Prison Pete

Thursday, June 08, 2006
  TV (stand) Repairman.
I was rushing to complete a re-installation of a television in one of the other units this afternoon and received no cooperation from any of the other workers. Not only that, but for some unknown reason the staff member who works in the tool room is stuck on being sure I have a difficult time getting the tools I need.

There is one inmate that actually does the distribution and logging of all tools, and unfortunately he has very little knowledge of hardware. We have over 128 bins with all kinds of bolts, lag bolts, washers etc, yet I can never get what I need. Today he gave me 1/4" carriage bolts with 3/8" nuts! Plus he can not tell the difference between a carriage bolt (rounded head) and hex head bolts.

The TV stand I had to fix, per the head civilian, had a piece of 1/2" flake board that was affixed to a metal wall mounted stand with sheet rock screws that were at least 2" long, and someone had tried to go into the side of the flake board, and also through the 1/2" board so that the screws were all sticking out from the board.

There are two adjustable "arms' that you can spread to insert the plywood shelf. I replaced the flake board with a 3/4" plywood board. I also opened up the TV (25") and drilled holes in the bottom of the case and used 4" bolts to fasten the TV to the plywood. The usual method is to use 2" sheet metal screws.

The screwing is done by using the good old battery operated drill with Phillips head bit and go up through the plywood into the TV. Yep, on occasion you get to drive the screws right through the circuit board.

Now it is extremely hot and muggy and I need to get all my tools and other hardware from an inmate that does not know his ass from his elbow, but thinks he does, and the job site is a good 200 yards away. And I am working on this wall stand that has hex head set screws that are all loose. Of course I need another tool to properly do the job.

It is pushing 2:00, andI am rushing to reinstall the TV so that the inmates will not have to survive the night with only one TV and as I drill through the bolt holes on the stand brackets into the plywood, I stab myself in the palm of my hand.

Let me go and try my shower again then come back and give you some more of my tales of woe.
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