Halfway through the hitch from hell and I am really, really looking forward to getting home.
Except that I won't get all the way home until just before I come back. A long weekend with the family at the folks', then back to Louisiana for more training.
These short hitches are nice, but this one already feels three weeks old. It's been one thing after another since just before crew change.
Some of it stuff I don't want to write about in detail here, now, though I do subscribe to Ann Lamott's dictum that: "You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better."
Stuff I will mention: downflooding, bilge pumps not pumping, electrical malfunctions, bad starters and 32 hours straight on DP ("...that ain't nuthin' ..." some of my buddies on big mud boats say).
The customer has finally released us from the site for the morning, and we've taken care of the other issues over the past week with no recorded downtime, and some things we didn't even know were broken are now fixed.
We fixed some stuff we did know was broken, too. Stuff that's been broken for months. And by "we," I actually mean someone else, but it happened on my watch. And I spoke words of encouragement, nodded my head sagely and affirmed good decisions.
And there's only a week more to go.
On the other hand ... I've spent more time than I would like this past week playing armchair psychologist, trying to understand a couple of things that cropped-up.
I'm no doctor, and I have never even played one on TV, still ... I'm fairly certain that in the past ... oh, let's say 10 days -- I've had to devote some time to dealing with one individual who suffers from untreated schizophrenia, or a schizophrenic disorder, and another individual who almost certainly suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.
Either one of these is a terrible burden to bear, and I'm sympathetic (particularly to the former), but unless the affected individual is a family member or close friend, I'm not very inclined to stand in the line of fire.
Let me be clear: we don't worry overmuch about strange out here; we're all a little "different," or we wouldn't be on boats. When oddness becomes physically violent, or in some way a career impediment to someone else, then it's time to perhaps change the situation. Just sayin' ....
On the other, other hand (I have three) -- I'm sailing this hitch with a couple of guys I really like and respect, so that kind of blunts the drama trauma.
Talking to someone about all this the other day, she said: "Well, I guess it's not so different than an office environment ... you get all kinds ..."
True. But at least in a shore-based job you get to go home at the end of the day.
In other news, I just finished a great novel, Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (on sale now for Kindle at $2.99). Even if you're not into post-apocalyptic, dystopian worlds, you'll probably still like this book. It even manages to poke some good-natured fun at behavioral psychologist business consultants. Which is what my sweet wife is in her professional life.
And J.J. Grey's new album, Ol' Glory, is out -- bluesy southern soul that's just about perfect listening overnight on a boat in the oil patch in the spring of 2015.