Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yay, No Dredging; and Other Random Things

Earlier this week, the boss had said that I might be dredging at the WL. It can take several weeks to dredge there, and you do it overnight. So the shift is basically 9pm-7am. Sort of brutal, but I guess you get used to it. The bridge crew has been moving the barges and everything else from the BV to the WL in the last three days, finally finishing late this afternoon. Today, since the boss was basically working both shifts at the WL for coworkers in meetings or on vacation (that's 16+hours), I went down there and spent the day driving the boat. In talking to the boss, he said I wasn't going to dredge at all, hooray! He told me more about it, and I guess really, they only need two workers, one on the excavator, and one in the boat, to push the barges around. I'm fine with learning it all, but the idea of doing it for thanks! So I was pretty pleased.

The boss is not doing the dredging either, which was the other thing I was apprehensive about. If he was dredging, I wouldn't know what to do at work. I'm still stuck with shop days every day until I get my license. I walk into the office and sit with him and figure out what I'll be doing that day. Some days it's pretty dreadful (the days and days of scraping paint and then painting the gates in the hot sun), some days it's fun, like today. I showed up at the WL around 8:30, and just drove. We had a toll taker, so she did the tolls, and when she was on break, boss did. I was pretty nervous that my first few landings would be awful, since I hadn't driven in weeks. But I did great! A few rough landings, but I got into my groove quickly, and felt much more relaxed at the controls than I had before. I was pleased, and he was pleased with my abilities.

I have a sunburn. Yesterday, boss and I were down at the BV almost the whole day. Mostly just hanging out, watching the bridge crew pull out the barges, learning the ropes down there. One of the other trainees who hired on 2 weeks before me, was officially let free on the BV. For our first shifts on the BV, the boss meets you there at opening, and walks through everything, then sticks around for at least a few hours until you're comfortable. I'm glad he does that. I wouldn't know what needs to be turned on, what to do with my bank bag, how to check the air compressor, the easiest way to land on the east side, etc. Anyway, I was down hanging out for coworker's first shift, and utterly forgot the sunscreen. I wasn't outside all day, but I was in and out (ok, mostly out) of the cabin on a 85 degree sunny day for 6 hours. Dumb! My nose is bright red, same with my chest, back of the neck, and arms. ouch. I've been really good, I promise, about wearing sunscreen. Really good until yesterday, I guess.

I'm really glad I've got that interview next week. This job is demanding. Demanding enough that it's really easy to get wrapped up in it and forget to even look for work. I feel like, if I didn't have my education and years of experience in planning, as well as a desire to not be a ferry operator for the rest of my career, I could end up working in this blue collar universe forever. It's like a whirlpool, sucking me in. I need to get out. Getting this interview, even if I don't get the job, is great. It's really reminding me what I really want.

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