Dawn (alphasunrise) wrote,

Story time

On my first ship, I got tagged with solving a berthing 'problem'. I think I might have been a first class by then, and if so, I am not sure why I got tagged instead of the other ET1. I know I made first after she got there, because that ET1 was the reason I went to work in the 3M office instead of returning to the division after my stint as Berthing PO.

But I digress. For whatever reason, I had to convince a free-spirited woman to wear clothes when strolling the length of the berthing. She'd strip at her rack, throw her towel over her shoulder, and walk to the head wearing nothing but her shower shoes. (Because only the incredibly stupid or the walking health hazards fail to wear shower shoes.) Now, regulation was behind me, but that didn't make it an easier. "Why do I have to cover up just because they're uncomfortable?" she asked.

A good question, and when asked in one of the lj communities this week, it brought this story back to mind.

And the answer is that it was the courteous thing to do. When 125 women live together in one large space, they simply must practice courtesy. When they don't, everyone is unhappy. Courtesy is what keeps communal living tolerable. Now, to be honest, the ET2 walking starkers through the berthing didn't bother me, but the nameless-child-raised-in-a-pasture who kept leaving her personal products in the shower--she bothered me. We never did figure out who the nasty girl was.

ET2 bought a robe when we pulled into Hong Kong. It was full-length silk, and it had the most garish pattern of purple and red and green and gold and just about every other color you can name. I smiled at her as she wore it proudly through the berthing, and the only comment I had to offer was, "Nice robe."

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