Like any profession, welding has some interesting – and sometimes fascinating – stories to tell. Welders are craftsmen who take real pride in the work that they do, but during the course of their careers it is only to be expected that from time to time they will encounter situations which are, shall we say, a little out of the ordinary. Here we share a couple of tales from the wider profession which are certainly just that:
- Howard Loses His Cool and Strands the Ferry
Working on Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, some welders were rebuilding a Washington State Ferry ramp. However the ramp needed to remain operational whilst the work was going on for the ferries to be able to load and unload vehicles. Whenever the construction crew needed to lift or lower the ramp they had to find a state operative to do the work as they weren’t permitted to manage the controls. Howard (not his real name), being at the bottom of the food chain in the hierarchy of the work gang, was invariably the man delegated to go off and look for one.
After several trips to the dock Howard had become a little disgruntled with his lowly task and developed the notion that he could do it himself, and so he set about pushing the requisite buttons. What he hadn’t realised was that in the meantime the electricians had removed all the limit switches. So when he blocked the wire rope it broke, sending the ferry ramp crashing into the bay. Inevitably as he did so a ferry appeared on the horizon laden with cars, which needed to dock promptly in order to dispense its cargo.
And so the ramp had to be rigged with a derrick as a matter of real urgency. What’s more this somewhat unsatisfactory replacement procedure had to be followed many times thereafter until somebody from Seattle could bring them the proper size and length of wire rope to re-rig the ferry ramp. Improbably, Howard kept his job.
- No Welder’s Job for Josh
Perhaps less amusing, at least for the poor young lad himself, was the prankster from Strathaven in South Lanarkshire, himself a welder, who tricked a desperate 17-year-old who was looking for work into thinking he was applying for a welder’s job.
Teenager Josh got in touch when he read in a newspaper advert that a local company was looking for an apprentice welder. The “employer” responded by text, asking him a series of questions about himself. To begin with the “interview” seemed nothing out of the ordinary, asking Josh what he wanted from his work, his salary expectations and suchlike, but degenerated progressively into such less expected matters as his ideal meal plan and which zoo animal he would like to be and why.
The cruel hoaxer eventually came clean, but screenshots of the increasingly bizarre interview were uploaded onto social media and went viral.
Fortunately Josh, although disappointed having thought he had secured gainful employment, took the prank in good spirit.