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Old 8th Jul 2007, 7:51 am   #21
Vectamart
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

I'll always remember a letter to the editor in 'Television' magazine about 25 years ago. It said that there were three pre-requisites that were essential for anyone contemplating becoming a TV engineer: -
1. The strength of Atlas to manhandle the sets;
2. The driving ability of Stirling Moss to get round all the calls in time;
3. The patience of Job to deal with awkward customers without losing you rag.
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Old 8th Jul 2007, 7:57 am   #22
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

When I worked with Rediffusion in the 60'and 70's I got tricked with a joke call from the base.
I went out with my afternoon jobs and one was at Chessington Zoo (Now World of Adventures). I drove there went to the "trade" reception, and at the desk asked for the name of the person on the job sheet. (I had not looked at the customer name before as when out on the road it's normally the address you are interested in and the fault description) well it was for a "Mr. Lion"!. The guys back at base had a good laugh when I called in to say that no one of that name worked at that call The people at Chessingron were quite amused too.

John
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Old 8th Jul 2007, 9:58 am   #23
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Vectormarts story reminded me of an elderly lady called Margaret, she had a Panasonic VCR and it was always stuck in standby because she'd pressed the timer button.

I'd usually go over (half an hour by car) switch the machine out of timer mode and charge har 40.

On one occasion she phoned me at 5.30am on a sunday morning waking us all up. I did go round later that day, though it did interupt my day with my family, the problem was the same, she paid me 100 and told me to buy my wife a bunch of flowers!
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Old 9th Jul 2007, 7:18 am   #24
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Hello Michael,
I had many calls of this nature but never charged what I called my 'Golden Girls'. These were elderly customers that put so much business my way that it was a pleasure to do these pest calls. Always a cup of tea and a chat awaiting. Happy days.
Please forgive me if I have posted this case history before but for those that may have missed it I will note it again.
I had recently sold a brand new Toshiba C2290BIK to an elderly lady. [ No remote control] I installed the set placing it on the old 50's style square television table.
Underneath, on the bnottom shelf, the old valve radio and various magazines. A few days later the phone rang and the lady was quite upset because the picture had failed on her new set leaving just the sound...Well this NEVER happened with Toshiba sets, the brightness and tuning controls were under a flap that I never revealed to most customers for obvious reasons. During the conversation I could here a sound broadcast in the background. It was the famous Jack Demanio with the 'Second edition of Today' or similar. I asked if she had the set switched on at that moment. 'Yes' she said. Well you have guessed it by now, she had plugged the old radio into the mains instead of the telly! She left the phone and after a moment I heard a massive blast of sound as she connected the set with the volume full on!
We had a good laugh about that till the old girl passed away some years later. I used to say 'Is that Jack I can hear in the background or the telly'. Great fun days and when the fun stopped I retired. Cheers, John.
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Old 9th Jul 2007, 9:48 am   #25
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

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Originally Posted by Vectamart View Post
Another one was old Mrs. Cox who rented a Marconiphone 4808 (24" BRC 1500) who regularly complained of no picture - always because she had turned the brightness right down.
A very common complaint as the brightness control was often at the top of the three knobs, folk tend to think on-off is at the top which of course it is on some makes!

Brian
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Old 9th Jul 2007, 1:53 pm   #26
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

I had an old lady customer who owned a GEC hybrid mono I'd sold her (funny how we remember the exact sets!) whose signal went off regularly - because she'd pulled the aerial out! Turns out she was lonely and knew I'd turn up and have a chat with her which her family wouldn't do, so out came the plug....

Not exactly funny 'ha-ha' but certainly funny - another person I remember had a Hitachi set with a trivial fault under warranty which I was asked to go and see by a shop we did some work for. The set's owner was very reluctant to let me take the back off, telling me how she'd sue Hitachi and the shop and everybody and how I might break it. She suggested that if I was to take it back to the workshop (my suggestion as I was getting a bit annoyed by this point) we would swap the insides with an old set.
She said the shop manager had told her that I regularly attended Hitachi's training courses and asked if this was true.
'Of course', I reassured her, explaining I was fully up to date with her set.
'So it's a conspiracy - you're all in this together!' she exploded.

I just walked out of the house without closing the door - I never found out what happened to the TV....

Glyn
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Old 9th Jul 2007, 4:20 pm   #27
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Smile Re: Humour in the TV trade.

I was in the electronics trade for over 16 years and one of our more printable pranks with any new starter was to replace their solder with tinned copper wire of the same guage! They fell for it every time & one had his iron all in bits looking at the thermostat before he twigged on
Paul.
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Old 9th Jul 2007, 10:00 pm   #28
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Quote:
one had his iron all in bits looking at the thermostat before he twigged on
....wasn't the copper wire a good deal stiffer?
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Old 10th Jul 2007, 7:00 am   #29
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

It was, Tim, but we used to do that as well! Such were the influx from school.

