Saturday, May 06, 2006

Of Last Minute Plans

Ok, so I know I said I was suppose to ship out on the M/V Taku. Well that part was true enough, but I was told to pack for a week long rotation, I meet the ship and go through crew change, I find out I'm a "turn-around" which means just heading north for two stops and turning around. I was back in Juneau 18 hours after we left.

So, as I was rushing around yesterday morning getting my bag packed for the week, just as I was about to shower/shave for work, I get a call from MSC. I've been waiting for this call for almost 2 months now, they ask if I'm still interested in working first of all (no, I just like applying for the hell of it). So, when I verify that I still want the position, I'm told that I have to report to Norfolk, VA by noon on the 15th.

This is when the panic starts to set in, I figure I'm going to be gone until at least the 12th, it's at least a full day to travel back east, no problem, it'll be close but doable. I still have to take a puddle jumper home, drop off the clothes that I won't be needing now and pick up stuff I will, not to mention finish putting my stuff back into storage. Again, doable but gonna be very close and extremely busy Friday afternoon until Saturday evening.

I report on board, having doubts I should even go and get my assignment and am told that I'll be back on shore first thing this morning. Now comes the delemia of letting someone know that all this training is for naught with me since I'll be switching jobs PDQ? I hold off, until the end of shift and ask the Chief Steward how I go about contacting dispatch on the weekend that I'll have to undergo a change of plans since I was already scheduled to go back out onboard the flagship of the fleet, the M/V Columbia for the whole week this time. I get a hold of dispatch about 10:30 local, don't want to disturb the person too much since it is their own time and let 'em know I have another job offer I'm accepting and that basically I'm quitting and my position on the Columbia now needs someone else to fill it. I'm not worried about it not being filled, there are something like 100 new highers for this Department. I was rather surprised that there were no hard feelings and she actually sounded happy that I gave her almost 2 full days to track down a replacement.

Anyways, my whole 12 hour shift as a Steward gave me a bit more respect for them as workers, and a bit more loathing for these high school students from the out lying communities. It was the different coaches' policy that whenever we traveled onboard the Alaska Marine Highway System, that we represented our community and our school. So, if we used an area, we cleaned up after ourselves, if it was dirty when we got there, it was clean when we left. As a student council representative for many years, I distinctly remember receiving a letter of appreciation from AMHS for our efforts to be neat, clean and well behaved on board each of the vessels.

So, I have plans to be traveling all day the 14th, and my oldest sister who lives in D.C. was a little put out about being excluded from the plans. She wanted to pick me up and drive me down to Norfolk, but I don't like taking chances, and she's not one to live up to my own punctuality requirements. I now have a lay over in D.C and get on a plane to Norfolk bright and early, landing with ample time to get from the airport to the hotel I'm suppose to report to in time. I always factor in things going wrong and allowing time for it, what can I say, when I plan something it's usually over planned.

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