About Me

A slightly over-educated sailor sharing the wet and dry sides of his life.

Thursday, July 08, 2010



Okay.  Funny/weird things have been happening.  It has to do with Jerry, this new day worker AB.  He joined the ship the last time we were in Seattle.  Jerry has this look in his face that makes him seem as if he’s either tense or been caught in the headlights.  I actually think it’s the latter. 


On Monday, the day of arrival into Oakland, I had sanitary duties.  That meant I also had to relieve the helmsman for dinner.  It’s one of those things where the sailors have decided it best to take one sailor, more or less, out of circulation for the day.  Well, for some unknown reason, Arnold and Paul (two other Able Seamen) get it into their heads that Jerry had to relieve the wheel.  The thing is, despite what anyone might have said, it should have been obvious that it wasn’t his day to do supper relief for the wheel. 


You see, Jerry has sailed on more Matson ships than I have, so there should have been no confusion.  Plain and simple, he should have known.  Still, he went up before the proper time (4:50 pm) and relieved the helmsman as the ship sailed into San Francisco Bay.  As soon as I found out that he went to the bridge, I decided that, since we were all on-call for the docking evolution and were all on the clock, it didn’t make any difference pay-wise.  I just saved myself the walk and let him do my job. 


Later, I quizzed him on:  “How do you know it’s your turn for dinner chow relief?”  Answer:  You are the Sano Man!!!”  Bada-bing, bada-boom!!!  I wasn’t surprised that deer caught in the headlights have no answer.


Yesterday, I was assigned to take a garden hose and rinse the stack soot from the after house (Deck officers forward, versus unlicensed deck and engine and licensed engineers in the aft house).  After Jerry finished with his sanitary duties, he was assigned to help tend the 100 to 150 feet of hose I was working.  There are all these nooks and crannies that hide soot, so I have to twist and turn a lot.  Problem is, I kept coming up short on hose because Jerry had a grip six feet behind me and didn’t give me enough slack to turn with.  “Jesus Christ, Jerry!”  I snapped, “Back off and give me enough slack to move with!  Whut tha fuck?” 


Little over an hour later, something else comes up.  I knew it must be getting close to coffee time—rather it was getting close to when Jerry needed to knock off early to make the coffee for the up-coming break.  Since Sano Man is a day-long dedicated job, Sano Man has to also make the coffee for the coffee breaks.  Since I was fully decked-out in rain gear and he wasn’t, I asked him if he could check the time for me.  He then tells me that he doesn’t know.  I say, “What?  Don’t you have a watch?”  “Well, no,” He replied, “I lost it on the last ship I was on.”  I’m incredulous:  “You mean to say that you never got another one?  Dude, you’re too poor not to have a watch.  Working people like us gotta have a watch.  Only the homeless and the super-rich don’t wear watches.”


This morning, at breakfast, I thought to explain to Jerry that, since today is the beginning of the month, the Deck Department now has to add to the sanitary duties the Crew Lounge, the Laundry Room, and the Computer Room--from the first through the tenth.  He then offers up that he has been cleaning the laundry room all along.  All of a sudden I get this realization and say as much:  “Well, Jerry, I guess that if you had been soogeeing the bulkheads, you would have noticed the sign over the sink that says the Deck Department does the Laundry, Lounge, and Computer rooms from the first through the tenth of the month.”  Rim shot, please?


To be honest, I did apologize to Jerry--saying that, though I’m normally a nice guy, it’s very hard for me to pass up on the opportunity to give someone a hard time.  “And, dude, you gave me an ‘in’.”  Nothing personal, but…  Actually, after I spoke, I felt more like saying that I’m normally an asshole but often mistaken for a nice guy.  For the life of me, I wish the guy was not such a hapless buffoon. 


Hey now!!!  We just left Hawaii, and Jerry failed to buy himself a watch.  Is this guy a nut?  To say the least, I’ve been locking the door that joins my room to our shared restroom ever since I realized that dude is flaky as dandruff on an unbathed Cyclops:  fearfully wrong.  At this point, it seems that the world is best served if everyone points Jerry towards simple, meaningful jobs.  Lord knows that I wouldn’t want him coming unglued. 


Well, that’s all I have to report at this juncture. 



--Dave E.

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