Ever help carry something and not actually carry anything?

I’ve had this happen many times. Maybe 4-8+ guys (mainly guys, sometimes gals are in there too), lift a single ridged object. And we start carrying it but I am not bearing any weight. If I try to it just seems like I am actually trying to lift the object out of the ‘carrying plane’. Just no weight is actually given to me to bear.

Does this happen to anyone else? - like I want to help but practically I am only just there for moral (and/or backup) support. What is happening in this situation that I just can’t seem to be of physical help???

tense your muscles and look like you’re doing something.

if it doesn’t seem like you will get weight at some time because of up/down or turns then you might ask to move to the heavier side id there is one.

just don’t upset the apple cart. people get injured with unexpected weight shifting, setting things down unexpectedly or rapidly.

Yes… It has happened. When I sense this happening, I back out of the formation, because now I’m just crowding the guys who are really doing the work.

In other cases, I’ve done this deliberately: I’ve been the “emergency stop” guy, whose job is to stop the refrigerator from tumbling down the stairs. I’m not lifting much of the weight, but I’m standing by to take up much more of the weight if something goes wrong.

(I know from experience that I can actually lift a typical home-kitchen refrigerator by myself, for a very short period of time.)

This has happened to me, most awkwardly when I was a pall bearer (to my credit, I was the lone child among 7 grown men). In that instance it’s really just a symbolic thing anyway, so you just have to try to make it look good.

It’s happened to me quite a few times. As johnpost suggests, I usually go for the muscle flex. Other times, if no one can see me, I just make a fist, poke my pinky out, and pretend I have superhuman strength by carrying my share of the weight on one finger.

Why does it happen? I guess I only notice it when I am lifting a side, and there are people lifting at each corner. Unless I’m dead centre and lifting the entire weight evenly, I think I just end up being a pivot point as the guys on the corners try to adjust for the shifting load on them.

I could be wrong of course.

And yes, as Trinopus notes, just getting out of the way of the actual lifters is a good idea. Unfortunately, if you’re only ‘helping’ because your boss thinks he needs 5 people to do a 4 man job…what can you do but jump in and grunt and flex like you’re actually doing something?

A buddy of mine built his 3 1/2 car garage himself. He built the walls on the ground, then invited everyone he knew for a garage-raising. We were pretty much shoulder to shoulder as we raised each wall. I was dubious, but it worked beautifully and everyone I spoke with said they didn’t feel like they contributed a thing.

Yes, in a situation like this it may be that you’re lifting more than you realize because you expect it to be more. It’s also possible that some “redundancy” is desirable in case one of the corner guys slips or loses his grip.

Exactly the story I came in to tell!

I have the same pallbearer story only I was one of two women with four tallish men. On the way in I didn’t feel a thing because we were in the middle, but then on the way out of the church things got a bit disorganized and we both ended up on the bottom end. Damn, Grandma suddenly gained a LOT of weight!

Yes. If there are enough people lifting, you may not feel you are putting very much into it, but you may actually be doing your share.

Exactly. Sometimes it’s not that things are too heavy for one or two people to carry, it’s just that the object is too big or it has an awkward shape with no real place to grab on to.
Like when I bought my 60" TV, if that thing were a sack of potatoes, I could just hoist i over my shoulder and carry it no problem. But since it’s s big, I needed help carrying it into the house.