Step back and wipe your hands!

Now, I am not the smartest marine engineer, nor do I have any additional education or other courses which make me more qualified in any area of the work I have done. What I do have, perhaps from my Norwegian background, is a stubbornness and a desire to do a good job in whatever I attempt. I also like figuring out keys to the root problems regarding what ever endeavors I am facing.

A few years ago, this cruise line hired an expert to determine why our specific projects were facing long delays and costs overruns. This man, well known in the maritime industry from the west coast with an incredible education and background came onboard and I had a chance to show him around. It wasn’t long before we took a tour of the project both topside and below, walking amongst the contractors team of about 50 men or so scattered throughout the ship. It didn’t take me long to simply tell him, “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that about one out of five men actually had a tool or material in the hands which they were actually working with.”  

So, when you are facing a problem getting something back functional, there are a few things you can do. Research the problem, read or talk to others, get their opinions. Clean up and light up the workspace so you can observe everything you are facing. Run through the repair procedures in your mind. Make sure you’re using the proper tools. And finally, most important is to turn off your worries about the amount of time the job is taking, you do not need that self imposed pressure.  With any big problem, if you have the opportunity to “sleep on it”, you will often wake up with the solution in your consciousness, I’m always amazed when this happens.

So here we are today, a momentous time in the history of our great country.  What needs to be done?

May I suggest, stepping back, wipe off our dirty hands and greasy tools, get a drop light, perhaps a blower,  turn away  and then look back… perhaps we will find our way forward.

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