Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Insert General Complaint About Life Here

     Yeah, mostly over the whatever -- maybe! -- on stronger blood pressure medicine, off the antibiotic -- and doing communications-type construction work as part of a big project at work.

     Yesterday, I spent over an hour with a 20-ounce ball-pein  hammer and a big center punch, unscrewing a lock ring on a compression fitting on a three-inch conduit so I could remove a 90-degree sweep elbow -- except the conduit was stood off from an I-beam column on one side and right up against a wall in a corner on the other, and the bottom of the elbow was on the floor.  There was no way to get big channel-locks on the conduit and even with the hammer and punch, the ring could only be moved through about 45 degrees before having to tap another divot into it and use that to  s l o w l y  hammer it through another 45 degrees of rotation.  Eventually, you end up with a nice circle of "apply force here" dimples...and then they start to wear out.  All this on my knees, in a tight space, leaning forward.  As you unscrew the ring, it tends to force the elbow down instead of moving itself up, and that takes another stupid trick, tapping the ring up with a little square drift, but not so much as to cant it or stress the threads.... Odd, I came home with very sore arms and back.  Who'd'a thunk?

     And, since this is taking place in the middle of the very busy bare-walls construction site, with at least five trades all working at once (HVAC, electricians, framers, suspended-ceiling hangers, plasterers and painters,* I have to wear the whole outfit -- gloves (which I do anyway), boots (rarely), hardhat (not more than once in a blue moon, though of course I own one), kneepads (by choice, I'm old) and dust mask (I've had a sufficiency of respiratory problems already, thank you).  My own eyeglasses are safety-rated and I'm getting by without side shields.

     This week was supposedly our "window" to string wires across the slab, to be covered by a difficult-to-access (thanks to the carpet choice) raised floor.  Wires, cables, mind you, that will not survive being trod upon by a man on drywaller's stilts, being rolled over by 600 pounds of concrete-filled raised-floor tiles, being stabbed by the sharp edge of a piece of ductwork, and which should not be interlaced with the electrician's metallic armored cable.  Frustrating?  ...Kinda....  Like Niagara Falls is some water falling over a cliff.

     Of course, my boss has my back -- holding on to it so his boss can hold my feet to the fire, because we're on a DEADLINE and never you mind that the construction subcontractors are days behind schedule, Engineering's job list was written down in ink and must not be changed.  I asked about making holes through the cement-center fancy raised floor tiles, since you don't go buzzing through that stuff with a sawzall, and was told that was "negotiable."  Somehow it was the wrong reply to point out that needing techy things wired up at desk level without visible wires was mandatory, let alone asking how we were supposed to run them from underfloor to desktop without openings.  This is why I'm not management: I live in a world without any magic pixie dust and I won't pretend paradoxes don't exist.
* "Plasterers and painters" generally counts as one trade, possibly so they can't blame one another for lumpy walls and visible drywall joints.


The Old Man said...

You couldn't be yourself in management, dear lady. The necessary disguise would wear away your soul.

rickn8or said...

Re: your last paragraph: "Engineers and managers should be made from technicians, not technicians from engineers and managers."

Rick T said...

Ah the joys of the management lobotomy, where physical impossibility just means you didn't try hard enough, and a 10 foot custom cable harness will reach 12 feet if you pull hard enough.. (2 feet to short? Why, yes, we did move that desk over a little, why do you ask?)

Too bad Engineering's schedule wasn't set to start "the day after construction trades are done in the space"

Old NFO said...

Yep, you're gonna be screwed... Any guess as to % of cables that will have to be re-pulled? Last one I did like that it was 36% fail rate (and 'our' fault)... sigh

Roberta X said...

These are fat, multiconductor cables; we don't have replacements, we don't have a budget for replacements, lead times are bad and there will not be (it is claimed) *any* access to the access floor once the carpet is down. I'm not screwed. The people who will have to work in that room are screwed.

Roberta X said...

The Old Man: A ball-peen (also spelled ball-pein) hammer, also known as a machinist's hammer, is a type of peening hammer used in metalworking. It is distinguished from a cross-peen hammer, diagonal-peen hammer, point-peen hammer, or chisel-peen hammer by having a hemispherical head. It is commonly used as a tool for metalworking. I grew up up with the second spelling and I'm not changing it for you.

DOuglas2 said...

Must admit when I saw that comment I double-checked my Stanley catalog, to find the page headed "Ball Pein Hammers" as I expected.

Jon said...

...I'm in the process of setting up user end equipment for our new hospital.

I feel your pain.

"Why do you need to put a hole in my nice new counter top?"

"Do you want your computer cords on the customer side of this counter?"

"No! Why isn't all this wireless!?"

"Even if *everything else* could be wireless, which it can't - we still don't have wireless power. Oh, and that bit there needs to be secured to the counter top."

"Can't you use doublesided tape?"

"No, the mount is designed for screws or bolts. Probably bolts since your counter top is stone. And the hole needs to be at least an inch and a half across for the cabling, mostly to accommodate cable ends."

~wailing and gnashing of teeth~

Roberta X said...

Oh, exactly, Jon. Precisely that.