Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Greek Tragedy

...can be made out of the story of my life. Something terrible has happened again.

I failed a urine test on the barge. I tested positive for opiates. Opiates! How on earth did that get in my system!?

I arrive on the barge, go through the usual registration, induction etc, meet some of my new shipmates, pick up my gear and go to sick bay to do a urine test. Then I go to my bunk to rest until I report to my station.

Despite all that stuff I said earlier, I was actually stoked to be there finally. Then, the safety guy comes over and asks me to follow him. That was when the medic told me about the "problem".

None of us were happy about it so we decide to wait an hour and do it again. No good. Also positive.

I didn't know what to say. The medic and the safety told me they had no choice. There are regulations about these things. I knew. I understood. They asked me if I had taken any medication that might have opiates in them. No. I only took some seasickness tablets and those don't have morphine in them. I told them I don't do drugs. They believed me.

So where did the opiate in my system come from? Damned if I know. The medic shook my hand and apologized. He then signed the report and off I went. By the way, boat transfers at night are VERY nervy. Especially when the sea is choppy.

My entire first trip lasted all of 3 hours, not including the 21 hours I spent sitting in a crew boat getting there. The only upside was that when the rest of the crew found out they seemed genuinely shocked and sorry about it. Even the superintendent.

I'm not pissed off at any of them. This wasn't their fault.

Why do these things happen to me? First the Oz scam and now this? Who is responsible for these disasters that seem to beset me when I try to do things?

On the way back to land, the only thing I could think of was to clear my name. I make landfall and all my travel arrangements have been made. I fly out the next day to Miri to see my boss. That was on Monday. On Tuesday, I met him. I thought they were going to eat me alive. Instead, they were surprisingly calm. Even the biggest boss.

They told me what I already knew and accepted. The job is gone. They have a replacement flying out that very minute (and who happens to be a friend of mine too, so that's a good thing I suppose). The only thing they can do now is to clear things up. So they send me off to a clinic to do a more thorough test...

...which turned out negative. They are going to use this information to make some inquiries. They won't tell me what kind exactly.

I took the bus home from Miri last night. Lots of time to think on a 14 hour bus ride. I got in this morning and now I sit in front of my PC at home, not knowing exactly what to think or feel.

I'm just.... numb and shocked. And bewildered. And embarrassed. I made plans and I actually told people about it. What are they going to think of me now?

Everything was going great up until that urine test. It's just crazy. Opiates in my system. How? Or maybe the question should be, who? I don't want to speculate and play with conspiracy theories. I have a big enough headache already.

Why do these things happen to me? First the Oz trip and now this!?

In the bus, I thought to myself maybe this is a hint of some kind. Perhaps I was never meant to do "adventurous" things. Maybe it would be better for me if I just stuck to what I know and do best, fixing computers and other IT work.

There is no time to mope and feel sorry for myself. I have absolutely no money left. I need to find work. Any work. Right now.

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