Monday, July 31, 2006

Road Rage

I don't get road rage......I'm a carrier.

Sometimes it's fun being a pedestrian, especially when I know the motorists are in a hurry and I'm in a posted cross walk ;)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Putting To Sea

Well, this may be the last post I make for a while, I'm just awaiting travel orders to be approved before heading to my first ship assignment. Nearly my entire training class has left or will be leaving shortly for their first ship assignment. It was almost a let down yesterday afternoon when they were calling people's names that had travel orders and my name wasn't apart of 'em.

At the same time I was glad, since it seemed that it could only mean I was slated to go take my Able Seaman course, but alas that wasn't to be as well. I've been requesting this class since the end of june and my detailer keeps denying all knowledge of me doing so. She's new to the position and I get the impression no one likes her so they're setting her up for failure.

So I may just bite the bullet, do my quick couple months on board the USNS Mercy, one of the ships everyone wants to work on since there isn't much we do but keep the ship operational. Those are for the people who don't like to work, I'd much rather get on an ammo ship or a mixed fuel/ammo ship like Shane or Houston is shipping off for today.

Supposedly it's easier to get training after being assigned to a ship then while sitting around the "pool" but it's another I'll believe it when I see it type of deals. I'm hoping that I can manage to get in the quick 5 days of training and get the USCG going on processing my upgrade paperwork.

On the brighter side, it's been nothing but smiles and grins around the hotel for the past 18 hours. Another sailor tradition, passing along items that it's not worth sending home but would be a serious waste of money if thrown away. While we could give it to the maids, we much rather see another sailor get it. Right now I've got about 2 weeks worth of food given to me and I'm gonna be here for only a few days more I think.

Have a few things to do today, get some stuff mailed home that I'm not taking with me and start looking at a few handy items to pack away and start getting prepaired for the orders that are suppose to be on the way, since I get the feeling that when things start to move it'll go extremely fast.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I've been slacking

Ok, so I find myself back in Norfolk, VA while the detailers try to figure out where to stick us for a ship assignment. It's a bit aggrevating, but trying to use logic and the government is an exercise in fultility.

If I don't hear any status soon on my request for this class in San Diego, that I was already suppose to be there attending, I've begun setting things up on my own and just eat the cost of it so I can get the license upgrade done.

And I hear questions occasionally why there is such turn over rate here, not many people can tolerate the BS that comes with a government job, not to mention you can make just the same in the commercial side of the industry and have a lot more time off.

There's been much going through my mind, a bit too much time to think, I'm better off doing then thinking. Why being assigned to assist one of our ships in dry dock is both a blessing and a curse. It's good to be actually doing something instead of sitting like a bump on a log waiting for orders, but at the same time we're doing menial labor for the same pay as the people who are sitting around in an air conditioned building.

There's a small chance I could get on as a crew member of the USNS Patuxent, which is a fleet oiler but I'm still thinking of wanting to see more of the world then just the bahamas. The bosun mate that's in charge of us day workers kept telling me yesterday to slow down and take it easy since I was knocking the jobs I was assigned pretty quick.

What's he to expect, a worker bee that's been held idle for months going through training that I've for the most part been through already. I will have to get back into the government job mental status pretty quick, I use to be an expert at screwing off but looking like I was the hardest worker in my section ;) Just learn to do your job better 'en anyone else, and don't let anyone see you do it.

At least I can get online at this hotel and the service is at least somewhat reliable.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

what a week

got tired of being at the whim of the hotel bus drivers going and coming from class, very often we'd wrap up at 2:30 and have to wait around until 5 for the bus to finally show up. So a friend and I went in together and rented a car for the week.

It's amazing what being polite and funny can do for you customer service wise. It was just about COB and things were going completely wrong in the rental office, but we were patient and cracking jokes. The manager ended up giving us a corporate rate and upgraded our vehicle to a mid size for a compact rate.

Actually felt human again being able to drive around where you wanted when you wanted. Made a trip to Philly at the first of the month, took a short detour down to Atlantic City, I miss read the instructions and put us on the Parkway instead of the Turnpike.

Spent the next couple days just decompressing, was enjoyable to sit around barbeque stuff on the grill, have a few drinks (well was more then a few but who's counting) and chat with new friends. Sunday we did the tourist bit down in Phily, walked around the water front, did the whole Maritime History Museum and Waterpark Fair. Drove around until we found another hole in the wall joint and had a Philly Cheesesteak sandwhich.

Of course, I was left to navigation again, without a map to guide me, so we did a driving tour of Philly, saw the historic district and the other side of the tracks so to speak. Not sure what it was called but the park area by the Sculycul river was just georgious. I wanted to stop and watch the rowers on the water but we were starting to get on a time crunch for getting back to the hotel.

For the 4th we jetted down to Atlantic City, took another scenic route, we missed an exit that wasn't very well marked, but we weren't in a real hurry to get down there. Arrieved right around 2 p and the drinking commenced. I've always said that I'm tempted to start drinking just to have something to do here in New Jersey, well I wasn't really sober up until we left at 2 am.

Was reassuring to smell the sea, well, it's actually the smell of the intertidal land but regardless meant we were near the water and could hear the waves breaking on the beach. Could see people scrunching up their noses when some of the smells would get over powering but we took it all in like we were smelling the familar scents of home.

Finally just sat around the hotel yesterday, played cards, told stories and grilled some chicken and fresh corn on the cob. Was a much needed break after being on the go for the entire week we had the car.

Looking forward to leaving but no idea when I'll be getting my orders for San Diego.