The Worse I've Ever Had
I'm twenty-four years old and it's difficult to compare jobs seeing as how I've only had one true job. I've had a few side jobs here and there when I might want some extra cash but I would only consider one of those jobs an actual job with career potential. Even with a lack of diversity in the corporate world I'm sure about one thing, I've had a job that I would never want again, the United States Navy. I spent five years in the Navy and I'd like to say that the time spent in the Navy had it's ups and downs, but for me it seemed to always be bad. The good times were never really good times but times when things just weren't as bad as usual. Out of all the complaints I may have about my prior job my biggest would have to be feeling like I had no control over my life. I spent my time on an aircraft carrier, and ships go out to sea. I knew that going in the Navy but what I didn't know was the less appealing details of the Navy. For instance, every one is given a specific job going into the Navy or what is better known as a "rate." You qualify for certain rates depending on what you score on the ASVAB test. The ASVAB test is a way of measuring your basic intelligence and skills you may have the most success in such as mechanics, or electronics. I scored a little better than average on the ASVAB and qualified for quite a few different jobs. The rate that sparked my interest the most was called an Aviation Ordnancemen. As it was explained to me an Aviation Ordnancemen's job is to build bombs and deal with various explosives. The job sounded interesting to me and I thought "How many people get to deal with live explosives?" Sighing a contract with the Navy is basically like saying "I'm yours do with whatever you may like." Your job description goes out the window and your new job is just to do whatever you’re told. Most would say that's any job but most people forget they can quit their jobs. True, some feel like they can't quit because of financial or various other reasons but with the military you truly can't just quit. You can try and run away but you'll be brought back and forced to stay until the military decides what they're going to do with you. A lot of people who've never been in the military take their freedoms for granted. If any given person is in a job and loses interest or feels like they're not going anywhere or are in a dead in job they'll always have the option of looking for another one. It didn't take long for me to decide I would like to look for another job but the option wasn't there for me. I sighed a contract and now it had to be fulfilled. I spent most of my days in the Navy doing custodian work and other similar tasks that an ape could perform. In a way it was easy money but I often felt like I was wasting away, I worried my brain was turning into mush. I would rather feel like I'm earning my money and putting some intellect into my work. If there were any perks being in the Navy it would have to be visiting other countries. I did eight months out to sea with a few port calls here and there but even seeing other countries had a price. One of the ways Navy recruiters try to capture their interested civilians is by telling them they'll be getting paid to travel and see things most people never get to see in a life time. What they don't tell you is, though you're an adult you'll have a very strict curfew. More often than not when you pull into a port you're usually not there for more than a few days, and one of those days you'll have "duty." Duty consist of standing watches and not leaving the ship for twenty-four hours. Watches can be any where from two hours to eight hours and you're not just limited to one. If you're lucky you may not even have a watch but it seems kind of unfair when you do but the guy next to you doesn't. Needless to say when you're not hitting ports you work twelve hour days seven days a week. Privacy doesn't really exist so you learn to ignore things that annoy you. The food definitely isn't the greatest and some times it's not worth standing in what seemed like an eternal line. Nothing is worse than waiting a hour for food after Woking a long hard day and the mess decks are out of the food you wanted. If they run out of the main portion it'll usually be replaced with something that was prepared quicky and doesn't have much of a taste. I think it was the lack of choices and options I had in the Navy. I like my freedom and some find it easier to just conform to the military life and be told when to do everything like eat, sleep, and speak. For some reason it was harder for me to be told when to do everything than for me to just to be able to do things my way, when I wanted and how I wanted. I found the Navy dismal and plain boring at times. I tried not to state the obvious and make the usual complaints while I was in the Navy seeing how almost everyone seemed to have the same objections. I could go on forever pointing out all the negative aspects of the job, but no matter how many people agreed with my discontents there are still people who believe they've found their dream job in the Navy. Making all the money in the world wouldn't be worth waking up every day and hating my job. If I could wake up and not dread the day ahead of me I could deal with making a little less money than the next guy. I just hope I never again have a job that I'm as dissatisfied with like the Navy. I'm sure there could be worse jobs out there but all I know is, this was the worst job I ever had. I'm sure some where there is someone who absolutely hates their job and thinks it's the most terrible job in the world.
Some Jobs Are not Worth the Money
When I was nineteen years old I was at a stage not uncommon to most young adults, I did not know what kind of career I wanted. I enrolled in school but, at the last second I decided I couldn't figure out what should be my major. I felt an urge to get away and to reasons for which today I still do not understand I decided to join the United States Navy. My father was prior military but, he was a Marine not a Sailor. It was a choice that I ended up regretting.
I find myself in a recruiter's office one day and next thing I know I'm leaving for Boot Camp. I called the recruiter's myself and the funny thing was the recruiter's still kept trying to sell the Navy to me even though I expressed no doubts about joining. Boot camp is almost what I expected, I spent a lot of time getting screamed at and no matter how hard I tried it didn't seem like I could do anything right. I played along knowing this is what Basic Training is supposed to be like, a transition from civilian life to military life.
From Boot Camp I was sent to Pensacola, Florida where I was trained in my "rate." A rate is the job I selected prior to leaving for Boot Camp. By this time I had quite a bit of money saved, not that the Navy paid a lot but, I couldn't spend money while in Basic Training and Pensacola was not much better with only a limited amount of freedom. What I hated the most about being in Pensacola was I thought after leaving Basic Training I thought I would be give a little more freedom and a little more respect but that was hardly the case. When I first got to Pensacola I still was not allowed to wear civilian clothes and if I wanted to leave the base I still had to wear a uniform. Mostly I chose to stay on the base which, did enabled me to save even more money but what I found is money is useless if it can't be spent.
Finally, after my training in my rate was finished I was sent to my permanent duty station Norfolk, Virginia. I remember carrying my heavy bags up a huge flight of stairs to get to my "rack" or I guess it could be called a bed. There wasn't a lot of room for my things and most of the things I brought I ended up not having room for on the ship. The worse thing about being in an aircraft carrier was even when the ship wasn't out to sea I still had to live on the carrier. The ship was still under a lot of construction when I first arrived to it so, most of my days were spent chipping a grinding metal decks. It was loud, hot, and just plain miserable. It seemed like we painted the same spots and walls over and over again. The most unsatisfying part about the whole thing was it never seemed like no how hard any one person worked there never seemed to be any appreciation.
The day came when the ship was ready to go out to sea. After it seemed like the crew slaved for months to make sure the ship was ready for sea there wasn't much of a reward. Going out to sea was not a reward in it's self. We were only going out to sea for a few weeks at a time and not hitting any ports. We would get back to Norfolk after being out to sea for a short while and as soon as I would start to feel settled and like I had a real life, the ship would leave again and when we got back I would have to start all over again in trying to feel like I had some kind of real life here. The worse part about being out to sea was nothing had changed since when the carrier was in port. The crew was doing the same work, cleaning, painting, grinding, and chipping.
When we finally hit some ports, there were curfews which, made it feel like the trip could never be enjoyed. It seemed like there were so many restrictions put in place for our safety that the country we were visited couldn't be enjoyed. The restrictions ruined the visits to the point where sometimes it didn't seem worth the hours of waiting to get off the ship.
With today's economy the Navy doesn't seem like too bad of a deal. Steady pay check, a place to sleep, and there is always food. I'm sure there are worse jobs out there and some people love the Navy. Maybe I just had a bad run or a bad first duty station. I just know that some jobs just are not worth the money and to me, this was one of them. Though, I haven't had many jobs this was the worse I've ever had.