Friday, October 17, 2008

dark places

I'm having one of those blah days.
Nothing bad has happened. Everything is as it has been.
Just, you know, blech.

This is a personal entry, so if you're looking for ship-related stuff, you'll only find it by extension.

I've always needed more time to myself than most people. I'm hot-and-cold when it comes to being social. When I want to be there, I want to be the center of attention, and I have no ego when it comes to making people laugh. I'll stoop to bathroom humor, but I can still throw the odd piquant comment or relevant quote from the moldiest of dead authors.
All things being equal, I'd rather be alone, though.

This is a good job for me in that sense. During coffee breaks, when everyone is hanging out in the crew mess, I head for my room and lock the door, escape in a book, or do something constructive. Despite that, a fair number of the people I am not hanging out with would still be classified as good friends. Mealtimes, I take full part of the conversation, and will on occasion be the class clown. That being said, I'm not one to spend time with people I have a marginal liking for, just to pass the time.

One of my older brothers is the social one. He too has the Blarney, the Irish gift of the gab. Unlike myself, he keeps it on damn near 100% of the time. His life has been full of hundreds of acquaintances, any handful of which would call him every day when there was a good time to be had. Consequently, this led to a somewhat jealous adolescence on my part, as it was obvious that my brother could score more ass than a public toilet, if he cared to. When my brother broke his back a few years ago, those acquaintances rapidly dried up along with the good times. He was left more or less alone except for family.

I've always preferred to focus on my very good friends, the handful of people that don't just call me on Friday and Saturday night. This has held me in good stead, and here, on this ship, it's the same. I do my job the way I do because of the people here, not the salary, which is fair-to-middlin,' and not the security, which is modestly decent. I stay here for the same reasons I stay in suburban Massachusetts, despite my burning desire to move north: This is where my people are.
So what does this mean? When we have a crew change, like today, where we've changed out the Captain and Chief Mate, the whole style of management on board changes. This has it's ups n' downs, to be sure, 'cus things get changed up. I don't get handed any more projects and told to report in when they're done. Rather, I'll be given blocks of time to fill with little tasks, which is OK, too. I'll miss the autonomy. The real bummer here is that this is the first sign of things changing, something I don't care to see. We've got a great bunch of folks on board still, but the teams are changing the leadership around. I'm not generally a pessiment, but we're due for an asshole to come aboard, eventually. Statistically, it's bound to happen. It didn't happen today (I like the relief Captain and Mate), but next time? Who knows.

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