For the past 28 days I’ve worked with the same people over and over again, day in and day out. I hear the same people on the all calls to the ship, I pass the same people in the corridors, and because the ship’s compliment isn’t that large you become close with people very quick.
But then comes crew change day.
Now those people you’ve gotten to know are leaving, going on vacation for the next 28 days and as a cadet you’re still stuck on board the vessel. And there are new people invading your territory. Structurally nothing changes, the sights, sounds, and smells of the ship don’t change, but everyone is different. I’d often wander up to the electrician’s office if I had nothing to do, to learn something from him, I was halfway up to his office today when I realized he was gone and I didn’t even know who the new electrician was. Crew change means relearning who holds what position, and again proving that you are capable of doing the job of an engineer.
It is interesting, as I never expected to be in a job situation like this. Typically I like things to remain pretty constant especially when it comes to people in my life that I have to interact with everyday. Here it is especially hard because I can be pretty shy when meeting new people, and it is twice as hard when it isn’t even in my native language!
I was pretty stressed out this morning, I had butterflies and was worried about meeting new people all over again. Honestly all I wanted to do was jump off the ship and go home. Having this thought running through my head is exactly how I was able to convince myself to calm down and make the best of the day. The way I see it crew change day will forever exist in Coast Guard, and with it is comes the fact that you won’t work with the same 25 people every month. So the more I accept it is going to happen and embrace it, instead of trying to escape, the easier it will be for me down the road.
In saying all the that I still manged to answer a very obvious question very incorrectly within the first five minutes of meeting the new senior engineer.
I’m the queen of great first impressions.