Ten Minute Job

One of my email friends does electrical work. Friend used my parents old expression "ten minute job" and used it in context, in a story that sounds lot like my Dad's type of story.
Here it is:
One of my neighbors asked me to change an outlet for him, and asked me how much to do it...I said u buy the stuff and give me $5, it wont take more than 10 minutes to do.. it had one of those that the wires looped into and it just bit down onto the wires and he bought a regular house box and outlet. So I had him shut off the breaker to only what that was on...so I could cut thru the wires and install the box.., he told me his bedroom was messy and I couldn't t get in there to shut it off myself..after I was done I asked him to turn it back on and it didnt work...I tested it and there was no power to it. I asked him multiple times more to make sure all the breakers were on and he said yes...because it took out his fridge I felt bad and Loaned him my generator and 5 gallons of gas. I go back the next day, testing all the outlets before it, and searching of every ground fault breaker in the house to make sure one isnt tripped and he still insisted that the breaker was all on. I said I have to get to the box...so I go get them another 5 gallons of gas for the generator and go back a 3rd day...turned out sure as shit the breaker was off. I said..you couldnt see that all the others were turned on and facing that way and this was the only one was facing the opposite way and showing the word off? He said but I didnt think it was that one and i was afraid to turn it on, incase it shouldnt of been on. When I was all done, I spent 3 days, over 7 hours there and 10 gallons of gas when it was almost $4 a gallon...because this idiot couldnt read a 3 letter word..off. guess how much he paid me when I was all done....yep... $5 grrrrr. He has come over and asked me to do other things for him, but I cant bring myself to help him and go thru that again.
Ok its bed time, I will answer the rest of your emails.
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On Sunday, November 30, 2014 7:01:53 AM UTC-6, Stormin Mormon wrote:

You've clarified everything...he gets the "micky award"!
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Do enough work and you will learn never to trust anyone to turn the power off and on. Got a call at work that a piece of machinery would not start. Walked up and the fellow said see, and he pushed a buttonseveral times. I said look you big dummy press the green one instead of the red stop button.
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On 11/30/2014 10:48 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Reminds me of a boy trying to start a lawn mower. After a while, I walked over and told him that it starts better if you take your finger off the bright red "engine stop" button. And, it did.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Is your friend a real electrician or what? Hard to believe professional licensed electrician works like that, how does he make a living?
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On 11/30/2014 11:24 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Not met person face to face. Says electrical engineer, designs and installs electrical systems and backup power supplies.
This was a side job for neighbor.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

