I was working in a shipyard. It was my first day on the job. I was chatting with a big, tough guy about my past experiences, and he asked me why I stopped doing carpentry. I told him I felt I wasn’t as good as I had once been, and wanted to try something new. He asked why I thought this job would turn out any better, and I realized I was talking to my new boss at that point. I figured I’d started off on the wrong foot with him, and that I would need to work extra hard to prove myself worthy to him. The big test came as we were working on a broken piece of equipment near a ship’s bow. All we needed were two particular screws. He told me that he kept an assortment of extra screws in a bag in his toolbox, and to go get that bag. Eager to do something right, I rushed off, realizing once I was off the ship that I had no idea where his toolbox was. I was going back to ask when I messed up the rope elevator (yes, it’s weird) which we used to get on and off the ship. Another worker rushed to try to catch the rope before it got too far up, and yelled for something. I vaguely knew what he wanted, but decided I had had enough, and just started walking away with a mix of resentment at being thrown in above my head, and shame over my own inadequacy.
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