It’s the third week blues. I don’t normally get bitten by this bug, and when I do it’s almost always because someone else has been bitten by it and they pass it on to me with one of their lousy moods. But for some reason this week I have a million things to bitch about.
I love my crew, I really do. It’s just that sometimes they don’t like doing things for themselves and they take advantage of how nice I can be. Like when I’m stuck doing things for a department I don’t even work in just because I did it when I was new and didn’t know any better… it tends to encourage them to keep asking me. The deck department, for example, likes to come to me and ask me to make them labels and signs for whatever it is they’re working on, even though they have a perfectly brand new computer in the crew’s mess that they can use. (One of the deckhands just came up and asked me to do this and I reminded him of this and his response was, “I just don’t know how to do that stuff.” WTF?) It’s not hard to open up Microsoft Word, type a couple of words and hit “print”, but for whatever reason they like to come all the way upstairs to ask me to do it. And they know that they regularly have to ask me to fetch them cleaning products, but they’ll wait until they’re on empty and then come and find me so that it’s urgent and I have to get it RIGHT NOW, despite that I might be busy, but they don’t always bother asking the rest of the people in their department if they need anything. That would make sense, so that I’m not making 5 unnecessary trips up and down the stairs. They ask me to laminate shit for them, even though operating the laminator is about as brainless as breathing air. I usually don’t mind laminating because the machine is in the office and it takes a while to warm up, so it makes sense to leave it here and let me do it rather than drag it all around the ship and wait for it to do its thing. I’m just crabby because I’m getting irritated.
The deckhands like to tease me because I work in the office, so that automatically means I don’t do anything around here. I’m just the clerk who rolls around in her wheely chair and checks Facebook. I know they’re just getting me going, but sometimes I feel like they mean it because they don’t understand why I don’t always want to just drop what I’m doing to fetch a lousy bottle of Fantastik, or look up a phone number, or send an e-mail on their behalf about their own matters to people they could contact themselves. A lot of it is stuff they could do on their own so that I’m not constantly interrupted. I know none of this is major, but for me it’s worth venting about because the little things tend to build up when you’re in a closed environment for a month at a time. I think I have the most irritating job on board.
And then I felt like one of the cooks was mad at me because we don’t have any frozen vegetables available when he wanted them. I probably could have asked him if he wanted any, but he also could have told me he wanted some if I didn’t think to ask. He saw that they were low before I sent the order out, and he had a chance to look the order on there… and he would have noticed that I didn’t put frozen veggies on there. The other cook we normally have almost never uses frozen vegetables, so I’m not used to having to think about ordering them. I should have thought about that knowing we have another cook here, but come on… I’m only human. There are only so many things I can remember. Christ, I’m responsible for an entire provisions inventory. It’s not easy to keep track of. And I’m not able to replenish EVERY little thing we run out of because we have a budget to follow. Like I said to one of the crew earlier… I could order absolutely everything, but then I’d have to order only a small amount of each and that would be no good to anyone. So… you tell me what it is you want/need the most, and that’s what you get. He wanted creamed corn and he was pissed off that we ran out, and I was like “Uhhh I told you when I gave you the last 2 cans of it that that was the end of it.” He never told me he wanted more. Creamed corn isn’t something my crew uses a lot of, because it’s GROSS and nobody likes it. He was like, “I don’t know how I’m supposed to make shepherd’s pie without it.” I don’t know… here’s a thought… REAL corn? Have you ever eaten shepherd’s pie with creamed corn? I sure as hell haven’t, and I don’t think I would. And is it really that complicated to cream it yourself?
On that note, I’d like to say that I just ordered an entire fridge of fresh vegetables that he asked for. So if you can’t make an item you were planning on because we ran out of something or don’t have it on board, then you make something else or you improvise. I don’t know of a single person on the ship who’d be crying that the shepherd’s pie wasn’t made with creamed corn anyway. Most of them could care less if they never ate another vegetable in their life, so I don’t think they’ll have a frozen green bean meltdown anytime soon.
I’m starting to understand why everyone gets the three-week jitters. The first week you’re ready to be here because you just had a month off. You’re kind of excited to come back and see everyone again (I’m probably not speaking for the old-timers who have been doing this for 30 years haha, but I’m only three years in and it’s still exciting to me). The second week you’re kind of in your zone because youve got all the major important tasks dealt with, and now you’re just kind of coasting. The third week you’re grouchy and people are handing your ass to you on a daily basis, and you can’t do anything right and you’re about ready to threaten them with an impending doom of nothing but tomato soup, Maxwell House and stale bread for the remainder of the tour, and deprive them of every luxury they’ve become accustomed to because the power is in your hands. And the fourth week you’re on a high because you’re busy non-stop, getting things ready for crew change and finishing up as much as you can before you go home, and excited about getting the hell off of here. The fourth week is nice because you don’t really have time to stop and think; you just go go go.
So I’m looking forward to that. I’m already excited about going home and driving my car, and running on the track every day, and seeing my parents… and PLANNING FOR MY VACATION!
That’s all I have to say for now because I’m up to my eyebrows in paperwork and just needed to take a moment to let it out so I can go back at it. GRR!