That moment

Have you ever had one of those moments of truth where it was just time to walk?

This could apply to many different things in life but for me mostly they have been moments that have changed my destiny.

There is much written and discussed about destiny. Some believe and some don’t.

I was watching “Far and Away” on the sat tv this mornin while waking up and I caught the scene where “Joseph” has been workin on the railroad and then suddenly realizes his destiny is not to keep working on the railroad but get off that dead end train job and go claim his land and destiny.

When I first started out here as an unlicensed deckhand I had no idea what I was getting into. It was 3 hots and a cot plus a decent wage to top it off.

I made changes in employment just kinda goin where the work was and the highest pay led me.

Now that I have tried to start living right whenever I make a change it has always turned out for the better in the long run.

“I don’t know if Momma was right or if, if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.” -Forrest Gump

That has to be in my opinion one of the best parts of that movie. Sometimes despite our best efforts we end up where we end up.

I am enjoying a relaxed working atmosphere for a change and have time to reflect.
As a matter of fact that is about all I do besides watching an occasional movie now and then.

I am at peace except for the lack of hometime. But i must make a nest egg for rainy days that i am sure are ahead. It will be worth the sacrifice then.

But sometimes I am the only one that sees this.

I am not worried about the next job change or the uncertainty there of. My boat may be getting laid off soon but I am kinda lookin forward to the time off.

After two weeks or so of getting to know my wife and kids again i will take another leap of faith on little more than a phone call and a verbal argeement between two hopefully honorable men.

It has been working good for me for the last 3 plus years so why try and change it.

I get grief from my pops who spent 50 plus years with the same company before retiring. What he won’t tell you is he pretty much had to retire because of management changes above him. Otherwise he would still be working that job. It was his life.

Anytime I try to settle down regular with a company they want to change the deal with you. Like they own you. I have done some long hitches and spent a couple years with the same company but i rarely sign on permanent. It keeps things simple that way.

If i get an offer i can’t refuse i can walk with very little notice as long as my vessel is secured and shut down at the dock.

I will give them a chance to find a proper relief for me unless they have been abusing me and then there is little i savor more than “that moment” of leaving them hanging.

The companies I have worked for over the last 13 plus years do not give you a two week or month notice before they terminate you.

If you are gonna get terminated it is probably gonna be by “ambush crew change”. I have seen it all to often.

And then there is the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” that is a lot less confrontational for both parties.

They pull that one on you after you spent your entire off time thinking you had a job to come back to.
When if they would have told you as soon as you ended your hitch you could have spent the last couple weeks looking for something else.

Some of these things have happened to me and others have happened to sailors i know.

Why should an employee have to give notice that he is moving on except at the last minute?
The company does not do this for you.

To me a 24-48 hr notice is plenty. They should have a back up standing by especially if they are only using you as “temp” help.

But really the best time for a change is at the end of your hitch if you can make it that long without destiny beating down the door and dragging you off your ass at the last minute.

I always try to give proper notice that way i can use the company as a reference without getting bad mouthed.

Those “destiny” decisions have always been last minute, cramming my sh$# in my seabag, “hold on a second for me to get off” moments.

It is scary the first time or two you do it. But the more often you do it the more accustomed you become to being a “jackrabbit”.

I got called a “Jackrabbit” one time in an interview. Other than how many companies i had worked for in the last 10 years they loved me.
When questioned about it I had to respond honestly and tell him that some times you gotta move on to move up.
I told him i could still be an unlicensed deckhand waiting for a steersman’s spot on a line haul towboat but look at me now.
I am sitting in your office and your are considering employing me as a Master of one of your towing vessels.
Look at the diversity of things i have done and who i have done them for over the last ten years.

All of my references are good and i have a good reputation. I can do what i say i can do.

As long as you stick to your end of the deal i will stick to mine.

If the deal changes then circumstances may change.

That is all i can tell you about me in a nutshell.

The owner confered in private with the port captain and 5 minutes later i was hired.

I got it all figured out man. (satire)

Those “moments” though are what really get my heart beating. I guess maybe it’s some exicitement in an otherwise normal existance.
Kinda like the old saying out here of “Days or hours of boredoms broken up by moments of shear terror”.

Some of the fellas that i am working with have not been spending wisley and saving for a rainy day as i have. They are very stress filled and anxious.
I could not share in the anxiety with them.

My kids need to get to know their dad again and my wife needs a husband around to support her.

After getting caught up I will look forward to the adventure and what the future may hold for me in the next job i take on little more than a man’s word.

I may have 3 different companies that all need me yesterday but it will come down to that stressfull “moment” that interupts my hometime routine when i have to make a choice and hope pray that it is the right one.

One thing leads to another and as i said, lately i have to say all the changes are for the good.

Whether I am home or not and whether things are going well or not my wife always puts the same amount in the collection plate.

Blind faith. He takes care of me and guides me.

Watching “Joseph” have his “moment” just got my blood pumping this morning on an otherwise very, very dull assignment my boat is on.

Best of luck to you when your next “moment” comes.

Obviously You and I are from different perspectives of the hiring/job outlook. BUT, You have quite succinctly recapped each and every one of our collective experiences and covered our career progression quite well! Although I have only worked for 4 companies over my 31 yr career, I have had to go through the same thought process as you describe. I am sort of amazed to see it from your perspective.

My hat is off to you, and may a fair wind, and following seas keep you on your course.

This was a great reading, and I can attest, to everytime, I thought life, dealt me a bad hand, I was forced to humbley, get down on my knees, ask for God’s mercey, and all worked out for the better, in His time, not mine. thanks for this article.