Dear Dr. Clamp,

I am writing concerning your request for additional information. In block number 3 of the accident report form, I put “poor planning” as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I needed to explain more fully. I trust that what I am writing below is enough.

As you know, I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a six-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had 500 pounds of brick left over. Instead of carrying the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which I attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor. I went down and secured the rope at ground level and then went back up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Next, I went back down to the ground, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. (You will note in block number 11 of the accident report that I weigh 135 pounds.)

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.


Somewhere near the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. That explains the fractured skull and broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent not stopping until my right hand was two knuckles deep into the pulley. That accounts for my broken fingers. Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Without the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed about 50 pounds. (I refer you again to me weight in block number eleven.)As you might imagine, I began my rapid descent down the side of the building. Again, in the vicinity of the third floor I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for my two fractured ankles and the bruises on my legs and lower body.


When I passed through the barrel, it slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks and fortunately only three ribs were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that while I lay there on the pile of bricks in pain- unable to stand and watching the empty barrel six stories above me- I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope!

The point of this story: Think things through from beginning to end.


Jamie Jenkins

*source of this story is unknown