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browne92
03-30-2016, 10:22 AM
Watching a baseball game last night, and one of the commentators was talking about how the manager had sent the unsuspecting bat boy on a mission of looking for the bullets for the radar gun. He was then sent running all over the stadium by each player and manager that continued the prank. The other commentator said that in the early days, is was the keys to the batters box that became the fool's errand.

I've heard of a couple of others:

Flight line: bucket of prop wash/jet wash
Construction site: board stretcher

I am curious as to what other non-existing items are out there, mostly so I don't get caught up in one. :o

Black_Moons
03-30-2016, 10:24 AM
Metalworker/tool room: Bucket of grinder sparks

TGTool
03-30-2016, 10:25 AM
A left handed monkey wrench often shows up -- or not.

Jimmer12
03-30-2016, 10:30 AM
A long stand

skunkworks
03-30-2016, 10:39 AM
Blinker fluid, muffler belt/bearing.

Jimmer12
03-30-2016, 10:39 AM
Metric adjustable wrench, left handed screwdriver.

pinstripe
03-30-2016, 10:43 AM
A long stand

Known as the long wait/weight around here.

woodenbird
03-30-2016, 10:44 AM
and of course, the old standard, a bucket of elbow grease.

adatesman
03-30-2016, 10:48 AM
The special magnet that only works on stainless.

dockterj
03-30-2016, 10:51 AM
Worked with a Navy electronics tech who served in Vietnam. He told me a bunch of things they would have the new guys try to get from the quarter master but the only one I remember was sending him to get fallopian tubes for the radar transmitters.

jcon
03-30-2016, 11:06 AM
Lights went out at my Dad's print shop, when he sent a kid for a bucket of electricity the kid was afraid he would get shocked. Dad tied a string on the handle and the kid went haply off to the power plant.

bob308
03-30-2016, 11:23 AM
a bucket of camouflage paint.

Rosco-P
03-30-2016, 11:23 AM
At the chemical plant, a bucket of steam from the powerhouse for a batch that needed a little heating for the reaction to complete.

john hobdeclipe
03-30-2016, 11:52 AM
Every furniture factory or woodworking shop has a "lumber stretcher"; it's up the new guy to find it.

CarlByrns
03-30-2016, 12:06 PM
When I worked on oxygen equipment the standard was a bottle of 'No Oil' to lubricate pressure gauges.

brian Rupnow
03-30-2016, 12:11 PM
When I started my drafting apprenticeship, it was common to send the new guy to the chief designer to ask for a supply of "working points". This was in pre computer/ pre calculator days, when all trig functions were done long hand, and a "working point" was the origin of the angles being calculated.

A.K. Boomer
03-30-2016, 12:15 PM
Muffler bearings were subject to standard replacement protocol on anything over 100,000 miles for the new kid --- of course we kept an eye on him so there were actually no real attempts...

aolney
03-30-2016, 12:51 PM
How about the Boy Scout's smoke shifter and sky hook I was sent after.

Andy

michigan doug
03-30-2016, 12:59 PM
In high school chem lab 1., somebody broke a flask or beaker, and without missing a beat, the teacher told one of the students in the back (by the storage cabinets) to rummage around in the bottom drawer and find the glass magnet.

Yow Ling
03-30-2016, 01:02 PM
A length af falopian tubing

lynnl
03-30-2016, 01:08 PM
In the mid 80's I was the weather detachment commander at Anderson AFB, Guam. Every now and then we'd have a young aircrew man from an arriving flight show up at the weather counter to turn in his air samples he had collected across the Pacific, contained in little paper bags all neatly folded and taped shut and labeled with the lat/long. ...his buddies standing off to the side struggling to suppress their giggles and snickers.

Of course we would always play along and "log them in" and thank him for his work, assuring him how valuable the data was.

ahidley
03-30-2016, 01:19 PM
An old building contractor send the new guy down into the basement for a box of bubbles to replace the broken one in his level.

Magicniner
03-30-2016, 01:48 PM
I knew about striped paint, long stands, left handed screwdrivers etc. but was sent for a polystyrene cup of thinners.
I got nearly halfway back with the first cup before the bottom fell out.
On the second attempt I handed my boss a stack of three cups with seconds to spare before the bottom fell out of the last cup onto his shoes ;-)
Those were the days!

bborr01
03-30-2016, 02:26 PM
Knuten/Kunuten valve.

