I prefer to do it "hot" since I can see what
I am doing. Regardless, I once
discharged a CRT fully (at least as far as I could touch the high voltage
connection and not get a shock.) I left it alone for a while and went back
to pick it up making the mistake of getting my hand too near the high
voltage connection. After making the proper explatives deleted, I now always
discharge the tube just before I am going to do something with it.
A teacher/mentor of mine repairs arcade machines during the summer. A new
kid was assisting him fixing a Space Invaders (or was it PacMan?) machine.
The kid said he discharged the tube and my friend believed him. The kid
proceeded to start working on the tube and my friend was touching the
chassis ground... with his left hand. His right hand came into contact
with the kid's left arm, which was touching the HV connections... it
literally threw him across the pub and he blacked out. When he came to, it
was all he could do to keep from smashing the kid's face in.