Being proud and showing pride.
My work ethic started very early in life, I mean, really early, like 3rd grade selling items from some magazine (I honestly forget what it was, but it dealt with Christmas cards in August, lol) and digging clams, then on to lawns ( a lot of accounts, even had to hire other kids) to earn money for a car, and of course grocery stores and finally on ships. Learned a lot of things, through these times, worked with many many people from all over.
Most of my career was as a "working first" assistant engineer for nearly 16 years or so. Worked the Lancer class, ex US lines ships for PRMMI / Naverias and later Holt. I remember going into the yards and the yard birds commenting on how good the engine room looked. Taking care of the Humacao and the Guyama, to me, was like taking care of some classic "muscle" cars. The ships were built in the late 60's early 70's. A walk through of one the well lighted plants, you wouldn't see many steam joints leaking, pump seals leaking oil and you could actually breathe fresh air behind the boilers... None of this happened because I was lucky, it was because I and the team onboard keep our focus on what to prioritize to repair and took every opportunity to go after the problems. We were proud of the ship and took pride in our work.
I remember a very special wiper named Cecil Edwards out of Mobile. The true classic gentle giant, BULL wiper. He was proud of his work and took pride in his work at the same time.. what a man to have working with you. Him and the "Mobile boys", over the course of a few months out of the yard, turned the engine room around from the the typical disaster a ship in the yard suffers. At any position from the wiper on up, the pride you take doing your job and how well you do it, is a personally rewarding endeavor.
Of course, not every person who worked in the engine room would feel the same way and there were difficulties to approach / encourage people to take the same attitude. Yet perhaps most, knew that when you take pride in your work you can then be "proud" of what you do. As years go by, when we reflect on what we have done, our pride grows stronger and stronger (think Springsteen's Glory Days).
This brings me to what I do now. Having fun, thinking of and creating designs, and offering for sale, tees and more, which connect to those "who have been to sea or wished they had".
I am very thankful, to the different site moderators which let me post my designs. I get a lot of likes on the posts (that is a sign I am connecting to my fellow shipmates "who have been there and done that"). I also get some complaints as well, and they make me wonder.... did they take pride in their work because they should be proud of what they accomplished.
Finally, thanks to all of you for supporting me and the shop. It encourages me to continue to make this site, the best online Maritime T shop for those who are proud of their careers they have chosen, the work they have done and the experiences they have lived.
For those still in the work force, keep up the good work. For others, well you might have left the sea, but the sea is still in your blood.
Fair winds and following seas