Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't Do It

#299 Don’t Do It!

Leave the yard alone. Don’t put one iota of effort into cleaning up that junk pile. You’re only inviting trouble and more work. Much more work.

The other day they were out there in front of the office, couple of nice, well behaved fellas from the neighborhood. They were cleaning up a tangle of trees and bushes and branches. They had these loud super-size weed whacker gadgets to take down some bigger branches. And they had rakes and shovels and all those things that you have when you get serious about getting rid of an unsightly pile of vegetation.

But once the unsightly vegetation was removed, you could see the underlying unsightly pile of electrical wires.

Fella one: “This thing’s all rotted out. You’d better fix it.”

Fella two: “yeah, could be a fire hazard. Better turn off whatever’s on that circuit.”

What’s on that circuit is a couple of spotlights that are supposed to shine on a highly decorative sign that was starting to get obscured by the unsightly vegetation.

One good rain and the whole electrical works will probably get zapped. Better turn it off like the fellas say.

It took about half an hour to find the correct switch. In the meantime, flipping switches, every one we came upon, we managed to turn off the photocopier in the middle of a 2,000 page print job, the fax machine in the middle of a long transmission and the computer system. Oh, and it was 85 degrees out and now we know where the switch for the air conditioner is located. (It’s in the broom closet, right under the maintenance sink. And in back of a metal container containing trace amounts of an unknown substance the rest of which is either on the floor or evaporating into the closet’s cozy atmosphere.

So they never should have touched the unsightly vegetation. Look what happened afterward.

The close probably violates every hazmat law you can think of, so now we’re going to have to go out and get some face masks and start cleaning up the broom closet. And once that’s done, we’ll probably find problems with the floor. It’s possible – no, it’s likely that whatever has been leaking out of that metal container has rotted through to the floor to the ceiling below.

And that means we’re going to have to start fiddling with (read “fixing”) the ceiling.

See how this stuff all leads to more stuff?

If we hadn’t cut the branches, we wouldn’t have to fix the lights, the closet, reset the copier, the fax machine and all the computer terminals. We wouldn’t have to fix the floor or the ceiling of the floor below.

The operating premise should be: don’t do it.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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