Of the many, many weird things about me, the fact that I enjoy painting at work is certainly one of them.
It's painting season, the time when, until my employer went supersized, the port captains inquired just how much paint we wanted for the year. They allowed us to set goals, and then in our idle time, we'd paint for a few hours when we had an off watch, to pass the time.
Well, idle time until recently was nonexistent, and morale being in the toilet generally as we older mariners adapt to a more corporate employee structure with management, painting became something we didn't do, one, for lack of time, and two, for lack of interest. The era of taking pride in your barge ended when... when it ended. Frog, warming water.
last winter was a 6-month flurry of jobs the likes of which I've never seen, but we're having a little summer lull compared to that. In fact, we're working on a schedule reminiscent of my early days bunkering 10+ years ago, which is to say, we have work, we have cargo, but we have idle time too, not so much that we're bored, but enough to think more than 6 hours ahead. Morale for our little crew has rebounded. Without the constant pressure of jobs stacked back to back for days on end, this little interregnum has been very, very welcome. We have maintenance done, we have identified some medium-and long-lead projects we'd like to do on board, and I get to paint.
|Photo taken this morning|
I enjoy painting on deck. I always have. It's mindless work, and I tend to get some things worked out in my head while I'm doing it. Being a type A personality, mindless work that doesn't bore me to shit is soothing, and painting isn't a daily task for me, and the rewards, well, nobody likes working on a deck that calls to mind a junkyard. So I like to put my tall socks on, an old pair of dad shoes (New Balance 4lyfe, yo), and my last (and treasured) pair of Jorts, and get down with a roller, a man-helper (one of those extension stick broomhandle things) and some International one-part topcoat.
So, for example, while we have a job at midnight tonight, today is hot and sunny, and so I can hit the ladders over my fuel manifold with some yellow, and it'll have more than enough time to bake on before dark and be hard enough to withstand foot traffic. And honestly, I enjoy being out on deck without my 10lb Red Wing boots on.
I'm going to get out there now.