Nuts and Bolts

Nuts and bolts

by Duane Ausherman

For many years our inventory of parts was controlled by the military.  About a year before, the Heavy Shop inherited 4 warehouses of parts.  The budget included money for 12 people to perform the inventory.  There was no inventory of anything.  Typical of the military and is just one of the reasons that the work began to be contracted out.

I assigned two women to inventory the parts and prepare most for the return to the USA.  One afternoon, Jennifer timidly knocked on my office door.  She brought in a tail light housing for a 1941 Ford pickup.  She knew that I would get quite a kick out of that.  It must have been leftover from the IGY (International Geophysical Year) in 1957-58 when a team came down here to look around.

These two women were doing fairly well with this boring task.  They still smiled, came to work, and stayed positive.  However, the first signs were starting to show up.  Monday morning, Jennifer slipped and fell, breaking her Coccyx (tailbone), which is known to be very painful.  She was staying in her room, and we only knew that she was out.  Thursday, she shows up with her story.  Quickly she was known as BB, broken butt, or busted bum.

On Wednesday morning, the other woman, Carol, cut her finger, got it stitched up, and was back to work in an hour.  That evening she banged her head on her bedpost and split her eyebrow open.  She had to go back to the medical clinic for stitches.  She was injured twice in one day.  Boredom and stress are making them careless.

She showed up to work with her bound-up hand, which we knew about, and a shiner to boot.  The gang all had fun trying to think up a good story for her to tell.  Most included fighting, as that would result in immediate termination.

Both received congratulations on getting out of the nut and bolt duty most creatively.

It’s amazing how much fun people can have with some minor accident, not that it was minor to the victim, but they were able to enjoy the humor also.

Updated 30 March 2023