You Miserable Miser!

Peter Knight was still a full time electrical inspector during all these years.  The book business was his part-time job and his wife, Alma Knight, was handling day-to-day management of the business.  It was becoming clear however, that one of his jobs would have to be dropped; there was just too much work with both jobs and not enough time to do it all.


1981 memo with feedback

Relations with the various Provincial Chief Inspectors during the 1970’s and 1980’s were always positive and sometimes amusing.  There were some real characters in the Department in those days.  One such Chief Inspector sent a formal letter to the various regional Chiefs in the early 1980’s; it was intended as a proper formal response to a series of inquiries made to the Department.  Unfortunately the Provincial Chief had misplaced quite a few of the details, making his formal letter a bit light on substance.  It began thusly; “I am in receipt of a letter from a man about a project the name of which I have forgotten.”  But this Chief was notably brilliant on most fronts, so he could get away with letters like that.  Another Provincial Chief, this time Mr. Alan Luck, had a penchant for proper spelling and grammar and would routinely send back his inspectors’ correspondence drafts for their grammatical correction.  Some found that irritating, but Luck was alright, as good a Provincial Chief as one may find.

Good relations with paying customers are typically a good idea in business.  Sometimes however, it can be challenging.  One customer wrote a letter requesting a complimentary copy of the Commercial & Industrial book.  P.S. Knight did furnish complimentary copies from time to time, imagebut this customer didn’t fit any criteria for complimentary copies.  He wasn’t an official in need of a review copy or a professor in need of a desk copy; he was a regular customer.  He just wanted his book to be free.  He was politely declined and, in tribute to Peter Knight’s—in this case unwarranted—generosity, he was offered a discount.  His response was less than diplomatic.  “You miserable miser” it began, and it went downhill from there.  Apparently even with discounts, you’ll never please everyone.

Peter Knight resigned from the inspection authority and left his office in Richmond.  There was too much work for him to handle.  He did offer to do occasional relief work in the province and the Provincial Chief did take him up on that offer.  By 1985 however, the Provincial Chief was trying to get Peter back into full time service.  He was specifically requested by North Vancouver District Office to take over as Chief Inspector upon a pending retirement.  He accepted.  In 1985 then, Peter Knight was back in the inspection saddle. 

In 1987 Peter’s wife, Alma, died of cancer.  They had been married for thirty-two years.  They were very close.  She was important, and she is mightily missed.


Alma and Peter Knight - 1980