QSIMDO
03-30-2016, 02:50 PM
A length of water line, seeds to grow a new compass rose...

Paul Alciatore
03-30-2016, 02:57 PM
I worked at a TV station back in the 70s when news footage was still being shot on 16mm film. We had to run it on projectors during the news show. A common problem occurred when the film slipped in the gate and the "loop" of film between the gate and the constant speed rollers would be reduced to a minimum. When that happened, the gate no longer could pull it down a single frame at a time and you got a blurred image as it was dragged through. We had to write up all problems and our description for that was the film "lost the loop".

Some bright person in management saw these write-ups and promptly ordered that we were to keep extra film loops on hand during the news shows so we could replace the lost ones. So we made up a half dozen endless loops of 16mm film and hung them on a peg near each projector with a big sign explaining that they were extra loops to replace the "lost" ones. It took a week or so before that manager discovered that we were making fun of him: by that time almost everyone in the station had seen the loops and signs. He or she was not pleased and the film loops and signs were never seen again.

I never got the chance to load one of them on a projector when that problem occurred.

Alistair Hosie
03-30-2016, 03:04 PM
Sent the new apprentice down to the funeral parlour for some empty or old boxes. or made him go to the bank to ask the manager if he had any dirty money he wanted laundering Or money that was being sent off to be burned as it was crumpled or slightly torn worn out. Usually the manager would pretended to look under the bench. Then say pity you weren't here an hour ago we just got rid of a large bale etc . try again tomorrow . Or sent the boy to the old chemist lady to ask if she had big dummy tits. seriously we used to call (pacifiers) then dummy tits or just dummies.Alistair

flylo
03-30-2016, 03:21 PM
A load stone which many is the borth think is a joke is a magnet in the south. My dad worked in the motor pool in WWII & they had a sigh saying not to forget to grease the 5th wheel. So my dad knew his superior new nothing so he asked his where that was on a Jeep & the guy said don't you know anything "it's the spare tire".

TGTool
03-30-2016, 03:59 PM
One of my co-workers was a helper in a chemists as a young man. A boy came in looking for something his mother had sent him down for - a bottle of Oh-dick-alone. Not mythical but amusing nonetheless.

RancherBill
03-30-2016, 04:09 PM
There was a new guy doing all the heavy work and having all the jokes played on him. Somebody asked him to get the two headed nails. He just exploded about he was tired of all the new guy $hit. Boy did he look stupid when the Foreman brought a box of nails.

http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/216545742/duplex_nail_two_head_nail_duplex_head.jpg

QSIMDO
03-30-2016, 04:58 PM
I worked at a TV station back in the 70s when news footage was still being shot on 16mm film. We had to run it on projectors during the news show. A common problem occurred when the film slipped in the gate and the "loop" of film between the gate and the constant speed rollers would be reduced to a minimum. When that happened, the gate no longer could pull it down a single frame at a time and you got a blurred image as it was dragged through. We had to write up all problems and our description for that was the film "lost the loop".

Some bright person in management saw these write-ups and promptly ordered that we were to keep extra film loops on hand during the news shows so we could replace the lost ones. So we made up a half dozen endless loops of 16mm film and hung them on a peg near each projector with a big sign explaining that they were extra loops to replace the "lost" ones. It took a week or so before that manager discovered that we were making fun of him: by that time almost everyone in the station had seen the loops and signs. He or she was not pleased and the film loops and signs were never seen again.

I never got the chance to load one of them on a projector when that problem occurred.

You ever have to get the IATSE priest in to exorcise the "travel ghost"?

Puckdropper
03-30-2016, 05:57 PM
Does anyone have a 16" pipe wrench?

jdunmyer
03-30-2016, 06:09 PM
One of the maintenance guys turned in a req. for "Concrete Welding Rod" to use in fastening metal racks to the floor. A couple of days later the toolroom guy asked the maintenance guy for "the number of that rod you want". He was told it didn't exist, but the crib guy insisted that the supplier said he could provide if it he just had the number of the rod.

