Often times I'm asked "How can you be away from home for so long", "Why drive a boat" or one of the other questions we 'boat crews' hear from time to time. It's a tough question to answer 'cause, like all things, it's a complicated and many-faceted answer. So, here are some of the reasons I do what I do:
Let me start by sayin' I tried other things. I worked my way through college on the boats 'cause it was a great place to earn money and not spend any. Room and board are included in ya pay, and also, it helped keep me outa trouble. After I graduated college, I tried workin' as an electrical engineer out of state for awhile, but my heart wasn't in it, so I went back to the boats to be close to home. I was promoted to personnel manager and regional statistical coordinator for the South-Eastern states. I Spent 3 days a week jettin' around the country teachin' statistics seminars, and Mondays and Fridays doin' payroll and office work, scheduling and interviews, etc. for the marine division of the company I was workin' for. Sounds cushy, I know, but livin' outa a suitcase, wearin' a tie, and hotel food ain't my cup o tea. I finally got outa the statistics gig and took on dispatchin' duties at work, which kept me home, but then the phone started ringin' at all hrs., and the beeper had the nasty habit of going off right before I _______________ , ya get the idea.
Well, 8 unhappy years later when the chance to get back on the boats came around, I jumped on it. "Crazy" ya may say, but if ya do, then ya don't know me. I had an office with a small window that ya had to stand up and 'tippy-toe' to see out of. I started smoking just so I could go out side every once and a while.
Now, I watch sunsets from my "office" window like the one pictured above.
I work for a great company, small enough to know me by name and big enough to provide exellent pay and benefits with great job security.
When ya work for nice folks ya don't mind workin' extra when they need ya. The boat I work on was very short-handed, so thas why I was away so much lately. Like in all things, hard work pays off. I now have a full crew of good guys, and we manage to get the work done and enjoy ourselves while doing it. Ya gotta do somethin' for a livin' right? Well, for me that something is drivin' the boat down the bayou with the blues on the jukebox, my feet on the dash, and scenery most folks can't even imagine out the window.