Friday, May 01, 2009

War Stories Part IV - Waldo and the insulation

Continuing the sagas and stories of my working life, up to now anyway. If you want to read the preamble, click here to go to the first posting in the series, which contains a short version of my CV.

I worked for a year or so in a particular branch of a Plumbers Merchant with various "characters" chief amongst whom was probably the guy I'll call "Waldo". He was a very strange boy, and one of my favourite stories of him concerns what he did with a delivery of loft insulation. You may be familiar with this stuff and it comes packaged in large rolls which when stood on end are about 5 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter.

The way this warehouse worked was that this item was stored on a mezzanine floor, so we unloaded the 100+ rolls out the back of the delivery lorry straight onto the warehouse floor, then signed the driver's paperwork to let him away, giving us as much time as we wanted to transfer the packs up onto the mezzanine, the floor of which was maybe 10 feet above the warehouse floor.

Anyway, the rolls were now lying about 3 or 4 deep on the floor, all aligned with each other a bit like the two rolls in the photo above right (think of a stack of lots of tubes of Polo Mints or Smarties or pencils lying aligned in the same direction). Waldo and I were on the Mezzanine as other staff were down on the floor throwing them up to us one at a time when Waldo announced loudly "watch this!" and proceeded to stand on the edge of the loading dock poised as if he was on a diving board, then before anyone could stop him he launched himself out in a beautiful somersault onto the comfy padded rolls below, which instantly parted because he was in the same alignment as the rolls, and he went down through them all and hit the concrete floor of the warehouse with a sickening thud.

Fortunately for him a combination of the rolls slowing his descent a bit, and his head being exceptionally thick, he wasn't badly injured.

There was an advert on the TV in the UK a while ago for, I think, Kleenex Velvet toilet roll where it's portrayed as so comfy and padded that the workers in the factory use piles of it to jump down onto instead of using stairs, and I always think of Waldo when I see it!


  1. And as we all know, no good, except for a good story, can come from an event starting with someone saying "Hey guys! Watch this!"

  2. Or even worse, the Redneck version:

    "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

  3. There was a television show over here called "Jackass". Guys just like this acting extremely immaturely (purposely giving themselves poison oak, lighting their asses on fire, etc.) I loved every bit of that shit.