• This topic has 86 replies, 74 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by mert.
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  • Waking at 1am with the sudden realisation that you’ve messed up at work….
  • stumpy01
    Full Member

    Great update, OP.

    Pleased it worked out well – I bet that is a load off your shoulders!

    Full Member

    Good news! Remember that outcome the next time you start to feel stressy about something. It usually turns out to be a lot easier to deal with than when it’s racing through your mind in the middle of the night.

    Full Member

    Excellent news OP,it’s a great thing when the needle swings back to the positives 👍, and now you have ‘that story’ 😀

    Full Member

    I was working on a multi-million pound residential development in south west London, we were setting out the stud walls for the internal partitions and I told my assistant to round the dims to the nearest 5mm (which was simply a setting in CAD) assuming she knew what I meant.  She didn’t and she proceeded to make it all up and I mean make it up – some of the dims she put down didn’t even relate to the CAD model, I didn’t check the drawings properly due to some excuse about being too busy and deadlines too tight and off they went to site.  It got spotted reasonably quickly but the furore was immense.  Errors like that are hugely costly.  My boss got called to a meeting and promptly disappeared off to the pub the moment he got out.  I was completely mortified and had no idea what to do.  So I decided the best course of action was to put my hand up, admit the error and come up with a solution.  Took myself off to the site office, apologised profusely and promised corrected drawings as soon as I could possibly manage it.  The site foreman sat me down, told me I had royally screwed up yes, but I’d admitted it and I was fixing it which was more than my boss had managed.  We got on like a house on fire after that.  And I always double check everything before it goes out the door now.  I hate making mistakes, I get very anxious when I realise I have.

    Glad to hear you’ve straightened things out OP – the wave of relief must be immense!

    Full Member

    Glad it worked out OP.

    Seeing as this is a ‘nightmare at work’ thread I thought I’d share the pinnacle of my work f*** ups (there have been lots)..

    About 10 years ago I was tasked with building a monitoring system for a large construction site in the San Francisco financial district. They were digging a multi-story trench adjacent to some major skyscrapers and had rigged the entire site with sensors to monitor everything from ground vibration, subsidence, stresses on building foundations, inclination of retaining walls etc. The system I built allowed engineers to query and visualise the data and send alarms if certain limits were breached. After a couple of months of what I thought was successful operation, I got a phone call from the project director asking if I could fly to San Francisco immediately. One of the alarms our system was sending out was indicating the imminent collapse of a 60 storey office building. My boss assured the city authorities, building owners and site directors that this was anomalous and had the data to prove it, but we still came within hours of the entire financial district being evacuated. The problem was a single line bug in some code triggered by an outlying event which we didn’t anticipate. We never built another monitoring system like that, it was way too stressful for all concerned.

    Full Member

    We had a corker at a construction company I worked for. And it was one of the two Directors that cocked up. We quoted for digging a trench for a water irrigation project in Qatar. It was a few km long (under 10) and the Director went out to survey.

    Quote given per metre dug – depth was something like 5m deep though, so we sent out a large ‘trenching machine’ – think of a big digger on caterpillar tracks and a large boom with cutting teeth – so can cut down about in a straight line.

    Slight issue in that the Director didn’t survey the land properly, and it was solid bedrock. The cost per meter was more in the wear and replacement of metal ‘picks’ (teeth) on the boom, than we got. Add in a couple of staff, hotels etc. The job went on for over 18 months and not a few months, and cost possibly £2m over and above the fee.

    The boss did say he’d probably be sacked if it was anyone other than him that messed up.

    Free Member

    Couple more to make someone smile.

    I did a little project when fresh out of uni to provide a sectional heat jacketed pipeline and process plant. Heat jacket was a reverse flow fluid jacket filled with a special antifreeze. So i drew all the pipe sections up and locations for all the spigots, clipping points, support structure, lagging thicknesses, some drawings for the fairly high spec flexy hoses to go between sections of the jacket, the usual, ended up with about 15 component drawings, a parts list and 3 or 4 assembly drawings.
    Everything made in house except for the flexies. The flexies that have their own fully dimensioned and specced out part drawings and about 4 lines on the parts list, with specifications and dimensions.

    Anyway, week later the supplier turns up with a box of flexies, mentions that they might be a bit hard to bend, what with being so short and quite stiff…
    Opens the box to show me the flexies, longest is about 250mm shortest about 100.

    “Where the hell did you get the measurements from, these are the wrong length”
    “No they aren’t, i took the dimensions straight off your drawing”
    “No you didn’t, the long ones should be over 900mm.”

    Proceeds to get a frigging tape measure out and show me how he eyeballed the size from the ~1/4 scale assembly drawings, which are clearly labelled “Not to scale, for assembly guidance only”.

    Needless to say, my boss went absolutely ballistic and we had the right sized flexies 24 hours later.
    And somewhere in a box in the attic i still have the shortest, stiffest “flexy” hose in the world.

    The other one was a graduate engineer doing a cost reduction study on a component who decided that the extremely expensive profile being cut into an assembly on one of our legacy engines was far too expensive and time consuming. So he simplified it, saved a fortune. Sent the drawings out to get done (we were using some outside contractors to do legacy cost reduction stuff). Then did the whole check in, approve, issue, update stage drawings and then launch to manufacture.

    First we knew was when the back of an engine almost fell off on test. when it cracked along the newly “designed” profile.
    That hadn’t been through FEA, or metallurgy, or proper approval process, or design review. Or anything.

    There were 3 or 4 more in the build shop and a couple more in manufacturing. Took six of us three weeks full time to undo everything, find the parts, destroy the parts, up issue the drawings (can’t un-issue a drawing, it’s illegal) recertify with new part numbers, sort out all the orders and all the stage drawings, destroy the revised CNC programs and then explain it all to the authorities…

    Then work out how to build a process that meant it couldn’t happen again.

    The guy who did it is (as far as i am aware) still there, 25 years later.

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