Ch. 39 Deck to Desk


I’ve been neglecting this. Ever since my new job got a hold of me, the computer screen is more of an adversary than a confidant. Spending an entire day in front of an endless vortex of pixels doesn’t inspire an evening of the same old digital dance.

Don’t mistake this as a complaint, I love my job and working at a marketing startup ensures that every day is not only different, but confidential. I’ve already said too much.

It would take at least five pages to enumerate the stark contrasts between employees in an office and the average crew on a fishing boat. They smell, act, and speak more professionally. It took a while to adjust. In an office, when something is frustrating you can’t just punch a jellyfish and insult its mother. In an office one has to settle with a sigh of resignation, the machine won again, damn you Windows ‘98.

The thing I miss most about fishing is the dress code. Every morning when I pick my one pair of khakis out of the dresser, there’s a faint cry from my Smart Wool long johns buried under summer shorts. They whimper for the touch of my hairy kneecaps and I coo back, but I swallow the lump in my throat and button my shirt. Grow up you mustached fool.

People have asked about the adventure of fishing in Alaska, don’t I miss it? Sure, if you define adventure as always travelling. Not too long ago I was assigned to cover the Weezer concert in downtown Portland; the goal was to get a suitable crowd shot. I’m taller than your average hipster but my ground shots still weren’t doing the trick. Three songs later I had climbed 20 fire escapes and found myself alone in sniper position at the edge of a massive ledge.

My veins were pure adrenaline and I was getting paid. Turns out adventures can still be had while landlocked.

On the other hand there are the days when the AC vent is angled so that my garbage bag fills up with air and it looks like a giant outie bell button, creating the most interesting thing that happened since 7am when my long johns could talk. You tell your friends that night how exciting it was to see all your Nutter Butter wrappers at the top of inflated plastic, and they look at you with pity and say, “cool story Hansel.”

Then again, you can only get yelled at by your captain so many times while piling a the same 5 ton net in the rain before an inflated trash bag would be a welcome highlight of the day.

Jobs can’t be all highlights or we wouldn’t get paid. I suppose even Jay Z knows that. Money if by land, money if by sea, either way a job is a job and I’m glad to have one.