We went to a job in Texas. We got there on Thursday after hours and
Friday was a holiday. We asked the neighbor (duplex) if we could use
a drop cord for the weekend and they agreed. We went the long weekend
taking cold showers. We had a lamp, a stereo, and a hot plate.
Monday we went to work and told my sister (her husband was one of the
construction workers) to go and have the utilities turned on. When we
got home the power was still off. She said that the power company
closed a 6 but they would be out to turn the power on that day.
6PM and no one showed. We went outside to the meter and the power
company had left the meter in the can, but it was turned sideways so
it was not plugged into the buss. I told my brother in law (welder)
that all that was needed was to just cut the paperclip sized wire and
just turn the meter and plug it into the busses. After thinking
about having to take another cold shower we decided that plugging in
the meter and just telling the power company what we had done should
I cut the tab and plugged the meter in. We were standing there
smoking a cigarette and I told him that plugging in the meter upside
down would make the meter run backwards.......I showed him how that
worked and we decided to just let it run like that for a few hours and
would flip it around before bed time.
When we got back in the house and started flipping for who would get a
hot shower first..........15 min after we had put the meter in, the
power company came out and found the meter upside down and pulled it
out and took it with them.
We had to go to the power company that day and explain what we had
done. They believed us and brought the meter back.
Now that brings back memories! Gypsy (in the non-inflammatory sense of
the word) construction crews camping in almost-finished apartments on
the project site, 6 to a unit, in order to make the project deadlines
for the later buildings and get the next draw from the bank on schedule.
Illegal as hell, but quite common back in the day. Most of these crews
were English-speaking, at least on the sites I was on. Sleeping bags,
coolers, and paper plates. Most were very normal people unable to find
work in their home cities, and trying to squeeze every penny to take
home for the coming dry spell. A few bucks to the project strawboss was
a lot cheaper than 'weekly rate' motels and eating out every meal.
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