A Shocking E-Mail
I'll tell you right off that I hate working with electricity because it scares the heck out of me. But I had to replace an outlet, so I shut off the proper circuit breaker and checked the outlet with a voltage tester. The power was off. OK, no big deal.
I started unscrewing the wire from the outlet, and just as the screwdriver touched the head of the terminal screw, someone sent me an e-mail, which caused the BlackBerry phone hanging at my hip to vibrate. Thinking I was being electrocuted, I threw the screwdriver across the room, where it crashed right through the window. This is one time that hiring an electrician might have been cheaper.
I was installing a new, quieter dryer in a client's high-end house. The power cord was unattached and had exposed connectors at one end. Like an idiot, I pushed the plug into the 240-volt outlet to see if the prongs fit. Well, the connectors at the other end were all touching one another and—WHAM! The loose ends shorted out and knocked me clear over. This in turn set off the house alarm system, alerted the police and set every dog in the neighborhood barking. It's bad enough to goof—it's far worse to have to explain your screwup to your client and your boss, a crowd of curious onlookers and the police.