Never, Ever, Ever Assume! (Or, How a Stuck Shoe is Like a Construction Project Assumption)

Sandals stuck in the sand at beach

You make that assumption when you do projects for clients without a formal letter or contract outlining your scope of work.

October 21, 2019
Melissa Dewey Brumback - Construction Law in North Carolina

This summer, I had the fortune of taking a trip to Europe. The first place I visited was Amsterdam. A lovely town with a lot of culture and more canals than you can shake a stick at. I was meeting family there, but had hours to kill ahead of time. So, I decided to take the train from the airport into the City Centre, leave my bags at the train station luggage locker, and begin exploring.

My plan took its first misstep when I attempted to board the train. Not being in a hurry, I let the other passengers get on first. Sure, I noticed the train conductor blowing his whistle while I stepped onto the train, but figured I was fine since I was already on the steps up. Until, that is, the door began to close, with me in the doorway, suitcase in the train, one foot inside, and one foot mid step up to the cabin. The door closed on my backpack (which was still on my back), but I managed to force it into the train compartment. My shoe, however, was not quite as lucky. Part of my shoe made it inside, and part was outside the door.

No worry– just look for the door release mechanism, right? Wrong! There was none. The train started up, with my shoe still halfway in and halfway out of the train. (Luckily my foot itself made it inside all in one piece). The conductor came along to scold me, and told me that he could *probably* rescue my shoe once we got to Central Station. In the meantime, I sat on a nearby jump seat, keeping tabs on my shoe and fuming that this was *not* the way I planned to start my vacation. Long story short– the train conductor was able to salvage my shoe, but not without a lot of commentary on how I should never have boarded the train after the whistle blew. Lesson learned.

Ms. Brumback may be contacted at mbrumback@rl-law.com



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