Don’t hit it!

Author: Martin Cichy
Location: Usti nad Labem
Milan told me this story at his parents’ flat in Usti.
"Who am I? What do I look like? My name is Milan D. I’m 28 years old and I have black hair like all Gypsies. I’m 172 cm tall and I weigh 102 kg, so I’m a little heavyset. I have brown eyes and I wear size 9 1/2 shoes.
This all happened last summer, when we,as a Romany business, were looking for ditch-digging work. We got a job at one house where we were digging a ditch for outflow into the city sewer. There was a pipe coming out of the house which was to be hooked up to the future sewerage.
One colleague was supposed to dig a hole to check on something – I can’t remember exactly what it was anymore. When he was already pretty far down, the guys started yelling at him: ‘Hey, be careful, you’re getting close to the pipe-joint. There’s a shunt there somewhere. Don’t hit it!’ And he says: ‘Where?’ and with the next blow of the pick-axe slammed directly onto the pipe-joint and made a hole in it.
Dear God, what now? This was our first day on the job and right away we had caused damage. When the owner came back and saw what we’d done, he would fire us and tell us we’re crazy. Well, what to do?
We decided to pooled our funds for a new pipe-joint and quickly got to work. We changed the pipe-joint before the owner got back. He never knew what happened. He was just surprised that we weren’t all sweaty from digging and that we hadn’t made much progress. Exchanging that pipe-joint took up more than half of the shift.
To this day everything works without any problems, and the owner is very satisfied with our work.
After a while he told us that on that first day he had been surprised that we hadn’t gotten much done, but of course on the other days we worked really well.”

No Responses to “Don’t hit it!”

  1. I like this story because Milan and his friends found a way to save themselves. Sometimes when the train of disaster is bearing down upon us, it is hard to relize that we can very often jump off the tracks!

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