July 3, 2000
Next time you think you have had a bad day at work, think
about this guy...Tom is a commercial saturation diver for a diving company
out of Louisiana and performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling
rigs. Below is an email he sent to his sister. She sent it to Laughline
and won the contest (he wasn't thrilled with her for that one).
--- Author Unknown --- Sent in by Christina Walker
Just another note from your bottom dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all.
Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job. As you know my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wetsuit.
This time of year the water is quite cool. So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 monster sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful
temp. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose.
Now this sounds like a good plan, and I've used it several times with no complaints. What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is I take the hose and stuff it down the back of my neck. This floods my
whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi. Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my bottom started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it.
This only made things worse. Within a few seconds my bottom started to burn. I pulled the hose out from
my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit. This is even worse than the poison ivy you once had under a cast. Now I had that hose down my back. I don't have any hair on my back, so the jellyfish couldn't get stuck to my back. My bottom was not as fortunate.
When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into my bottom. I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he along with 5 other divers were laughing hysterically. Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make 3 agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling 35 minutes before I could come to the surface for my dry chamber decompression. I got to the surface wearing nothing but my brass helmet. My suit and gear were tied to the bell. When I got on board the medic, with tears of
laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to shove it "up my butt" when I get in the chamber. The cream put the fire out.
I later found out that this could easily have been prevented if... the suction hose was placed on the leeward side of the ship.
Anyway, the next time you have a bad day at the office, think of me. Think about how much worse your day would be if this were to happen to you. I hope you have no bad days at the office. But if you do, I hope this will make them more tolerable.
Take care, and I hope to hear from you soon.