Well, it happened, I screwed up. All told, it could have been so. much. worse. But still. I screwed up. So on either end of the boat, there are these gates. When we lower them, they're flush with the deck, and cars drive over them to get on or off the boat. When we raise them to go across, we twist a knob, a bell rings, and the hydraulics lift the gate vertical. The bottom is a metal plate, then there are a bunch of tight cables that run across, with some vertical steel bars. I'm using a pic you've already seen, but come on. Work with me. It's almost 11pm and I just got off work.
So it was dusk. We ask cars to turn their lights off while they're waiting, since the halo from the headlights makes it hard to land. See also, in that picture, the corner of the cabin wall just to the left of where I'm standing? That's a car-sized blind spot. When the cars were loading, I was certain there were 3 cars. Car one and two loaded, and then I waited. I didn't see another car coming on. I looked, towards the ramp, and saw nothing. I don't think I looked at the monitors (we have cameras mounted...to prevent this exact thing). I didn't see ANYTHING, and I actually thought, in my head, "huh! I was sure there was a 3rd car!" but hit the gate button. The gate got probably 5 inches up, and slammed into the undercarriage of a honda. A shiny new honda driven by teenagers. SHITSHITSHIT! I lowered the gate instantly and my stomach dropped. the driver and passenger got out and looked around and under the car, my trainer, B, did the same, as did I. I apologized profusely, took down their license plate number and make and model of the car. B told the driver that once they drive off, we're no longer liable. The driver was fine with that. I really think I just scraped the undercarriage. but SHIIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!!!! I feel terrible. I did everything I was supposed to do (ok, I should have glanced in the monitor, I usually do, don't know why I didn't. just...didn't). B said that everyone does this, every single operator. In fact, one of the other new hires did this, and much worse, he actually slammed the gate into the fender of a fancy car, which then needed not only a new bumper, but also a radiator!!
Still. I screwed up. blah. I'm fine, just sort of ticked.
In other, non ferry news, my stepdad is still in the ICU, doing decent. His heart looks like it's doing really well, but his kidneys are really taking a hit. They were compromised before the surgery, and now are worse. They're talking kidney failure and dialysis. They haven't yet, but I'm guessing they'll probably need to do dialysis soon. So far, the doctors are all talking temporary dialysis, which I didn't know was an option, and I'm really glad to hear is possible. All I knew about dialysis before was how time consuming it was, 3-4 hours a day, 3-4 days a week. Regardless of the kidneys, Michael is doing well. He sat in the chair for several hours today, he's talking and joking and sounds like himself, only even more sarcastic and wiseass, if possible.