Monday, January 20, 2014

The night billionaire JK Irving rousted a bunch of drunken welders off his yacht

OK, it wasn't "his yacht", it was HMCS Vancouver. I was working steady second shift at the time. It was late in the shift, maybe 11:00 o'clock at night, when the unmistakable profile of Irving Shipyard owner JK Irving was spotted heading our way.

"We're fucked" was the word that went round.

Then little Kenny jumped to his feet. Probably the most far-gone of the lot of us sitting in that unit passing the jug around.

We watched with baited breath...

"Mr. Irving sir, fer fucks sakes sir we been down on 'r arses fer three fuckin goddam shifts Mr. Irving, cause the cunts in planning can't send us the right fuckin' blueprints for the canteen!"

Kenny had a point of course. The shipyard was absolutely famous for dystopian management practices. They'd send a crew of fitters and welders to a unit and not get around to sending the shop drawings till a week later. In the meanwhile the lads, and the occasional gal, come to think of it, would be passing round the hashpipe and the liquor jug.

Not that we weren't ready and able to work; we just had nothing to do.

So the billionaire Irving comes right in the unit. "Is that right?" he asks. "You can't do your job because you don't have the drawings?"

Amens all round.

We all get up and walk/wobble/stagger to the canteen in question. Partly roughed in, pile of parts on the floor, but no blueprints.

There's no way he could not have noticed the booze vapours emanating from his welding crew.

Then the unthinkable happened. The billionaire JK Irving APOLOGIZED TO US.

"Well that won't do... I'm so sorry fellas. Wish you'd brought this to my attention sooner, but thank you very much. This won't happen again."

And it didn't. At least not on that unit.

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