Poor Planning

I love Zolltan. He’s an interesting character and one of my favorite people all time. When I read the following report from one of our international managers, I couldn’t help myself from picturing Zolltan writing this after getting totally pissed off at the Vogons, aka the New Zealand bureaucracy.

FYI, this post will definitely not help readers who don’t know him from gaining an accurate description of his character, mannerisms and behaviour. It makes him seem like a vaguely Mr. Bean-type character. He is not.

I will leave it to him to contest whether he would actually make the following mistakes and/or write the letter.

This is a bricklayer’s accident report, which was printed in the newsletter of the New Zealand equivalent of the Workers’ Compensation Board.


Dear Sir:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put “Poor planning” as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation & I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-storey building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over, which, when weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out & loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down & untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks.

You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 135lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind & forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the 3rd floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed.  This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions & the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3 of the accident report form.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind & was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience. At around the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground & the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed c.50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight.  As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the building.   In the vicinity of the 3rd floor, I met the barrel coming up.  This caused the 2 fractured ankles, broken tooth & severe lacerations of my legs & lower body.

Here my luck began  to change slightly. The encounter w/ the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks & fortunately only 3 vertebrae were cracked.  I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure & presence of  mind & let go of the rope & I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me.  This explains the 2 broken legs.

I hope this answers your inquiry.

Yours truly,


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4 Responses to Poor Planning

  1. zolltan says:

    Thanks for the kind words, but that bricklayer is a master of dry wit to a point I only dream of.

  2. zzzanna says:

    this isn’t real…. is it?

  3. Pingback: The Importance of Planning | comm11003stephanieharris

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