Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Reining it in

Yesterday might have been a bit of a capstone for me... or, better put, a warning sign.

 I'm pretty good at multitasking, but I don't like it. Working with oil, multitasking is a bad word. Cargo watch is for cargo watch. Mishaps almost always have more than one cause. In Risk Management for handling liquid cargo, once you're at a post-oops moment, we refer to the root cause as an 'error chain,' something most people have heard of. Every link in the error chain is an opportunity to stop the mishap that wasn't taken, which means there are often enough multiple ways to stop a disaster.

     We had no disasters yesterday, thank the seven mad gods of the sea. Not even any near misses. Prior to signing on the watch, I had carried out a ton of personal business which left me stressed, but not preoccupied. I was able to focus on the watch.

 So why am I talking about error chains? I didn't carry any distractions into my watch, except for way too much general stress, which I am actually damn good at setting aside when I am on watch... except that I'm human, and the easiest form of delusion is self-delusion. After a good off-watch sleep, I woke up still feeling the lingering effects of the stress. So, obviously I dealt with it well but it was still extant while I was on watch.

         I'm selling the B family home, my parents' house, and accepted an offer on it the day before yesterday. Like it always does, prepping the house for sale cost twice as much and took twice as long as my time and fiscal budgeting allowed for. OK, no real problems there.
    Managing personal business that is a time sink becomes an issue when it interferes with work, specifically, elevating risk. But life does not stop because I'm on watch. Stress and preoccupying factors have to be managed before signing on the watch. I felt as though I managed the situation well, and stood a safe watch with proactive concern for risk management... mostly by being aware.
     Ten years ago, I would have laughed to hear me talking about worrying about my stress level before I did a job that I could do in my sleep. Holy shit, I actually might have grown up a little.
     Looking forward, I'm going to have to be careful about not letting personal business stress me out. I could get stressed worrying about getting stressed, and then where would I be? Taking stock of my personal situation, I suppose I should feel that I've crossed a small threshold when it comes to workplace safety... but it feels more like I just realized I stepped into traffic for a second and wasn't even aware of it. 

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