not the oven. It was the stove. It was on its individual independent breaker, and the tech had been fumbling around with a hot 220-volt appliance.

That’s why my designation as a dumbass.

When the appropriate breaker had been turned off, the repair service proceeded without having situation (besides it failed to perform – he has to arrive again with a different new element later. It is a ritual I am now all as well common with).

Fortunately, the young male was not damage. I sat there as he finished up, wondering about what this might have been like if he had been wounded. I thought about the industry in which I get the job done, and my placement as another person who is relatively effectively known inside that field. I puzzled how it would look with a dead repairman smoldering on my new kitchen area floor. Later on, I seemed up the workers’ compensation coverage for his employer and learned that they are insured by just one of my clients. A shopper, by the way, that is headquartered in the city the place I are living.

Boy, this could have been uncomfortable. I would have experienced some major ‘splainin to do. This claim virtually would have absent to the Upcoming Stage.

I imagined a assert wherever a younger person was injured, my purchaser would spend the declare, and then I would be released to my buyers subrogation division, when they went right after me and my homeowner’s insurance to go over their losses. All because I turned off the incorrect breaker.

There would be no Christmas card trade in between us this year, I’m rather confident.

Had been there issues the repair tech could have completed to support stop an issue? Unquestionably. He could have made use of a voltage detector in the rather most likely celebration he finds himself in the property of a total dumbass. I loaned him my voltage detector to check out the energy to the device immediately after we acquired the suitable breaker. If I labored on difficult wired appliances, I think I would carry one all the time. He also could have stated, “Hey dumbass, I am not performing on the oven!,” when I boldly announced the oven was off and he could proceed to work on the stove with abandon. They are small points, but I would be all set to cram them down the throats of all those pesky subrogation individuals, I assure you. Determined moments phone for determined measures, do not you know.

So, if you are the owner of that maintenance shop, or the insurer who offers their coverage, I’m sorry I nearly electrocuted your personnel. It will never transpire all over again. But if it does, keep in mind that you require persons like me. We dumbasses never exactly make the earth go round, but we can unquestionably provide it to a grinding and agonizing halt.

And that is in which workers’ comp seriously will get to do its issue. No need to have to thank me.



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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and “From Bob’s Cluttered Desk” arrives his (frequently incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants – often on workers’ comp or employment concerns, but often not.

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