Hey peoples. How's it going?
There's been some talk about my employment lately... some people ask what I do out of curiosity or for the sake of conversation. Others have been making assumptions (what else is new amirite?) regarding what I do. So, I'd like to clear the air, and tell/show you what goes on where I work. I think it's fascinating and unlike anything I've ever done before. Maybe you'll think so too... if not - hate on brotha.
I work for a ship repair company. We fix and maintain large cargo ships. The work environment is something that definitely takes getting used to. I've been to many factories and shops in my short life, and nothing has ever come close to the immensity that is this job. Everything about this job is over-sized; the tools, the supplies, the hazards, the work week, the ships, the machinery, the tasks, the tight deadlines (the ships have to sail when they have to sail - holding them from that could result in millions in losses). Put it this way... the engine in a ship of this size is 3 stories tall. Hell, ive seen crank shafts from machinery (that isn't the main engine), come into our shop that are longer (and heavier) than a typical mini van.
This is the Canadian Olympic. This 700ft, multi million dollar vessel is where I spent the majority of last summer, working with my dad (A supervisor at the company I work at).
It was during this job when I asked him if he could get me in as a welder. Soon thereafter I began my training for my welding certifications, which I am passing with flying colours. Which brings me to this winter. Winter is our busiest season. It's when the boats are tied up, so it's also when they are maintained.
This season I'm hired on as a welder / general labor.... basically whatever they need me to do. I spent the first week staying on the Tim S. Dool, while it was docked in Toronto. Long story short, some things mean way more to me than money, so there are some things I am not willing to do for money. One of them is to stay in some crew member's cold, dirty, and worn down room, away from my boyfriend and the most basic of luxuries (like being able to take my shoes off, going home after a hard day's work, home cooked meals, being able to avoid a bunch of drunk men who are away from their wives). So I quit, knowing very well what the consequences would be.
I was wrong about them. Leaving my dad's job was the best thing I did all year. Luckily my dad's bosses understood where I was coming from (more so than my dad) and offered me a job in the shop - where I am now. I still get shipped out to the odd job on a ship - but I'm never gone over night. I work with a wonderful man named Bob. A millwright, Bob has taken me under his wing and has taught me a whole lot these past months. I couldn't have a better mentor. Bob has been a millwright for over 40 years and he knows his shit - as far as I can tell. He's trained a couple younger guys in the shop, who are now full-time employees. He's also a great guy to work with - even stood up for me when some weirdo sexually harassed me a couple weeks ago.... (he dun work here no mo' lol). Things are going well... starting to slow down though. It's nearing the end of the season and I will be getting laid off soon. That's ok. I go back to more welding and safety training / certifications once this season is over... I'm really looking forward to it.
So that was the tell, now for the show. I took some pictures of the job site while in Toronto, and managed to find a video with one my bosses talking about welding machines that we use (plus some good footage of the work site).
Pics from the Tim. S. Dool.
This is the "tunnel", it;s a long hall way in between the cargo hold and shell plate (outside wall). Everything you see here is steel - except the hoses and cables. All of which is welded together by hand.
This is the ladder that you need to take to get into the tunnel.
This is a man hole going into the ballast tank. Usually the ballast tanks are filled with water, but are pumped out for maintenance. In that hole is 3 stories of nothing but mud, piping, and rusted metal. We go in there to cut out and replace the most corroded shit. It's extremely dark, cold, dirty, confined, and dangerous. In some places the floor beneath us is almost completely rotted through, ladders are often missing runs, etc etc.
So yeah... that's where I work.
Here's that video