Saturday, November 27, 2010

God's perfect timing

A week ago Thursday, my morning started off, in my mind, horribly. As soon as we got into work we were told that we wouldn't be able to make up our hours(People had been sent home early both Monday and Tuesday) and that we were off work until Thanksgiving day. I was annoyed to say the least that we weren't allowed to come in on Friday to even reach our 40 and we were just taking what we had at the end of the work day. To make matters worse, we didn't even get to work the whole day on Thursday. I clocked out at 9:30am with less than 30 hours for the week.

I climbed back on the wing wall on the dry dock to access the gangway to the Abraham (one of the guys had borrowed some of my tools and I needed to get them back before I left) and was stopped by a supervisor from another company. He and I had talked before when he asked me why I was in scaffolding so he knew about my drafting degrees. He asked why I had all of stuff and where I was going. I explained what was going on and he asked if I had a resume. Thankfully, my jump drive is always in my purse and it had a current copy of my resume. I got my jump drive, he printed off my resume and within 5 minutes of his project manager looking at it, I had a job!

God's perfect timing. There is no other way to explain it. If I hadn't been sent home for the week, I wouldn't have gone back on that boat that day and I wouldn't have been free to drive to Pascagoula for my drug screening. And because I had been sent home from the week, I was able to start work with them Friday morning. The work is so much easier and the pay is such a blessing(including benefits!). Saturday Diamond layed off 20-25 employees. I would have been on that list. They only kept 8 "free world" (non-prison work release) people. If I hadn't quit Diamond on Thursday and started my new job on Friday, I would be jobless right now. God's perfect timing. No other way of explaining it!

I am now an employee of Ardent Services, a company which specializes in electrical work on boats and oil rigs. Right now I am pulling cable and looking at blue prints to help find routes for running cable and installing trays. They have already promised me that as soon as they have a full-time drafting position(whether it is here at BAE systems or another site), that it is mine. Right now, I am content with what I am doing. I am able to look through the drawings, interpret them, problem solve and learn the electricity business from the ground up.

Another blessing? Rather than having to go home and having to come back to work Thanksgiving day, I got to be home for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow morning it is back to work for me until December 23rd. Translation? I get overtime which Diamond never allowed(obviously it was like pulling teeth just to get your full 40).

I am grateful for the experience and knowledge gained from scaffolding, as well as the friendships that were formed with my Diamond family. For the longest time, I wondered why God had brought me to a shipyard until I discovered my passion for the boats. Then I wondered why I was doing manual labor for $8/hour and my raise was never going through. I was patient(which has never been my strong suit) and God revealed his perfect plan in His own timing.

I feel blessed beyond measure!

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the night shift

Last Sunday, the 7th, I arrived back in Mobile from a short, wonderful trip home to Jackson around 7:20pm. At 7:26pm I got a call from my supervisor asking me if I was in town and wanted a couple of hours overtime. Sure, why not?! He told me to be at the shipyard at 8. AM? Nope. PM! I had 30 minutes to eat, change clothes and make it to work. Thankfully, I only live 10-15 minutes from work and he lives 45. I got there a little late but he was still a good bit away. I have never been in the shipyard at night. Honestly, it was kind of creepy how quiet everything was but I loved the way the shipyard was lit up. Granted, it was a Sunday night and most night shifts(including ours) are off on the weekends unless they are working on a special project. This being the case we had to modify a scaffold for the machinists so that they could reach ONE bolt. The modification didn't even end up reaching it, so my supervisor gave up hooked his harness to the highest point possible and stood up on the handrails of the scaffold to the job. We were all satisfied. The machinists got their bolt in place and we got 4 hours on the clock for about an hour and a half of work. ;)

I really wish I could take my camera into work. iPhone 3 quality photos just don't seem to do it justice.

That is the Gulmar Falcon. We really haven't done much work on it. It's a tiny boat compared to the ones we normally work on. Here is a shot of it during the daytime.

Sorry for the blurry mess at the bottom of the picture. I was trying to take the picture through bars on the Abraham. Ha, I'll try better next time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Views from Work (Part 2)

By now I am at work ready to "work on" for my 8 days. 

A couple of weeks ago we had several rainy, nasty days at work. On one of these days, I ended up having to work in the yard. When you are in the yard, you are basically left to unstack and reorganize material that has been brought back from the boats. It means a lot of lifting and packing material across the yard to the appropriate rack.

But, because of the rain, I found myself hiding here...
These are 2 steel pieces set on top of each other creating the perfect hiding place. And obviously I wasn't the first person to hide here because there was a chair in there just calling my name. That is a rack of material that you can see through the opening.

Normally the skyline is beautiful in the morning, just glowing and bright. Instead, it looked like this...
Kind of depressing. Notice that you can't even see the top of the buildings through the clouds.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Having a Moment

Or rather 30 minutes to an hour.
I seriously just spent entirely too much time looking for the jeans that I had gathered this morning. I looked all over my bedroom, the bathroom, everywhere downstairs... even in Rachel's bedroom, knowing I hadn't been in there at all today.
Guess where they were... IN THE WASHING MACHINE. CLEAN. Yes. Here I am looking for my jeans because I needed to get them washed, frantically trying to find them and I had already washed them.
I can hear my mom chuckling right now, with that look on her face that is reserved only for my "Ashley moments". And if she was here she would probably pat my head and say "Bless your heart, baby". Can you tell that these moments happen way more often than they should? Haha

Mom, I love you!
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confessions of a Codependent Female

In all the changes that have come in the past few months, I have made several realizations and developed into a stronger, better person. The biggest realization came today. After months of being "alone", I have realized that I am a thoroughly codependent person. Here I am, cooking by myself, for myself and eating by myself. How depressing, right? Ha. But it really isn't all that bad. I am in the comfort of my own home. I definitely couldn't go out and eat by myself. However, it is on a list of things to do along with going to a movie by myself.

