Over the years that I have spent as a fabricator, I have picked up some odd working habits. For example, whenever I put my ear muffs on for loud work, I clap the muffs together 3 times. Why do I do this? I have no idea. Does the clapping action create a vacuum that clears the dust from the muffs? Maybe, but I have never really checked. Is it more akin to the superstitions that blacksmiths of the past believed in as they tried to appease the gods? I really don’t have an answer.
Another shop habit of mine came into acute focus this past week. Each time I use my gloves in the shop, I first twist them in a similar fashion to wringing out a towel. Again, this is goes back to the beginning of my career and remains rather inexplicable.
Nevertheless, this habit paid off in full. Just before grinding a few welds on the Zeppelin, I grabbed my gloves and gave them their ritualized squeeze. As I opened them to put my hand inside, this guy fell out. I am sorry that he had to die, but I am sure glad that I didn’t find him the hard way.
So are my habits somehow connected to a mysterious and innate understanding of the dangers of my environment, or are they just random and weird?