Another New Guy

We hired in another guy from military service, this time the Navy. He’s a pretty cool guy named Barney. Since he previously had a DoD security clearance they are trying to expedite his clearance re-activation and get him in the Closed Area with the rest of us swing shift goofballs. I think he’s gonna work out well.

I’ve been asking him about his time served in the Navy and he’s told me some interesting stories about his experiences. Barney went into the submarine service. I was surprised because he’s so tall. I would have figured being as tall as I am that working in a sub would kinda suck. You’d have to be ducking pipes and bulkheads all the time. Guess he got by well enough. A few of the stories he’s told me stuck in my mind. One time he was at the steering controls of the sub and he accidentally caused the sub to breach the surface of the ocean. The whole point of being a sub is to kinda not do that, I think. You’re not very sneaky riding the waves…

Another time there was a high-pressure hydraulic rupture. Hundreds of gallons of hydraulic fluid was spewing out of a main pipe buried behind all sorts of substructure and wires and stuff. Barney and I think two of his shipmates jumped in to try to stop the leak. He explained that every so often in the hydraulic lines there’s a place to put in a key. You can turn the key to shut off the flow at either end of a burst section of pipe. While Barney and the other guys had squirmed around all sorts of crap to get in close to the pipe they got sprayed in the face and eyes with high-pressure hydralic fluid. One of the three had a key for the valve on a necklace and he made it in and got the line shut off. Unfortunately because the three of them were sprayed with the hydraulic junk they were laid up in bed with their eyes swollen shut. Here’s the worst part of the story. Even though all three of them were working together to get the emergency job done, only one of them was officially recognized and awarded for the effort. That was the guy with the key and it wasn’t Barney. In my mind that’s kinda fucked up and when I hear stories like that it makes me happy that I chose to not go into military service.

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~ by factorypeasant on December 2, 2004.

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