It's a wonder how many things you can do wrong while mostly sitting completely and unreasonably still, in the same place, for 10 hours. Today I worked as the so called “gangway guardian” together with my friend. During the first two hours of the day, we made a list of all the scoldings we received while taking care of our few and simple tasks which most of the time only included sitting still.
Do not drag the garbage bag on the deck. Fetch Kalle, the second mate. Check the moorings. Put on real shoes. Make the schedule for the nightly guard. Walk the fire-check. Remake the schedule for the nightly guard. Fix the fender. Re-remake the schedule for the nightly guard. Sit properly and straighten your back. You should really know better than this…
These are just a few of the many orders and scoldings that we received during the day. I never thought that it would be so hard to just sit still and do nothing, but obviously I was wrong. Apparently there are a lot of different ways to sit and not many of them are correct. I think I managed to try all the ones that wasn't during the day and unfortunately that may have triggered some of the commanders in charge onboard.
To sit completely still in the same position for over 10 hours, with just a few short brakes, is not very nice. Because of this, I had to try to find the most comfortable position to sit in, but it didn't quite work out as I had hoped it would. I tried to put my legs up on a second chair, but I instantly got told that it wasn't acceptable. I also tried to lay halfway down on the chair, which obviously wasn't proper enough. I then tried to sit in a legged position but to do that I had to take of my shoes, and guess what… you're not allowed to do that either. I tried everything, but every time I found a somewhat comfortable position, someone told me to either straighten my back or go and do something elsewhere.
Rules are made to be followed and I understand that, but sometimes it's not that easy to neither understand nor know all of them. Until the next time, I am going to practice to sit correctly. It's not as easy as you think, I can assure you that.
Karin Böckmann, Midships