Black_Moons
03-30-2016, 06:27 PM
I knew about striped paint, long stands, left handed screwdrivers etc. but was sent for a polystyrene cup of thinners.
I got nearly halfway back with the first cup before the bottom fell out.
On the second attempt I handed my boss a stack of three cups with seconds to spare before the bottom fell out of the last cup onto his shoes ;-)
Those were the days!

Ah yes, I learned this trick too as a kid. One cup lasts 10 seconds... or about 20 feet.. need to get 60 feeet... 3 or 4 cups outta do it!

Iraiam
03-30-2016, 07:03 PM
From the printing industry; a box of half tone dots, and the paper stretcher. Imagine my surprise when a rookie came back with a box of paper dots from a hole punch labeled as "half tone dots", I guess he asked the right person!

MikeL46
03-30-2016, 08:20 PM
3 feet of watertline from my Navy days.

We also had teletype paper, paper/carbon paper/paper. The operators would tear off the top two sheets and have paper/paper/carbon paper, then they would tell the rookie they were short of paper and needed him to to unroll the whole 150' (or so) and put the carbon in the middle. I didn't know the trick, but didn't fall for it.

Mike

BigPortJimmy6
03-30-2016, 10:08 PM
Left handed axe, VW Thermostat, belt shrinker.

CarlByrns
03-30-2016, 10:19 PM
VW Thermostat

You mean like this one: http://www.ratwell.com/technical/Thermostats.html

steve45
03-30-2016, 10:58 PM
Without a doubt, this is the best collection of pseudo-'tools' out there. It's been around for a while, a spoof on the Harbor Freight sale catalogs: http://www.meyette.us/hf_tool_sale.pdf

I particularly like the '50 Foot Garden Hose-Extension Cord Combination' and the 'Laser-Guided Paint Brush'.

ncjeeper
03-30-2016, 11:41 PM
How about the Boy Scout's smoke shifter and sky hook I was sent after.

Andy
We always took the new tenderfoots snipe hunting.

becksmachine
03-31-2016, 12:39 AM
Would I be violating the no "for sale post" policy if try to sell the two truckloads of surplus pre-fabricated post holes that I have stored since the McLoud tv series went off the air?

:)

Dave

darryl
03-31-2016, 01:47 AM
When I first started working for an electronics place, they sent me to another shop just down the street for a bag of electrons. I kept a straight face and went there, joked with them for a bit to waste a bit of time, then went back without a bag- said they were out of electrons, but they had some on order.

The Artful Bodger
03-31-2016, 02:01 AM
We had a sealed oil drum at the radio transmitter station. It was well covered with various warning signs and labelled "Transmitter Aether".

KiddZimaHater
03-31-2016, 03:31 AM
I can't believe no-one has mentioned the famous "LEFT-HANDED ALLEN WRENCHES".

boslab
03-31-2016, 04:26 AM
Sometimes the obverse occurs, I asked a boy to go get a box of 225mm wall ties, he just laughed and said your not catching ma with that one, next you'll want a glass hammer or somthing.
Off I trotted, when I got back he said well did you get them, so I slapped a box of 225mm stainless steel wall ties in the bench, he went a bit red, I'm hoping it was embarrassment and not anger as he was a big lad.
The electrician sent him for a cable snake out of his van, he bit again
The usual was long wait, add metric, LH,RH, or whatever variant.
The carpenter used to send kids for clear paint, the store knew he meant varnish but I suppose varnish is clear paint.
At least the shift stores had a sense of humour, the drill bit rack had a sign on top, metric holes, imperial holes, left handed holes, the taps were threaded holes, and reamers were smooth holes.
Dowels were blunt nails.
Mark

Tony Ennis
03-31-2016, 07:43 AM
In scouts, "bacon stretcher".

lynnl
03-31-2016, 09:46 AM
We had a sealed oil drum at the radio transmitter station. It was well covered with various warning signs and labelled "Transmitter Aether".

That reminds me of one I heard on a CB radio back when they were in vogue: one trucker, when asked what he was hauling, responded, " a load of sailboat fuel."

