So today a machine operator calls me over to a machine, and says her machine just stopped working. I look and see the power is out, so I check the receps. No power, nothing wrong with the GFCI. Breaker is tripped. I try to reset it, and it trips instantly. Huh. Start investigating the machine for damage, nothing. Happen to glance a couple feet away at another recep, there a plug with no attached cord sticking in it. Wires exposed. Shorting the plug.
I ask the operator what's up with that? She says "Oh, I was trying to plug my radio in and it got stuck". So I look at her radio and the cable is chewed up and covered in tape. The plug she tried to plug in was chewed up and falling apart. Needless to say I took pictures of everything, sent emails out to the Manager, Supervisors, and the VP of Operations, about the serious safety hazard the Manager has caused by allowing operators to bring personal electronics in unrestricted...
Hah! What I love about this is the silly familiar inability of most people working in what are supposed to be technical careers, but who have zero (or less if that's even possible) basic debugging skills. Silly me, but if I plug something in, and then the power stops working on something else plugged in nearby, my very first assumption is that one action caused the other reaction. At the very least "what did you do right before it broke" is always a good starting point when trying to figure out why something isn't working. You'd be shocked (actually, you probably wouldn't, but other folks maybe would be) how often the initial story is "I didn't do anything! It just stopped working on its own.", and after spending a ridiculous amount of time, finally wresting out of them that they did something very obvious and clear that caused the problem. And it's not even that they're trying to conceal what they did. They honestly didn't see the correlation. Which is scary.
Now I might dismiss this kind of thing because it's an operator and not an engineer, but um... many engineers are just as bad: "Hey! I was running this command yesterday and it worked, and now it tells me 'command not found'". "Did you change anything between yesterday and today?". "No. Nothing". <I spend time figuring out that there's a syntax error in one of their source files>. "Here's the problem. This file has a syntax error, which is causing the source to fail, which prevents your environment from loading. Do you know how that error got there". "Oh. Yeah. I was editing that file to add a new alias to my environment this morning." <facepalm>.
Or: "This command isn't working". "Does it output any errors or warnings?". "No. I get nothing". "Nothing at all? Just a blank screen? Blinking cursor? Does it crash the software? The entire environment? Your login session?" "Nope. Nothing at all" (ps: There's always "something" that happens, so this is always a false statement). <spends time replicating users environment to duplicate problem> "Um... You didn't notice the line of text immediately after the command you typed that said "Error: no read/wriite permission for <path to important file that needs to be opened rw>". "Oh. That? I didn't think it was important". <facepalm>
This is the same guy who said it was my fault that a forklift hit me while I was on a ladder working on a machine. That was two weeks after he started his position. I have had zero respect for the man since then.
Well, clearly you shouldn't have been on that ladder where the forklift needed to operate. Also, if your bosses paid their operators better, they'd be able to have better radios.
Also: Who listens to a portable radio these days? I can't remember the last time I saw such a thing. Where they heck is this plant you're working at anyway?