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Old 02-18-2020, 03:55 PM   #1
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Fun Work Stories from Days Gone By

I saw the 'work stories' beginning to accumulate over in the "LongLongHoneymoon Install #LoLoHo" thread, and thought that we might have some fun telling of days gone by.

Or maybe just last week.

I'm on a couple other forums, and these threads tend to be a lot of fun. I'll start with one that the above thread brought to mind:

I worked for over two decades in Corporate Television, and our company was a leader in measurement technology. Often we'd get prototypes of equipment in to videotape as we produced video presentations for use pretty much worldwide.

Going way back into the past, there was a type of signal analyzer that used these huge hard disks with removable cartridges for storage. The program being shot that day was a maintenance and troubleshooting tape for this hard disk drive.

Our expert had free run of my shop as he did all his preliminary checks, had the drives up and running, everything looked good. He said, 'cross your fingers...' and shut it down properly with it working well. We wheeled the equipment racks out into the studio and completed our lighting setup and made ready to record the guy going through all the maintenance steps.

We walked through the lines a few times, and then when he was confident, we rolled tape.

He talked about the proper start-up procedure, then leaned across and flipped the correct switch.

It went click... a pause, then this loud ...TUHHH!!! sound. He tried the switch a couple times more, and then proceeded to ad-lib. "Well, sometimes, more often than not, this happens. That's why we recommend that once the system is running, you leave the power on. Meanwhile, when this kind of thing happens, we've packed some handy reference material for you."

And then he pulled out a big thick book, pulled up a chair, and started to read... "Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes....

He looked up and said, "You'll need this while you're waiting for replacement parts."
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:13 PM   #2
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Okay, a second story from the depths of the Corporate TV studio:

Back when Carter was President, he had a mandate about raising A/C thermostats (or shutting down A/C altogether) and lowering heating thermostats.

Our Corporation dutifully followed the mandates, but in our TV studio, we had roughly something in excess of 50KW of lighting power in reserve for big, elaborate shoots. For most shoots, we'd generally be using about 15KW for talent and sets. That's still a LOT of heat in a 40'60' space with a 25' ceiling.

With the air conditioning turned off.

It was an early summer day, and we had good (expensive) hired talent in to do on-camera narration and 'walk-and-talk' on set. She was a real trooper, rolling through take after take with cuts for breaks and shot resets; mopping her brow between takes and managing to look cool, composed, and professional on camera. That's why professionals like her earn the bucks.

It had gotten HOT, and with no circulation (doors had to be kept closed for sound reasons, but we'd open them between takes and run fans) and the temperature climb had finally leveled out; but still it had to be 95 in the studio, and of course it was way hotter under the lights. We were miserable, but she was worse off.

We got to early afternoon, and we were in the middle of a take when she began to stumble a word or two. Normally she would stop herself and we'd punch out another take. But oddly enough, she just kept going, getting less coherent within a moment. All of us in the crew waited for the director to call a CUT and we'd get a break. This happened in the time space of only a couple seconds.

Suddenly, she fainted. The floor director (only a few feet away) grabbed her before she hit the floor.

There were lots of 'oh (expletive)' as we cut the take, and in the dead silence while people (with general EMT training) rushed to her, I heard the sound of the control room phone being dialed. Paramedics were there within minutes, there being a fire station only a couple blocks away.

This now being the scene of a rescue, all of us nonessential personnel cleared the studio, we killed the set lights, opened the doors and turned on the fans, while leaving the 'walk-around' lighting on.

The good news is that she recovered completely in less than an hour.

We then FINALLY got an exception from Corporate Policy that allowed us to run the A/C (as the boss put it to Plant Services, "...before we kill somebody!!!").

All we had to do is show any doubters the raw video...
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