As soon as I arrived at California, my husband asked me to help a very nice Mexican contractor to resolve an issue with some plans submitted at the City Hall. I said that I did not what to say, I did not even know what the project was about. And my husband said, " Go and be helpful". So, I tried to be patient and went to the City of Whittier together with the contractor.
-Are you the designer? The plan checker asked.
-"Yes", I lied.
-"Why did you take out the washers?"
- "Sorry.......hmmmmmmm the wash....".
My face was becoming reddish, and the contractor, tried to help, saying " the wachas Myriam, the wachas", in a vernacular Spanish translation. What made things even worst for me.
I've downloaded this picture to give you an idea of what a " washer " is. In Spanish, it is called "arandelas". Of course I know what an arandela is, but couldn't figure out it as a washer. Though, I've been working many years in construction, I was not an expert in technical English (and I'm still learning).
Then, the plan checker said, -" why did you use these bars for the concrete?" Showing me a note on plans that except for a couple of numbers seemed Chinese to me. That was a structural note, in Engineer's language and symbols, so different from our own notations in Argentina.
So, the plan checker took his time to explain to me, laughing at me, of course, what it meant.
-"when you build a slab you use a grid of iron bars.....separated,....etc".
A lesson from the second year of University.
My face was not reddish any more, it was completely red with embarassment. I went out with the Mexican contractor, who drove me home, but as soon as he turned off the truck engine, a "padrino" of him called to his cell phone, asking him " who is this lady with you in the truck???".
Now, I was laughing and the contractor was the embarrassed one!