Sunday, 28 August 2016

Podcasts and Roly Chairs

I had a good laugh listening to a podcast recently. Before I tell you why, the following information is relevant:

It was the summer of 2003. I was in the Navy and between my third and forth year at RMC (Royal Military College of Canada—they now call it RMCC cause the 'Canada' part is really important, I guess). Part of my summer training included five weeks at sea on a frigate. After which I would put in my request to switch to an Air Force trade, but that's another story.

In the week or two leading up to our sail, the ship was a bit of a zoo. There was much to be done to get ready as this particular frigate hadn't been to sea in a very long time. It had been in dry dock for something like a year and a half.

Back to 2016. I'm doing dishes and listening to episode 9 of Young House Love Has a Podcast.

This podcast is mostly about DIY/home decorating type stuff. In this episode, they interviewed Genevieve Gorder. Among other things, she talked about some interior design work she did for Royal Caribbean, and all the things one as to think about when designing for a ship: working with unusual proportions, no wood because nothing can be combustible, accessories can't move, no rolling chairs...

Cue flashback...

Meanwhile, back  2003: The frigate is underway. A few days have passed on the water and all is well. I'm sitting in the wardroom (known to non-navy types as the officers' mess, and to non-military types as the bar). There is a man-overboard drill.

The world tips sideways as the ship makes a sharp u-turn. A group of us look up to the sound of breaking glass. Rows of glassware are flowing from the shelves like a water fall. Someone forgot to slide the little wooden bar in front of them to hold them in place. Oops. In their defense, it just hadn't been in issue in dry dock.

Next man-overboard drill: I'm in some compartment near the middle of the ship working on a computer. Again, the world tilts sideways...

...and suddenly, the computer is moving away from me at an alarming speed.

No. Wait. I'm moving.

My chair has wheels. My chair has wheels! Why the fuck does my chair have wheels?!

Because a year and a half alongside can make sailors forget the finer details of life at sea. Even so, I can't help but wonder under what circumstances someone procured a rolling chair for a boat? Sheesh.

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