Member: Refugee

In my first full time job after leaving education I worked in a workshop where the senior workshop engineer was my boss.He was trained in a military communications regiment in radar and serious HF stuff. His pet talk was stray capacitance, at times I overheard him talking about things like dry batteries having stray capacitance all around them. I had my go with talk about the bits raining down all over the workshop in the aftermath of a smoothing capacitor blowing up, they were stray capacitance to the rest of us!

One day when I was doing the incoming inspections where my signature takes over the warranty from new to the organization. There were a few Ferguson 3V29 VHS recorders that were a bit off on the free run speed so that the tracking bars rolled thru. This should have been a simple reject report and that should have been the end of it.

He used to insist that he double checked things that were a little dubious, like several on one pallet as it was in this case. The fault report book was a bound book and was filled in with my comments however I learned that a blank line or two was best left at the top of all reports as a trick of this part of the trade. He came over and had a look and said clean the heads and try it again. I was allowed to do this just in case a bad tape had been used. I knew that would not work but did it anyway. Then the blab started and the stray capacitance was all over the heads and all over the place, he told me to let them thru,I did reluctantly!

A few weeks later I was called into the office and it sounded nasty! I went in and was immediately accused of stamping “tested” on boxes without even looking in them. Ouch!!! I asked what serial number? There was a bit of paper and I got a blank sheet and copied two of them down and said hang on I will trace them. I did and they were both close together in the audit trail and guess what, with the extra added line “suspected” at the top and Passed by him at the bottom there they were.

So now you know the trick with the blank lines in the bound book.I took the book back to the office and said they are these ones. They have extra comments in the back of the book. I turned to the comments at the back where all the reject notes were and showed him. Watching him blush was very difficult without laughing out seriously loud.

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