Hi. I'm the skinny guy who bends double in tight spaces to remove
four-year-old, seawater-rusted, painted-over nuts and bolts so the 45
pound valve they were holding up can come crashing down on his knee. Maybe
you've heard my albums.
Care to guess how many damned bolts I managed to remove in an eight hour
shift earlier this week? 39. I felt humbled and humiliated. Yes, they were
impossibly rusted and covered with 1/8" of iron hard enamel paint, but I
felt like a failure. I asked Harry, the engineer, if he thought I was a
slacker because I got so little done that day. He looked surprised and
said, "That's how it is sometimes. Don't worry about it." I felt better.
I think Harry drinks.
God, I'm sick of bolts. I got even sicker when it dawned on me that I'll
have to put them all back in again next week.
So this is what a shipyard engineer's gopher does, eh?
Naw. I whine about being tired and sore, but I <i>am</i> having fun and
I'm learning a lot of new things on top of the mechanical stuff. For
instance, did you know it's possible to talk for fifteen minutes straight
using 90% curse words, yet still make sense? A guy named Jim taught me
how. I'm going to practise this new skill at my next parent/teacher
meeting. And did you know that coming to work hung over like a dog is
okay, provided you vomit over the railing? Even if some of it hits the
side of the boat? Thanks for that lesson, Jordan. (Someone's going to get
stuck painting that spot.) And did you know that the little people -- ship
leprechauns, brownies, I don't know what -- steal your things and add them
to their hoards unless you have your name written on those things in
bright red paint to ward them off? A guy who remains anonymous taught me
Shipyards are magical places. Yes.
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