Another idea was to scatter various tools across the benches, seemingly in random order, but actually forming two conductive paths and connected to a Megger at the far end.
When some poor wight leaned on them at the other end, a few turns of the handle showed him the error of his ways!
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Old 10th Jul 2007, 7:15 am   #30
Michael Maurice
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

When I was at BT, we had these old wind up generators. someone decided to use a long twisted pair from this generator, and stick the two wires in my neck!
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Old 10th Jul 2007, 7:53 am   #31
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

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When I was at BT, we had these old wind up generators. someone decided to use a long twisted pair from this generator, and stick the two wires in my neck!
Presumably this causes ringing in the ears
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Old 10th Jul 2007, 10:02 pm   #32
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Another prank this time at the BBC

The colour monitors had seperate RGB cables from the video amps to the tube base,

The prank was to swap the Green and Blue leads over then grey scale it!
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Old 11th Jul 2007, 6:30 am   #33
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

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Originally Posted by raditechman View Post
[...]
I went out with my afternoon jobs and one was at Chessington Zoo (Now World of Adventures). I drove there went to the "trade" reception, and at the desk asked for the name of the person on the job sheet. (I had not looked at the customer name before as when out on the road it's normally the address you are interested in and the fault description) well it was for a "Mr. Lion"!. [...]
John
Yep - bin there, dun that, John! If we had a new starter on field service, a call was raised for "Mr C Lyons, Belle Vue* M18 9ZZ. Watery picture."

The equivalent of a "long weight", "bottle of sync pulses" and a "large black-level clamp" for the apprentice to get

*There was a zoo at Belle Vue (Manchester).
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Old 14th Jul 2007, 11:30 pm   #34
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

During my short time in the TV trade in the mid 80's down here in West Cornwall, I encountered many 'local characters' as you can imagine!!

One particular instance comes to mind. A lady called into my shop enquiring about renting a colour TV. I gladly showed her the sets available to rent, and the monthly cost. She seemed more interested in the cosmetic appearance of the set rather than it's picture & sound quality.
Eventually, she settled for an ageing HMV 22'' colour set,tucked away at the back of the shop, fitted with the 3500 chassis,as she liked the look of the cabinet. The deal was struck, and a delivery time agreed.
Huffing and puffing, I brought the set into the ladies lounge and placed it 'side down' onto the floor. Before I had chance to return to my van to collect the stand, she declared,'' that's not the set I saw in your shop,I want the same set I saw in your shop!'' Slighty bemused, I enquired what she thought was different about this set . ''The screen is the wrong way around'' she announced, ''the set I saw had the screen the other way around!'' Biting my tongue, I dilligently carried the set back out to my van, apologising as I went. I then carried the same set in the right way around and placed it back onto the good ladies lounge floor, and looked at her expectantly for approval. ''That's it, that's the one I saw in the shop''!

You just have to go with the flow sometimes!!

Simon.
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Old 15th Jul 2007, 8:31 pm   #35
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

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During my short time in the TV trade in the mid 80's down here in West Cornwall, I encountered many 'local characters' as you can imagine!!........



You just have to go with the flow sometimes!!

Simon.
Presumably, you saw the light, recognised your talents, and have spent the rest of your career in the diplomatic corps.

Pete.
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Old 21st Jul 2007, 6:57 pm   #36
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Hi everyone , when i was an apprentice years ago we had an old lady rental customer who would regularly call us out to check the "poor" picture . I could never fault the mono set she had and she tried every model of mono set we had but always complained about the pictures .One day i called and as usual the picture was perfect so growing tired of her i rotated the vertical hold telling her to select a picture that she liked !. After looking at three of the rolling pictures she shouted " that one"s lovely" . I rotated the control the other way and she commented that she liked that picture best . I left a very happy lady that day and would return every six months and let her choose a good picture !!!. Regards . Gary.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 10:01 am   #37
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

In the 1970s when a lot of people still rented their TVs, I used to regularly visit my local TV shop to order stuff from RS (in those days RS considered it beneath their dignity to deal with the general public). The owner once related how he dealt with non-paying customers.

One technique was to turn up with a new boxed set in the back of the van - "we're upgrading all the sets for no extra charge - I'll get the old one out of the way first".

Another trick was a pin inserted into the coax on the outside of the house, resulting in a short circuit and hence a service call.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 5:18 pm   #38
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

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Presumably, you saw the light, recognised your talents, and have spent the rest of your career in the diplomatic corps.

Pete.
Yes Pete, I did get out! I got out of the trade at the ripe old age of 28, and not regretted it . I enjoyed the work and the humour - but could not see myself earning a living at this game in the future. However I never made the diplomatic corps - exactly - however,I still need to be 'diplomatic' as a self employed electrician!



Simon.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 6:08 pm   #39
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Speaking to a few ex-TV servicemen who got out of the game, the tipping point came when colour TVs came in. Too big, too complicated, too heavy, ****** oscilloscope needed. Try carting one of those sods up and down from a fifth floor flat. Time to move on.

However, the days of the black and white valve set were golden.

Pete.
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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 6:16 pm   #40
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

The 'tipping' point came when prices and build quality fell, and spares prices rocketed !

Simon.
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