The biggest part of the realization for me is going through the day and wanting to share little moments with someone. Just little things that don't really mean a whole lot but wishing I had someone to tell it to. In taking steps towards being independent, I am going to start a journal. My sister, Heather, and I actually had a phone conversation about journals/writing on Saturday. Yes, we were both on the road home and she was a few car lengths ahead of me... and we talked on the phone for at least 30 minutes. Talk about codependency. There it is again! I love blogging but there is only so much that I can share. And honestly, what I feel like talking/venting about some days would bore the socks off of my few lovely readers. I need somewhere that I can write down everything so that I can look back on it. So I am going to start a journal. For now, it will be simple notebook paper and a 3-ring binder. But at some point, I will have to invest in a pretty journal. :) Somewhere I can write down all of my thoughts and feelings without having to worry about being discreet for fear of being judged. I already feel like I am under a microscope sometimes. I don't need to magnify anything and make it worse. ;)

Especially on days like today when I am not working and I am literally home alone ALL day, I am going to force myself to do a few things instead of feeling bogged down and lonely.
1) Write a letter(doesn't matter who it is to)
2) Get up, get dressed and feel good about myself. Am I the only one who feels so much better prepared to take on the world and my day starts off better if I am dressed and ready to go? I am all about my t-shirts and comfy clothes. Whether I have plans for the day or even intend on leaving the house, it just seems to give you a pick-me-up.
3) Go for a walk, even if it is just around the apartment complex.
4) When I feel lonely or like I have no one to talk to, remind myself that I am never alone and Someone is always ready to listen... no matter how trivial or dumb my thoughts my seem, He cares.
5) Enjoy an old movie or watch something on the DVR - computer-less and phone-less. 

Another form of codependency? This blog! What blogger doesn't like knowing they have readers and thrive off of comments? Well, I cut myself off on that one by making this blog private. It probably won't be private forever but, for my own safety and sanity, it has to be for now. I just need to remind myself to keep updating. No more thinking "well, no one is actually reading" or "my last post didn't have any comments". Can I blog "independently"? We shall see.

I have never considered myself to be one of those females who has to be on her man's arm to be complete. Yes, it is different without Trevor because I am alone and single. But I feel like I have always more dependent on the presence of my family and friends than anything else. In Mobile, I don't have many friends and Heather is the only family I have here. Between our work schedules and everything else, we don't get to spend a lot of time together. I am alone and on my own for the first time in my life. It's kind of weird and very lonely. But I am looking on it as a way to grow and expand as a person. I know on my old blog I posted lyrics to a Wayne Watson song called GROWING and it feels fitting for right now as well.
I'm growing. 
I don't like it.

I'm growing, and it hurts.

I love You, but I'm tired.

Guess I've got a lot to learn.

Yeah, I guess I've got a lot to learn. 
Don't be surprised if I do regular updates on my codependency issues. ;) I know I am not the only person out there. In what ways do you feel like you are most codependent? What ways do you find to break lose and become a little more independent?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Finally Friday - Details of my job

I "worked out" yesterday. Worked out in the physical sense and in the work sense. They moved the Abraham up onto the dry dock yesterday. Translation: to get onto the boat we have to climb 4 flights of stairs. Add to that all the climbing of stairs and ladders that we do anyway and it's a killer of a workout. I literally had to climb down the boat 7 times yesterday. My leg muscles are loving it. HA.

I've been given new responsibilities at work. I am now a part of quality control and safety. Our mornings start off at 6 with signing in, JSA(Job Safety Analysis) and a safety meeting. We all do stretches as a group and then split off into different crews. Normally, I would go off with a crew but now I get to go sign tags. Every time we build a scaffold, we tag it(red for danger, yellow meaning caution and wear a harness and green meaning good to go, no harness necessary). Each day the tag has to be signed off on before the other crafts can use the scaffold. In signing them we have to inspect them and change/fix anything that does not comply with the tag that is filled out for it. The past few days I was over both dry docks, the Abraham and the Falcon. I start off with the Falcon(2 scaffolds) and dry dock 17(6 scaffolds). Dry dock Alabama(underneath the Abraham) has 8 scaffolds. The Abraham is the kicker. The boat is HUGE and has so many passages, holes, holds, areas, etc. There are over 50 scaffolds on that boat! It's a lot of climbing but I love my new position. I get some peace and quiet to myself while wandering around all areas of the boat. I have no idea what it is about the boats but I am beyond fascinated and would love to do drafting/design work for boats one day. It took me about 3.5 hours to sign tags yesterday. After I sign tags, I am responsible for pulling 10 people aside and filling out "near miss" paperwork. Basically it is a form that has to be turned into our office and then is taken to Safety. We list something that is a safety issue/could cause a problem. I have to write down the nature of the deficiency and then write out what immediate corrective action was taken or needs to be taken. The crew members sign them and I turn them in.

After the paperwork end of it is done, I get to join a crew and do some building. Yesterday, I didn't build. We have a lot of new people who haven't learned all of the material and basics of building, so I helped pass/gather/tote material. Needless to say, I am glad that it is Friday and I worked out of my shift. Today starts my 6 days off. I work back in next Thursday. I hate that the first day that I have off after every 8 day cycle of working is absolutely lazy and unproductive. I usually have the best of intentions but it never seems to get me anywhere... My body is just tired. I have nothing on my to do list until 4:15 this afternoon. We can't pick up our checks on Friday until 4:30pm, so I'll be back at the shipyard to pick it up.

Hope everyone has a lovely Friday! What are you looking forward to this weekend?