Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana. He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an e-mail he sent to his sister, who entered it to 103.2 FM in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for the worst job experience contest. Needless to say, she won:
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 wet suit.
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 piece of equipment that sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose.
Now, this all sounds like a darn 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 take the hose and stuff it down the back of my wet suit. This floods my whole suit with warm water. It's fantastic...it's like working in a Jacuzzi.
Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This, of course, only made things worse. Within a few seconds my bottom started to feel a burning sensation. I pulled the hose out from my back, thinking that maybe the water was too hot, but the damage was done.
In agony, I realized what had happened.
The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it directly into my suit. Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate. When I had scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish, and all of its poisonous, stinging tentacles, into the crack of my bottom.
I immediately informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing hysterically.
Needless to say, I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression. When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet.
As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my bottom was swollen shut.
So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your bottom, and repeat to yourself, "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job." Now whenever you have a bad day, ask yourself, is this a jellyfish bad day?