Listening to your inner voice

Just like that little angel and the little devil on the Bugs Bunny’s shoulders, both telling him what he should do, we all have inner voices advising us in every endeavor and action and in particular, repair evolutions.  Be it working on a piece of equipment shipboard, on your car, an appliance,  those voices won’t be muted.

Mark Twain said, “Good judgement is the result of experience and experience is the result of poor judgement”.

Although I am a realist, I am also a pessimist when approaching problems. I remember some of my lessons (from my training) and have applied that knowledge quite often, but the reality is, you often simply have to tune into your senses and use some basic reasoning.

If you are doing something hands on, something as simple as disassembling a component perhaps with corroded bolting, you have to engage (your mind) in what your sensing…  Is the bolt heavily corroded, are the pieces two different materials and possibly galled, does your wrench fit properly on the heads, should you use a 6 point socket so it won’t jump, how is the lighting?, is it slippery? Do you have good swing on the tools.  It is surprising to think of all the considerations which may be needed to take into account to get the repair done properly.

So even, after considering all your experience to do the job right, here is where you’re at.  That bolt is in a bad spot, its hot, your sweaty, you got the wrench or socket on the piece and you’re your pulling on it.., all of a sudden that inner voice speaks up, albeit briefly, and says to you “keep pulling on it and it will snap”.  Of course, there are no such things as cartoon angels and devils on your shoulder, especially in a noisy hot engine room, its close to coffeetime so you decide pull a little more and the piece snaps apart. Ah, fuck, let’s go take a break.

That inner voice told you it was going to break and ya didn’t listen to it. Your intuition wasn’t quite accurate.  And yes, there are some instances where simply, shit happens, but we certainly don’t want it to happen every time we work on something.

For those who haven’t  yet experienced “poor judgement” often enough to learn from it all, take my word and listen to that little angel on your shoulder.

So, when your fighting a job and it is becoming a big pain in the ass, one of the best things you can do is simply, pause and wipe your hands, maybe step over under a ventilator. Have a bit of religious moment with that cute little angel and devil, it will do you good.

Coming back to that broken piece and  how you approach potentially bigger problems is a whole other story. For the time being play it safe. do good work and don't let your battleship mouth overload your rowboat ass.


For your information, I have sailed for over 24 years as a licensed engineer, most of it as a “working first assistant”, after that I worked for Hamworthy equipment systems specializing in pumps, compressors, oily water separators, and advanced waste water systems on cruise ships for over 10 years. Throw in a little project management on top of that too.  Now building the best maritime tee shirt shop on the web, you can see by a lot of my designs, I am connecting to my experiences as well as yours.  Fair winds and following seas. Keith

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