Thursday, June 6, 2019

light blogging again

I haven't been writing much. Still feeling uninspired, and a certain amount of mental constipation, I suppose. I enjoy trolling people online at times, just being sarcastic and shitty to those I find ridiculous, you know, just to pass the time, however, there being no shortage of fools online, it just isn't as much fun as it used to be, and I'm tired, so deeply, deeply tired, of EVERYTHING being politicized. News, opinion, information, identity... ugh.
        I have never enjoyed participating in pop culture, or the workaday business of living in an ordinary way. I identify with Melville's lament in Moby Dick that when he began being tempted to just up and knock strangers' hats off into the street for no reason, he knew he was better off going to sea.  I am not writing because I am not reading the news much, and the workaday life of harbor watch that I've had hasn't been action packed of late, but also hasn't been bad, either. It's still better than riding the goddamned train into a job in a city somewhere. I don't suppose any sailor can find happiness there, or they wouldn't be a sailor.

         In a little less than a week, I'll be back home again for my time off, and I'm looking forward to it extremely. I still have to finish putting my house together, do the things my wife can't in making a home out of a house.

 My new 2nd man is entering his second week in the position- he was the trainee I didn't want a few months ago. Super nice guy, and I think he will work out well., though truth be told I worry for him, too. His job is not difficult; I've said before that you can shave a monkey and make a tankerman out of him, but the line between being employable and being good at your job is pretty stark. There are so many details and rules, and so much of what makes someone good at their job on here is subjective- knowing when to be angry and when to be patient with people, being flexible, proactive and observant, and knowing where rules and laws conflict, where to be flexible and where to stand ones' ground, which is not always clear.

   One of the reasons I've found myself reluctant to move on from this job is that there are several parts of it that sync perfectly with my personality.  All people tend to get tunnel vision when stressed and managing multiple data inputs, and as a result, start to focus more on the familiar, easy to understand things.  In a Ship Simulator class, used to be called Intermediate Shiphandling, the instructor and computer operator keep adding in new details to an evolving situation, until you fail at it. The end result is that they identify where you stop integrating new information in and focus on the information you already have to the exclusion of other, harder to interpret data. In my case, it was a down current transit around Algiers Point in the Mississippi river. The situation evolved into something I couldn't handle, and I lost it at a certain point, taking out the docks on the New Orleans side, which was actually pretty good, as I didn't end up on the beach. In watching my own results and my classmates' in other situations, I got to identify the gut feeling when I hit my limit of being able to handle new information.
 Well, I never forgot that lesson, and I like the fact that when life is throwing poo at me like an angry monkey, I can narrow my focus to my own deck if I want, and just focus on my job, and let our deckhands and tug operators do theirs until I feel better. There's a certain amount of laziness there, too, but it serves a purpose for me.

 So, while things have been boring at work, sometimes boring is good.

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