Friday, March 24, 2006

When it rains, it pours.

It has been rather...irritating, haven't been able to find a full time job the past year and a half that wouldn't interfere with my on going maritime training. Now all of a sudden I can't keep up with all the job offers coming in. First major one to come in was from the State, a steward position on board the ferry system. Not bad, it would get my foot in the door and would be able to rise through the ranks while earling State benefits/retirement just the duty would suck having to clean up after everyone.

Not three days after I interviewed with the State, I got a phone call from Military Sealift Command, a civilian contractor to the Navy. I faxed in a copy of my letter of sea time and last week I get a phone call back offering me a position with their Ordinary Seaman Advancement Program. I quickly jumped at this chance, federal benefits, basically working for the Navy without being in the Navy. My time in the Army counts towards my pay/retirement/vacation so I'll be starting out almost max everything. Looking through my training, all I am is missing is my 120 watch standing days onboard a vessel over 200 tons, so figure I'll complete that in my first 4 month tour on board a ship and raise my rating and my base pay will raise to about $40k/year. I'd be starting out in the Deck department instead of Steward as well.

So all this is leading up to today, recovering from all the traveling I've had to do lately. Monday I get a phone call from MSC setting up an appointment to under go a physical. So Wednesday I had to travel back to Juneau and go to the Federal Occupational Health and start my battery of tests. That took about 4 hours on Wednesday but only a half hour to finish off on Thursday.

This physical was more thorough then the one I underwent to get into the Army. Plugged me into an EKG, found out my ticker is strong, healthy and normal. Tested every part of my vision and found out my corrected vision is outstanding (20/15 right, 20/18 left). My hearing is as strong today as ever without any signs of normal hearing loss due to age. My blood work came back with everything almost dead center of the "normal" ranges. My lung capactiy is 98% of where it should be and no drugs show up in my UA. My blood pressure is good, not quite as good as my readings from my time in the Army but I'm no longer working out with that kind of cardiovascular intensity.

I'm healthy as an ox, the physician's only concern is that I'm as big as one too ;) Rather to his surprise, I have excellent balance, hand/eye coordination and flexibility.

I really have to wonder what demographic was tested to find out the "ideal" weight a person is suppose to be for their height. I'm curious if the ratio of pi is factored in there somewhere, seems most things are, since that's the most naturally pleasing to the eye proportions.

Monday I get scheduled go to get a PPD test, not worried about that, haven't had any kind of contact with TB in the 7 years since my last test of that. One of these days I'm going to have to consolidate and update my shot record, tends to raise some eye brows with it being so thorough not to mention several in the anthrax series of vaccination.

Getting to the point I'm going to need to keep my own hospital records with me where ever I go as well.

I don't see MSC delaying too long on getting me back east for orientation, there's an extreme shortage of the Able Seaman rating industry wide.


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