Its not all roses and caviar on board. On Friday night I was privy to my very first fight at sea.
I use the term fight loosely because technically a fight should have two protagonists. A healthy diet of Kung Fu movies and Dalai Llama teachings meant that I adopted the WTF pose and did not participate.
Fights on boats are weird. If you have a fight at home you can go to work. If you have a fight at work you can go home. Kind of stuck here.
I think the fight went pretty well. I got a story out of it and it was character testing.
Here is the odd tale.
I had turned in early and locked our crew door. I did make a mistake by leaving the key in the door but this was an honest slip up.
Our new Hobbit engineer that I have nick named Sauron¹ returned to the boat and could not get in. Instead of doing the rational thing and calling me he proceeded to huff and puff his way through our emergency escape hatch. This is usually quite fun after a few drinks I might add, I should know.
He then rang me from the crew mess. I went up to let him in and proceeded to get verbally assaulted, psychoanalysed, career advised, sworn at, belittled and generally made feel very stupid. I am childish and need to grow up!
My core character flaw is that I smile too much, I look like I am having fun and am not serious enough. I am not going to apologise for smiling or for trying to enjoy my job. It has taken 32 years of painstaking research to be as I am. I am hardly going to change because someone is a bit loopy.
Luckily I had the presence of mind to just roll with it. I made him sit down to discuss his feelings and using some of my chair side skills listened intently and let him get it all out.
I am a laugher not a fighter and a writer not a worrier.
It is worth noting that in the space of a week he has also verbally assaulted the Chief Stewardess and lost the plot with our previous engineer. Sadly our Captain is not around to deal with this miscreant. Whilst he has not attacked the Captain to the best of my knowledge; he did have the absence of mind to say Romanians make cognac comparable with French.
I may be stupid( I am plainly not) but I know it is a very slippery slope when you start arguing cuisine with a French man.
Within 30 minutes of the tirade I received my first apology. I received my second, third and fourth apologies the next day. It appears our new engineer has the following character flaws.
-He drinks heavily and gets angry when he drinks
-I suspect he is an alcoholic. It is not normal to drink beer with breakfast.
-He is also is mainline passive aggressive.
The really funny thing was that our air conditioning broke down on Friday night and guess who had to help the poor sot the next day?
The next really funny thing was being invited for a beer as the final apology on Saturday night.
Sorry dork. I may have to work with you. I may have to live with you. But I am not going to spend my free time with you.
¹He has the physique of a malnourished hobbit
His name is close to Sauron
He has a fearsomely bad temper
He has a failed marriage and has probably lost his ring