Boy! was I Shafted… but it was my fault!!
It was 1950 and I was working a facility in White Plains, N. Y. that manufactured electrical cables that ran across the ocean. It was called Phelps Dodge and my job was at night starting at 7pm and ending at 2:00Pm. I was still going to college at C.C.N.Y. in upper Manhattan at the greatest campus a college could have. It was a way to earn money, not wanting to put an overload on my father who would have gladly helped, but I wanted independence. Each night my job was to try to destroy a 40′ length of cross Atlantic ocean cable that was part of that days production at the plant. Along with a crew of men whose job it was to help me set up each test, I would connect up the ends of the cable that were 15′ off the factory floor and then afterwards when the all workers left, I began applying high voltages of electricity (Starting at 10,000 volts and increasing it as the night progress) into them to see just how much they could accept before shorting out. Naturally I kept records after each change to ensure that the production of that day was acceptable for use thereafter at the range they were set up to be. In the beginning it was fun as sometime my hair would standup on edge… Yes, I had a full head of hair, in fact the style was called a pompadour, and it was thick, black and wavy, and shiny form the olive oil I used to create a great pompadour. Being I worked after regular hours and all worker went home for the day, I was left to myself, yes, to do my homework as well as my job. One night almost immediately after the testing began, there was a sharp crack as the powerful Electricity I had applied jumped from one end of the cable to the other, in the form of lightning, as something was wrong with the set up or the cable itself. Well, what to do for the next 6 hours… Nothing! so, I decided to roam around the plant and see what it was all about. The night guards were also just hanging around as they usually did, so I said to them I was going to look around. They teased me by saying I destroyed the cable on purpose. So, I began exploring on each level as there was four to explore. when I reached the top floor, after noseying about and bored, I decided to look out the giant 20′ high windows to see what was outside from that level. I went from window to window, usually having to climb to see out. there was a window with a pile of construction stuff nearby, and I had to go over it to see out. Putting my foot on a flat section to get over it, It gave way as it was just cardboard, and my foot went down into a 4′ round exhaust shaft that went into the floor below, and the shaft had a 6″ high steel ridge sticking straight up that was there to accept the next section when the job was to be completed. That ridge came at my groin as I fell into it, cutting my left testicle in half, but now breaking into my skin. Naturally, I yelled and yelled from the pain, as everyone knows that being hit in that area was more than just painful, it was for killing! Thank God, one of the guards heard my screams and came running to my aid. After pulling me out he saw what had happened and my pain, and ran for help after placing me on the floor and seeing a bulge in my pants. An ambulance came at once and I was brought to the local nearby hospital. Two young doctors came rushing to my aid and as they removed my pants and other clothing, they saw something they could not believe??? My testicles had filled and filled, till they were the size of a soccer ball, from the blood rushing from my testicle to fill the sack, and with this, my legs could not be closed, making me not able to stand. they began discussing my condition in front of me and they looked very doubtful as to what to do next to help my condition. I was in extreme pain as would be expected from a shot in the groin. They thought that heat or cold might help a little and asked me what I’d prefer, either applied heat the cold, I went for hot! As I recall they didn’t give me any drugs at that time.
I was brought into the maternity ward and I asked why? They said what I needed was warm baths, as well as the water would relieve the pressure, and here at the hospital there was only “sits” baths, and they were in the Maternity ward. So, I was taken there daily from my room until my swelling went down, and I was released from the hospital. I knew that when the news came out, I would be teased just for the fun of it… and sure enough…”Hey Sal what was it a boy or girl?” The thing was, I could have sued the plant, but my father said to just let them pay the hospital and doctors bills, and get on with my life. I did just that and all I got from that experience is this great story… Are you laughing? Well, you should because 25 years later it happened again, and another great story!!!