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Sunday 7 April 2013


being the theme set forth for us for this Saturday's dVerse Poets by Kelvin S.M.

Raymond was due for work experience.
Mad on cars, they'd picked a garage for him
known for their sympathies for special schools.
The teacher supervising him was new.
Ergo I was put in as adviser.
I had misgivings, so stuck to basics:
When you brief his gaffer, make sure he knows
to give instructions one by one,
I said.
Similarly, demonstrate one action,
and when he's got it, demonstrate the next.

From what I subsequently understood,
it went somehow like this: We need to change
the oil -- that small round screw beneath the sump...
You place this large container underneath,
then you remove the screw and drain the oil.
And last of all, you must replace the screw.

Well, last of all is what it should have been.
So far was more than quite enough by then.
But they went on: they showed him where the oil
went in -- so that is what our Raymond did:
he drained the oil and then replaced the screw,
he even tightened it to the right torque.
He then unscrewed the yellow cap that sat
next to the dipstick... and slowly poured in
all the oil he'd just drained from the car's sump.
They had to strip the engine and then wash
each part with spirit. Did the new teacher
not pass on the instruction? The gaffer
not listen, or not understand? Raymond
messed up - though not entirely without help.


Anonymous said...

A sad little story, but also hilarious about the oil and engine. Some people give good instructions but cannot receieve them.

Jinksy said...

So many instructions turn out to be ones of that sort! LOL

Elephant's Child said...

Decidedly not without help. Rather a lot of help. And my nastier self finds herself sorry that the car in question didn't belong to either of the helpers.

Cloudia said...

usually there is abundant help in messing up.

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Claudia said...

oho....too much information can be confusing...ugh...at least the engine got a decent cleaning...always look at the bright side..smiles

kelvin s.m. said...

...too bad how we can only handle ourselves and not the other side... even when all seemed almost given out we still ended up messing everything... how ironic... & how often misunderstood... who's to blame when the world goes like this... up side down... normally abnormal... smiles... thanks sir for this read... really enjoyed it... as always... smiles...

Grace said...

Too much instruction for the new person can be very confusing and costly ~ The basics, one step at time should have been the guiding theme ~ Have a good Sunday Dave ~

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the first time my step-son changed the oil in the old pickup--by himself for the first time. Somehow, he managed to drain the transmission fluid instead of the oil!

Mary said...

Oh I feel sorry for Raymond. It wasn't his fault. Someone should have been there watching him one step at a time. So often 'helpers' assume that just because they know something the other will intuitively know the same. A good anecdote, Dave.

Brian Miller said...

nice anecdote dave...while not with changing the oil (my dad taught me that early on)your is an anecdote i can relate...was thinking on the same lines as mary as to the assumptions made by helpers...

Anonymous said...

funny: recycled oil. Teaching is an art

Charleen said...

Poor Raymond. My heart feels for him.

Ygraine said...

Poor Raymond...yes, he had ample help here in messing up.
But at least the engine in question had a thorough cleaning! Haha :D

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Yes there is definitely a such thing as too much instruction. Especially for those of us who are simple sorts lol.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I can understand your charcter perfectly, I would have done Exactly what he did. Catastrophic conundrums of this sort are most familiar to me.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I would have done the same as Raymond, a confusion of this sort is very familiar to me, normal actually!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I feel close to Raymond...

David, there are words I must copy almost impossible to see to make the comment pass through..I am not sure you will read my comments in this way...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I feel close to Raymond...

David, there are words I must copy here that are almost impossible to see, to make the comment pass through..I am not sure you will read my comments in this way...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I feel close to Raymond...

David, there are words I must copy here that are almost impossible to see, to make the comment pass through..I am not sure you will read my comments in this way...

Dave King said...

Hi, a warm welcome to you. Thank you for visiting. Good to have your thoughts.

True, only too true!

Elephant's Child
I'm not at all sure that's a nastier side. I could say AMEN to it.

Aint that the perfect truth an' all!

As I recall, that's exactly what they said to the car's owner. He was still not impressed, though!

It can be a bit like Chinese Whispers, this passing on of instructions, each getting something slightly different - or as my Gran would have said, None so deaf as those who think they already know!

Thanks Grace. Hope you did too.

Ah, easily done, I suppose. A warm welcome to you, and warm thanks for the anecdote.

Yes, exactly. You have it in one. It wasn't just too much instruction, it was also a lack of supervision.

Ah, well, great minds will think alike. Actually, the more I think about this, the more ramifications and lesson to be learnt I see in it -- including in my part in it.

Absolutely! Has a funny side now, not so damned funny at the time!

Yes, it wa a shame for him. Thank you for your comment. Good to have you visiting.

Yes, there's always a sunny side side when someone messes up -- well, actually, no, thereisn't always. We were able to persuade Raymond that there was in this case.

Optimistic Existentialist
Absolutely, we all have our limits!

Yes, I do take your point. Maybe any of us could have had the circumstances been right. Thanks for the comments.