There was a guest post on Blue Collar Workman recently about a construction worker stealing equipment from another worker. That’s pretty bad, but what about when a non-worker steals equipment?
About a year ago, I was working at a job site in a high-rise building in the big city. The whole floor of this building was being gutted and remodeled which meant that there were lots of workers there.
The company I work for was handling most of the carpentry, and other companies had workers there doing electrical work, duct work, and so on. In situations like these, we don’t always know who the dudes are that are from the other companies.
I was making some measurements and noticed this dude on the site that didn’t look like he fit. Brand new hard hat, nothing on it, and sneakers. Nobody, I don’t care who you are, wears sneakers at job sites. The dude just didn’t look right.
I saw him pick up a hammer that was lying on the floor and sort of hang around awkwardly in the corner.
I stood up and asked the foreman if he knew who the guy was because he looked suspicious. I know what suspicious looks like, I used to be a suspicious kind of guy!
The guy slowly backed into the stairwell. I opened the stairwell door after he left and could hear him running down the stairs.
I grabbed an air duct guy, told him what happened and was about to run after the thief into the stairwell when the air duct guy said, “No.” He headed for the elevator instead. Him, a couple other duct guys, and me hit the button for the ground floor, and waited in the lobby when we got down there.
This guy came barreling out of the stairwell about 30 seconds later, huffing and puffing, and one of the air duct guys grabbed him. They took the hammer from him, gave it to me, and nodded me to go back up to the job site.
They took the thief outside. I think in the white collar world, you call the police. But lots of times in the blue collar world, you don’t. You handle it yourself. I’m not sure what the duct dudes did to that guy outside, and I never asked.
The hammer was one of the cheapest things on the site that day. It probably cost less than $25.