He may be good as an engineer desk bound but NO good engineer in the field. I know an EE who could not even find blown fuse on the main panel in his house and replace it. I know an engineer who designed emergency shut down for a large scale computer room. When we push the big red emergency shut down button, nothing happened. I went thru his blue print and realized he has poor knowledge of relay logic(Boolean Algebra), Lot of engineers are like that these days.
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On 11/30/2014 2:59 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Thanks, I'll pass the word. Would you go as far as "lazy and cheap" in this case?
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Not at all. I think he never did internship out in the field. And true friend never accept payment for helping out friend. If I don't have a part needed in my hell box, I may charge for the part or ask friend to buy it for me, so I can do the job.
Lately most popular demand is setting up home theater, or wireless router in their house. Strange I received was a fresh baked loaf of bread from friend's wife(both Jewish) when I repaired his HAM radio external VFO. Needed a small transistor and soldering job.
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Some times I wonder how some enginners keep their jobs. We had a PE at work and I and others at the plant had to either do his work for him or clean up his mess. Only thing he had going for him was that Professional Enginner piece of paper.
Paper work is often easy to get. I had a First Class Phone license that allowed me to work on comercial radio and TV stations (when you needed that years ago) but I had never seen a TV transmitter. To this day I would not have known where to start with one. Only reason I got it was because I wanted the 2 nd class and it cost a dollar more to take the 1 st. and while I was at the testing site anyway, what the heck was a dollar .
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Playing with HAM radio led to EE in school. I had U.S. Extra, Canadian Advanced with digital endorsement. Still HAM radio is my hobby(VE6CGX). Even HAM radio is all digital but I still enjoy Morse code. In the service my MOS was radio repair man. If I show my son(31 yo), civil engineer slide rule he gets very fascinated, LOL! Nowadays TV xmtr is all solid state. No more big vacuum tubes with high voltages.I make good pocket money fixing guitar tube amps, LOL
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I picked up my Extra about a year before the code was reduced to 5 wpm. I never did like MOrse Code. After about 10 minuits of receiving code at 15 wpm or so my mind is shot. Not sure wht the civil slide rule is ,but I used a standard log log one in a technical college for electronics. That was around 1970 before hand held calculators were in use.
I hope you are charging a good ammount to work on the old tube amps. They should be very easy to repair compaired to the solid state stuff., but the audio people like the tubes for the sound. Also from some of the things I have seen they are not too bright either. Paying aournd $ 100 for the 6 foot AC line from the amp to the wall socket because it is oxygen free copper or some such junk. Using some speical Western Electric solder is a big plus at big bucks per spool. I think the flux core was stuffed by virgins on some island.. Just kidding. I think you sent me some mail a while back. Call here is KU4PT and good on qrz for more info.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Really look at the price of Monster cables, LOL! In audiophile land, there are all kinda crazy stuffs costing $$$. Once I built old Marshall JMP clone on HiFi mono tube block and let son's jamming friends blind test it Every one of them was fooled. One guy even said my clone was even better sounding. When I showed both real JMP and clone side by side they couldn't say anything. I even demo'd with scope between hand wired circuit and PCB circuit feeding with a test tone, on the scope they couldn't see the difference. I collected some vintage amps and guitars for son. We have home recording studio in the basement. My home theater in the family room is driven by Anthem MX700 A/V 7.1 amp and 60" Plasma TV. I still can do ~30wpm with a bug. But mostly use iambic paddle for convenience.
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my step sons van a 2001 chevy venture had a bad gas gauge which we all knew.
van quit one night after midnite, I asked is it out of gas. No its fine, he just added gas
had van towed to a convenient chain type garage. I called them in the AM, and said it might be out of gas........
They called back and said battery is bad, it dead.
Found out step son cranked it till battery died. I guess he missed that info dont crank when he got his license:(
Garage installed new battery, and reported fuel pump must be bad, van starts a little with starting fluid,.
OK install new fuel pump which will fix the non working gauge too.
Garage called back, reported van still wouldnt start.. I again said are you sure its not out of gas? No we checked that.......
3 days later garage gave up, I paid the 888 bucks:( and had van towed to dealer who was busy. A few days later they looked at van, put in 1 gallon of gas and van ran fine.
ALL THAT WAS WRONG ALL ALONG WAS VAN OUT OF GAS..
After the van ran fine for a week I called the chain garage and said we need to talk I suggest your office:)
I asked whats the most embarasing problem this could of been? The manager said we forgot to plug in the fuel pump? NOPE IT WAS out of gas.....
The garage has treated me well in the past. So I wasnt really mad, but did think they owed me something.
I suggested they replace the fuel pump in my matching venture, which also had a bad gauge. I paid for the pump, garage ate the labor.......
all because step son ran out of gas:(
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On 11/30/2014 9:42 PM, bob haller wrote:

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On Sun, 30 Nov 2014 08:02:19 -0500, Stormin Mormon

I was working for a computer company that sold systems for Clinical Laboratories. I handled an early morning call that a customer's computer wouldn't come up. So I asked him to try a few things but nothing worked. I finally asked him to check the plug to make sure it was plugged in, but he couldn't see it because it was in the back and the power was out in the room.
Not a joke, true. He did realize that it might be a problem but figured that it was on a UPS so wasn't the immediate problem. I did calmly explain that a UPS has a limited amount of power and they really needed to run an extension cord from wherever they did have power.
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