Work-related folklore...

I found the following article at the Urban Legends Reference Pages.

The story in the article reminded me of the “war stories” our instructors would regale us with in Tech school. One in particular comes to mind:

I don’t know if it’s true, but I do know that a jamming unit has quite a bit more power than a hand-held radar gun, and that the fragile circuitry of the day might have been fried by a too-strong signal from an external source.

Whether it was true or not, it did serve as a good example of why one ought not screw around on the job.

I was wondering if anyone else might have a work-related bit of folklore to share?


You mean aside from the usual “Taco Bell employees spitting in the burritos” / “hypodermic needles in the McDonalds ballpit” stories?

True story: I have a friend who knows a woman who used to work at a potato chip factory, and who used to put notes saying “Help me, I’m being held prisoner at the Kelly Potato Chip plant” into the bags as they went past her on the sealing line, and who was eventually fired for it.

She now works for the U.S. Postal Service.



The Dilbert web site.

My late father told me about when he worked at a Naval radar installation. He said they’d occasionally get nosey reporters hanging around (this was in the day of flashbulbs). They’d turn the radar on the hapless victim and send a pulse that would cause all of his flashbulbs to go off.

He also told me about a man who was working on an aircraft (F-4U Corsair or AD-5 Skyraider during the Korean conflict) who stepped over the fuselage instead of climbing down the ladder and up the one on the other side. As his crotch was atop the antenna (which ran from the cockpit to the tail), the man in the cockpit happened to key the microphone resulting in an injury to the man on the fuselage.

I can believe the rarad story, but I’m not sure about the “antenna burns” one. Does anyone know if an aircraft antenna (c.1952) could put out that much power?

Never experienced this one, but there’s “The Phantom Shitter”…