I had been with the company for a while but finally had the opportunity to transfer over to the line department. It was something that I was really looking forward to.
These were the days of line gangs. The gangs were made up of multiple linemen, several ground-hands (grunts), a chauffeur (driver) and a foreman. They all worked off one truck which had a crew cab for the linemen and a retractable rear cover over the bed to keep the handlines, rope blocks, bull lines and other equipment dry. The other equipment, many times, meant the “grunts” since this was their assigned space.
My first day on the job, I was assigned to one of the line gangs as a ground hand. The crew was setting poles. Being new, I was eager and wanted to do the right thing. As we were finishing up one of the sets, I mentioned to the foreman, one of those old-style types, that it was leaning. He gave me one of those annoyed who are you? looks and told me to get back to digging the next hole.
Later, one of the linemen came up to me and told me, there was nothing wrong with the pole. He explained that it was a guy pole, and that the lean was a “rake”.
George Schellenberg – Lineman, Instructor, Retired