Friday, May 29, 2020

Leaving the HQ behind

We got word the other day that we're being kicked off the HQ.

     We've been working between Philadelpha, Baltimore and Wilmington DE for the past 2 months. It's been good. I was initially worried that we'd be under the watchful eye of far too many office folks, and indeed our first days seemed to bear that out. We were getting 4 phone calls from 4 people over every single decision, piece of paper or issue that arose. Some calls were from people who were looking out their window and asking about things on deck... this isn't something I'm used to, where I tend to have a more holistic vs. command-and-control relationship with the supervisory layer that sits between operations and management in NY... but you know, it worked out, and I've gotten to like the work dynamic down here, and the people too, especially their availability, since many of the office folks are sitting within 200 feet of us when we have an issue, whereas NY, space constraints, traffic and the pace of work make a visit to the office a rare treat.

 I enjoyed working here, is what I'm saying. It's not the pressure cooker environment that NY is and the people were way nicer than expected.

 But, sadly, we are a known quantity, and our time away from NY operations was always a TDY mission. We are experienced and have our niche, and they want us back up there. Sadly, the HQ, being a reflection of our values, is an ugly-ass mean lean bunker machine, and the Philly folks want to keep it. So we're heading up, but they're keeping the band together at least, and moving us up as a crew to a new HQ.

      Sigh. This is the 3rd time. The HQ was the HQ for 8 years, and we never really did get over the last time this happened, where after a year of sinking our own time and money into the living quarters of the original HQ, they had to swap us out and give us this place, which was well kept up outside, but the quarters looked like a Pakastani hospice because the crew were pigs.

   Well, I happen to know the former crew of the barge where we're likely to end up, and they're clean people (and good tankermen), and the barge itself will be a tolerable HQ. Not quite as lean and mean as the current one, but workmanlike and well-maintained. Beyond moving 20 years' worth of stuff (B has been with the company that long, and does not travel light)  and a shitton of food, the overriding emotion has been relief that we're together.
   Seriously, B and I are a great team. He's very much like an older brother to me, and we complement each other's style, and both of us are compatible- we both suffer badly when forced to live with incompatible personalities,  and fear loss of efficiency and quality of our work output as a result.
 And seriously, I get to work with my best friend. It won't, or can't, last forever, but after 9 years, the work environment has become more important to me than the salary. Should that change, I would seek out a higher salary elsewhere pretty quickly. Some things are more important than money, and some are not.
   So, who knows what the next few weeks hold. I, as someone who doesn't like change, anticipate that it will be annoying, stressful, but will result in good things in short order. Hell, 11 years here and I still like to come to work. I don't want that to change.


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