Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pink Jobs/Blue Jobs - Division of Labor

One of the most valuable and informative sources I’ve found about All-Things-Cruising, has been the monthly Raft-Up posts written by a group of Bloggers who are out there “living the dream”.  They discuss many subjects and have varied, and yet common experiences that those of us who are still in the early stages can put to good use.  It is my pleasure to be included in this group of beginning in February... but I wanted to write a post on the January subject... Pink Jobs/Blue Jobs.

I posed the question to Bruce:  “Do we have Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs on Dos Libras?”  He looked puzzled... I rephrased the question: “Are there jobs on the boat the either of us NEVER does?”  He thought for a few seconds and said... “Maybe we’d better talk about something else...”.

I imagine that the division of duties  will change with my retirement from the real world. Actually, I expect the “change”  will be that there will be almost no division at all! Currently, I get up and go to work while Bruce stays home working on boat projects and such.  Since we moved aboard, the daily things from home have also been moved to our new location... things like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning and finance.  Bruce does most of the grocery shopping and much of the light cleaning while I’m at work.  He even cooks dinner sometimes, depending upon the menu.  He also does most of the boat maintenance jobs like changing the oil in the engine/generator, washing the deck and shining the chrome.  Right now... he has the time for these things and I do not.

On weekends, we dig into the big projects and this is where it gets fuzzy.  (Communicating with one’s spouse can be so illuminating sometimes... ) I love nothing more than to delve into a project, no matter if it’s rebuilding the head (toilet), finding and fixing a water leak, or repairing a pinhole in the dinghy... I’m there!  I love the way it makes my mind open up and ask questions... why did this happen, how can we fix it, what is the most efficient method... I just love it.  And there is nothing like that awesome feeling of accomplishment that you get when a job is finished, no matter how big or small.  Same goes with the deep cleaning.  

When Bruce and I began discussing the subject for this blog post, he expressed that many times when we do these weekend projects, I work harder than he does on it, leaving him feeling like the helper... even if I (should) know nothing about the job being done.  Now some might argue that this would be a GOOD thing...  but maybe not.  I’ll definitely have to work on that one...

I guess I enjoy the jobs that are more of a sprint, than a marathon.  Put it all in for a few hours or days, get a lot done in a short period of time and you never (or almost never) have to do it again... done, finis, instant gratification! The jobs I don’t enjoy are the repetitive, never-actually-finished kind of jobs.  But then, who does?  I guess what it all boils down to, is that we are both willing to do, and capable of doing just about all of the jobs on the boat.

So... the duties are doled out based upon things like:  physical ability, aptitude, preference and (for now...) time.  

Physical ability:  There are plenty of jobs that I would do, but it just makes more sense for my stronger and MUCH more physically fit husband to do them.  Things like dropping and raising the anchor or handling the lines when docking.  When anchoring, Bruce is the one on the nose raising and dropping while I man the helm.  I’m also the one who helms when departing and docking the boat.  He handles the lines, which often places a demand on physical strength to counter the effects of wind or current, or to fend off pilings if needed.  I finesse the boat into position and he uses his strength to secure us in.  

Aptitude:  Sailing the boat - Bruce’s knowledge about sail trim and all-things-boaty FAR exceeds mine.  There is no question about who calls the shots in this department... although I am learning.  There are times when we go out sailing and Bruce lets me call the shots, just so that I can learn, and I’ve not killed us so far.  He thinks I could sail the boat alone.. I’m hoping I never have to truly find out.

Preference:  I enjoy the sprints, Bruce enjoys the marathons.  There are too many jobs to list by preference, but I can say that in sailing... Bruce prefers to sail upwind, while I prefer to be at the helm on a downwind course.  This suits both of us just fine.  

I look forward to the days when I have the time to expand my knowledge of the boat and all of the jobs that must be done daily, weekly, monthly... I know that we will develop a new routine once I retire and we set sail.  I can’t wait to learn about using the SSB, setting up our communications systems, learning to use paper charts more extensively, learning to gather and interpret information from weather resources... Just all of it! Many of these things Bruce already knows...  some of them, we’ll learn together.  The one thing that is a non-negotiable Blue job on Dos Libras... Making the coffee and serving it to me in bed! This one thing will ALWAYS be a BLUE JOB!

Check out the other Raft-Up Articles on the subject:

Dana on Northfork
Stacey on Bella Vita
Steph   on Nornas News
Behan   on Totem
Diane on Ceilydh
Jessica  on My Felicity
Lynn on Celebration
Verena on Camille
Toast on Don Quixote
Ean  on Joy
Livia  on Estrellita 5.10b

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