Friday, October 31, 2008

staying the path

So this afternoon I got a call from a tug company, offering me a job.
Pretty much the highest-paying, most sought-after tug company in the US, and they want my fat ass in.
I have friends who work there. They really like it. They got me to apply this summer, when I was horrifically broke after getting married, buying the new place and taking the helm of an instand family. I ended up with another tug job, but that's another story. This company just wasn't interested in someone with no tug experience. But that's not me anymore.
My pay would increase by about 20% on Day 1, and could double in a year.
So, with that in mind, you can imagine that it's really hard to say no. After all, you've been reading about complaints related to my current job for the last three years in this blog, right?

Yes. And No.

I need to say no to this job. The truth is, I want to take it. My family could use the extra $. I know for a fact that the company is managed by people like me, practical, handy and open.

But, still, no. I shouldn't.

Goddammit. (sigh)

It's like this: I've got a job. You've read about the squalor, you've read about the apathy towards the rank-and-file, and you've read about my willingness to be the guy who airs the grievances that everyone else on board talks about. I hope that you can figure out why I'm so harsh about the things that aren't perfect on my ship.
I like my job. My ship is more familiar than my home. I like my company. A lot, really. I like being part of a team peopled by a handful of underdogs who started something big and are seeing it begin to flower after a whole generation of squeaking by. I like working on a class of ship that is referred to as 'fit for applicants only' in my union hall. (Not my words!)

I like having dirt under my nails sometimes. You already know that I'd like to use my brain more in my work, but the fact is, I need to have dirty hands, too, to silence the Puritan work ethic that brings me guilt when I'm off the clock and not working. And I like the people on my ship especially.

So, when I see things that aren't so great, I want to see them corrected, especially when I see long-awaited change for the better beginning to bear fruit; I want to see it ripen faster. I am impatient. This ship isn't my home, but it is my house for most of the year, and this is my company who runs it. Regardless of the fact that no one in management gives a flying fuck about my opinion, I want my core group of coworkers/friends to widen on board, and I have the background and ability to gather data towards questioning, discussing and denoting the things that will invite and encourage like-minded individuals to stay longer than one trip. It's not so grand a thing as tilting at windmills, mind, but it's worth fighting for.
I feel as though I owe my company something, too. They work with me and my schedule, and put up with my BS. They let me run interference and help train new officers and assert a certain degree of influence, so that they utilize the crew and cargo deck operation more efficiently and keep operations both running smooth and running in the way I've been taught to aspire to. I have it on good authority that they've killed a lot of trees in archiving this blog, so maybe one day I'll be consulted on some suggestion or criticism. Or fired, of course. Even with that risk, some thing are worth fighting over, especially now that my company is expanding. They're going to need more people who give a rat's ass, and I can give at least two rat's asses!


Bill Elms said...

Sounds like quite a decision to make man! I would've been losing some sleep over that choice, but you know where you are happy and where you can achieve the goals that you want so ROCK ON bro! :)

Anonymous said...

The financial reality is not the end of the story. I applaud your effort to make your company it a better place. The industry needs guys that give a damn. Walk tall, you're doing the right thing.

Paul, Dammit! said...

I wish I could say that I'm actually making a difference. I'm being a squeaky wheel, is all, as near as I can tell.