Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackbacks

November 29th, 2006 by xformed

Another opportunity to place your blogging in the eyeballs of my few readers…..Take a shot, who knows, you might get famous!

Sea stories….A short one. It’s about people, but it’s about signs.

Ships, quite necessarily, have bulkheads and doors and hatches for the purposes of preventing the spread of fire and flooding. Modern day warships also have a wonderful thing called “air conditioning.’ Basically, while the average reader understands “AC” as a creature comfort, yet aboard ship, that machinery is there primarily to keep the electronics cool, so the operating life is long. If you are able to gain some creature comfort as a result of being where the AC is, then it’s a bonus. Modify that with the ships built in the post-Vietnam era allowed for the crew living spaces to be air conditioned, to be nice to the crews.

Toss in that the AC you encounter in such spaces as Radio Central, the data processing center, transmitter rooms, and Combat Information Centers (CIC) is set to almost arctic condition levels, because the “twidget” maintainers believe the colder it is, the longer the equipment lives, and ergo, it’s longer between casualties, which then requires lots of work to fix the finicky items. If you read persona accounts of life on ships in the modern era, you will most likely come across accounts of sailors, while deployed to such wonderful vacation spots as the Persian Gulf and the equatorial Indian Ocean regions will add a top layer of a “Pea Coat” or a foul weather jacket on top of their dungarees to go and stand/sit their watch in Radio, SONAR, or CIC related spaces.

So, to the story. In order to “save” the cool, you need to maintain the “Air Conditioning boundaries,” where there are doors and hatches to the outside world, or the below decks engineering spaces. When ships are built, or overhauled, there are usually engraved bakelite plaques, mounted at eye level stating “Air Conditioning boundary – Keep Closed” (or words to that effect). Of course, some of the doors are on well traveled paths within the ship and in many cases, it makes sense, like loading stores, or bringing the stuff back from the SERVMART run, to hook or prop the doors open while carrying boxes, etc through the passageway.

Curious how this ends? Click here —>

Unfortunately, the doors, despite their warning, professionally posted, get ignored. This produces friction, as the people who work/live in the vicinity of the breached boundaries then get to suffer the indignity of high humidity and temperatures, as well as their equipment…..

What happens? The sailors complain up the chain to the Chief Petty Officers, then they complain to the Command Senior/Master Chief, who then shows up at the Executive Officer’s stateroom door, announced with “Hey, XO, you need to fix something..”

You know where it goes. Plan of the Day (POD) notes, verbal haranguing of the Department Heads, who most likely roll their eyes and doodle in their “wheel books,” pretending to write the important point of making sure the taxpayers equipment is well cared for that the XO just so eloquently discussed…the result: Open doorways, and an attempt to stop global warming, using the Ship’s well maintained AC Plants…

Post it Note Sign

So, how does it get fixed? Some sailor, disgusted with the inability of the chain of command to perform, takes matters into their hands and, grabbing a spare yellow legal pad and a fat marking pen, hand “engraves” a new sign: “KEEP THE DAMN DOOR CLOSED!”

Hung with great care, on an off angle with cellophane tape, surely to clash with the horizontal and vertical order of the surrounding framework, in order to catch the eye by being “out of place,” gets read, and magically, people cease abusing the work load on the AC Plants….

Maybe, I’d often think, it was we just got to familiar with the signs and they blended into the background color scheme in our mind’s eye, and it was not about ending global warming after all.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 at 12:01 pm and is filed under "Sea Stories", History, Humor, Military, Military History, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 responses about “Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackbacks”

  1. The Amboy Times said:

    Barak Obama Middle Name Change Contest

    TPM Cafe reports that the GOP is attacking Barak Obama’s middle name, Hussien. If you thought Obama’s last name was enough of a political pitfall, get this: Last night on Hardball, GOP strategist Ed Rogers ridiculed a potential Obama candidacy

  2. Dave G. said:

    I have to admit I’m one of those twidgets who writes, or used to write those signs. I also tended to get familiar with the cheifs by walking into CIC and various other spaces and politely, and sometimes not so politely, but always respectfully telliing them to keep there people in line or i would cutoff there phone lines to home.

  3. xformed said:

    Dave G:

    Good for you! My first job was CICO, but also was the EMO, and my main “twidgets” taught me a lot. Some of the stories about my “life” with them will appear in the “Sea Stories” posts in the future.

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