Dan Dubeau
03-31-2016, 10:35 AM
Threads like these are a great laugh, but pose a serious problem. We hired a new kid about a year a half ago, and he's one that's been raised by the internet. Read it all, knows it all, you're not pulling the wool over his eyes. Problem is, around here (and most small shops I've been around or worked in) it's customary for the new guy to bring in a case of beer, and Friday afternoon (or Thursdays for us) you knock off early, sit around and shoot the ****, etc. Well every time it gets mentioned he thinks we're taking the piss out of him. It's probably been brought up well over 100 times now by everybody including the boss, and every time he laughs and thinks we're joking. We're not. It's getting old. He doesn't have a car, and takes the bus to work (has license), and we've all offered to even drive him to the beer store, or loan our vehicles. Every time he just laughs, and thinks we're joking. So much for old traditions......

KIMFAB
03-31-2016, 11:21 AM
When I was assigned to my first ship in the Navy I was also sent around for silly stuff but I went along with it.

They sent me everywhere on the ship to get something and I used it as a great learning experience,
at the end of the day I had a reasonably good idea of the layout of everything and made some new friends.

CarlByrns
03-31-2016, 12:07 PM
Old-school computer labs always had a bucket to keep used bits in. The contents would periodically be poured back into the machine.

CarlByrns
03-31-2016, 12:09 PM
Without a doubt, this is the best collection of pseudo-'tools' out there. It's been around for a while, a spoof on the Harbor Freight sale catalogs: http://www.meyette.us/hf_tool_sale.pdf

I particularly like the '50 Foot Garden Hose-Extension Cord Combination' and the 'Laser-Guided Paint Brush'.

That's as funny as this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortyseven/3798461282/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Tango2
03-31-2016, 06:32 PM
Once we sent the junior guy on a deployment down the road to the missile battery to get 3 packs of AA's


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

dmartin
03-31-2016, 11:08 PM
In a wood worker shop. Go get a bottle of knot remover. I didn't fall for it.

j king
04-01-2016, 07:53 AM
Go get a 0-1 I.D. Mic

Lew Hartswick
04-01-2016, 08:35 AM
Go get a 0-1 I.D. Mic


Boy could I use one of those every now and then. :-)
...lew...

Machine
04-01-2016, 08:48 AM
"White pine knot remover" - A 17 year old construction site laborer spent the better part of the day looking for one.

"Sky hooks" - Same laborer above, same situation. (he didn't fall for anymore after that)

"Seismic drive unit" - New employee at an automotive repair shop told to go get one out of the tool room. When he said "a what?" And everyone said with an angry, incredulous look on their faces "YOU don't know what a seismic drive unit is?" And then he said "Oh yeah, seismic drive unit. I thought you said something else. I'll get it, hold on." Took him 1/2 hour in the tool room before admitting defeat. ;)

browne92
04-01-2016, 10:29 AM
Go get a 0-1 I.D. Mic

My machine shop teacher said he had one, but when he closed it all the way, he couldn't find it anymore.

PStechPaul
04-01-2016, 05:19 PM
I have heard that EMTs often send a rookie to get a box of priapisms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priapism).

And a new mother asked a nurse to name her baby girl. The nurse said, "Placenta", and the mother said, "What a lovely name"!

Blue Mule
04-01-2016, 05:40 PM
Years ago I worked for the power company. We used heavy rubber gloves, rubber handled cable cutters, hammers with fiberglass handles, etc, so new guys would get fooled when they would start to open a wooden crate and one of the old hands would yell, "Hey, that's electrical equipment. Go to the tool room and get a rubber crowbar."

redgrouse
04-02-2016, 05:04 AM
Tufnell tipped drill. Bottomless bucket !

Peter.
04-02-2016, 07:00 AM
Sometimes the obverse occurs, I asked a boy to go get a box of 225mm wall ties, he just laughed and said your not catching ma with that one, next you'll want a glass hammer or somthing.


Reminds me of a story my late father once told me. When he was stationed in the RAF a superior gave him a note to requisition a glass hammer from the stores. Being a clever clogs my dad went off base to a local town and found an ornamental glass hammer in a shop. He went back and smugly presented it only to be put on report for going off base without permission :D