THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM AN AMERICAN Merchant Mariner
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
It's what's for dinner
I've always said that regardless of the circumstances, there's no job that I consider beneath me.
...turns out, there is one.
So, here at the Pirate family residence, buckles have been tightened. I'm due to go back to work soon, but there's some legal stuff going on that requires my presence here through the Glorious month of February into early March. Good things, so I'm happy there.
Tonight was what the teens would call an 'epic fail' for yours truly.
Here's the skinny: With my presence both required and encouraged on the home front, I attempted to procure a temporary bullshit job for a few weeks so as to stretch the family dollar. I answered an ad for a driver, as this is something that I can do; when I humped the dog and ruined my hip accidentally back in 2000, I took a job driving a truck whilst I worked the kinks out of my bum wheel. I thought I was answering an ad for a truck driver's job.
Nope, it was an ad for a dinner-delivery job.
OK, I can be the Domino's man, right? Not domino's, though. It was some high-end WASPY restaurants that deliver to the Brahmins of Boston. Ummm...
Digging deep, I attempted to keep an open mind. Then The Jacket made its' appearance.
The Jacket they wanted me to wear was bright orange. Not like Safety Orange, but more like Felony Orange, or Kill-A-Papist-Mick Orange. Seriously, it was that kind of an orange. I was expecting a march and orders to throw rocks at catholic school kids to break out.
I'm sensitive to this stuff. 800 years of ancestral unrest and some first-hand knowledge of families with kids murdered for the crime of being poor, Irish and the wrong religion. So Orange? Not my color. And not their problem, really, but mine. But still, The Jacket was a big X on the board.
Next I met the guy I was to shadow for the evening:
Slappy McDingleberry attempted to be a harsh schoolmarm, but came off as a true-blue hardon. I got lectured and I got the drill-instructor-style introduction to the harsh world of being a delivery boy to snobby Old Money. Slappy really tried to project his personal power, but alas, being the best of the best of the Sub-Sandwich lunch delivery subset just held no allure for yours truly.
Also, the guy, pictured here, you know, the one that always rides Will Farrell's coattails? I've always wanted to push him in front of a train, you know?
Anyhow, I am sitting in Slappy's subcompact, and I suddenly get the urge to Get Gone.
My friends know this one: a few times in my life, I've suddenly just said 'Huh' and walked out of my life, my job or the situation at hand (once it was an otherwise very nice woman's boudoir), without offering any of the usual pleasant banalities. Just walked out.
So, with my truck on the far side of Boston, and rush hour in full swing, I open the door to slappy's subcopact, throw my jacket on the seat, and say "Return this for me, yeah?" and walk out into traffic and onto the sidewalk.
Now, I'm in Boston, and it's time to get a rush-hour cab. Luckily, I look like a fairly well-fed office drone in my outfit, so I get a cab pretty easily.
The cab ride? Oh, the smells I smelled. The driver smelled like a dead goat. The guy smelled like a Bible Story, and not a good one. The windows? Broken. The heat? On. Thank you.
The driver gets lost repeatedly, and I'm trying to direct him back into Brighton, where my truck be, and the guy can't stay on the right fucking road, and I'm getting heated, so now I'm sweating, with the effort of not vomiting and the wondering of just where I can burn these clothes I have on that are now impregnated by this guy's funk. The guy wanders into a McDonalds parking lot in the general direction where I'm pointing. "You see that big truck all alone in front of the Staples? Go there. No, not Fucking McDonalds! Staples! "
So we go to the McDonalds parking lot, and the guy goes down the drive thru THE WRONG WAY. Cars beeping, total gridlock, and the guy won't go in reverse. He goes up the bank, and the cab is now driving on two wheels, with the other two up in a snowbank, and the whole smelly vehicle at a 30-degree angle. We survive.
The cab comes to halt, and the guy wants almost 30 bucks. I say, very politely, that he turned a 5 mile ride into a 45-minute, 10 mile ride, and he's getting 20 bucks.
I get into my truck 20 dollars the poorer, and I've lost half a night.
Amazingly, I am no longer worried about living off of our savings. It could be worse. I could have stayed.
I am Paul B, and I spend most of my life at sea. Ships, Science, the life of a mariner, biology and (mostly) true stories of life among the best and the worst people in the world, the United States Merchant Marines. You'll find it here, maybe. You'll definitely find rants, raves and discussion on life aboard a merchant ship. Come back and see the Brazilian girls, too, who show up fairly regularly.