When leaving isnt time to leave

Two weeks ago I came to the conclusion that it would be best to resign from my volunteer work with the marine rescue. It was not for the reason I had burnt bridges or was off side with anyone at all. I thought it was the easiest way and have the best outcome that I had thought about. I had been there for quite some time, which is 14 years of active service as boat crew and in the past as a radio operator too. I had been told that these days you can either do one or the other, but not both anymore. Work commitments always gets in the way of doing things. My main goal of the year is to complete my history degree.


2018 is going to be a bigger year than I know of and work was only part of the reason to walk away. My employment involves weekend work and I never want to lose my Sunday shifts for obvious reasons. I had asked for one Sunday off a while back and lost all Sunday shifts for a while through roster changes. My worry was I was wearing myself down since I two shifts I can attend in the mornings for only around four hours at a time before heading to work. That day involves a 5am start to get to the boat before a 7am launch. It used to be 630am launch before they changed the time. I start work at 1pm, which finishes at 10pm. It would have been alright if I had not finished work at 10pm on the Friday, but the weekend tired me out a bit.


I felt because of this and the fact I was now a trainee crew instead of a qualified crew member that I couldnt do the study that is involved from knots, flipcharts for different lights showing from vessels at night for their meanings, different navigational markers and their meanings, collision regulations otherwise known as Colregs. I have to know these off the top of my head and I will include a link for those who think I am being precious. This includes me trying to finish my university degree as well and I am wanting to finish by the end of this year as it is something I have strived to complete more for myself.


I had read the information in regards to resigning and I thought that by leaving without being in the bad books, I could return in a year or so. Sure Sydney being the Headquarters might not have a problem with someone not being a troublemaker of any sorts. I was not worried about going back to basics as it is something that I feel I probably should do especially some of the information, I cant seem to remember like the knots. Something I have always struggled with, but I give it a go anyway.


The reality is actually tougher. I had printed out the resignation letter, put my stuff like ID, name badge and epaulet into a folder. I had spoken to no one about my decision not even the head of the boat operations who might have been understanding. The deputy Commander was who I spoke to and his response when I told him why I was wanting to resign (I only spoke about work problems)  was ‘NO’ as I had spent a great deal of time with the organisation and I could always go to fundraising instead to keep myself as an active member. Also it would be difficult to return once I had resigned in bad blood or not. He gave me six months leave to think about it and I was on my way. I would be taken off the roster and to come back when I am ready. He reasoned that I had gotten through the toughest time with work being Christmas


I have heard along the grapevine that people are wondering why I wanted to resign though they have not contacted me or asked my reasons yet. They don’t seem happy that I had been told to basically go flip burgers as part of fundraising. The funny part of having a history degree is the burger flipping comment. I have not told any of them about my history degree that I am wanting to complete by the end of the year. They only really know about my work as I only interact with them through the organisation not outside. Maybe I should do that, but I only really talk to them if I see them at work. We shall see what happens by the end of the month as I will rock up to the boat shed to have a discussion to explain my reasons, but for the time being I think it is best that I have six months off, although I know the training stuff will fall down. I think I am more respected than I realise. The funny thing was I had the thought I could always write the unit history as a volunteer thing and they can publish the book much like for the local life savers I have seen with their centenary book.


The reasons, well the main reasons I will list again, but with additions.

  1. Work commitments. I work more hours and unique shifts than I did when I first joined since I was unemployed and training was far easier.
  2. Trying to finish my university bachelor degree in history. I have two subjects left and they both will be tough. Trying to remember everything on top of the rescue stuff fries the brain I think. Maybe it was only time that it would come to this. I have my own research project that I need to start and finish. That is something I need to concentrate on.
  3. Hoping the big boss doesn’t come down hard on me because I have not completed all the training. So thought resignation would be easier, only to come back later. I don’t want to be forced to complete everything. I had already been given the hard word to leave as a radio operator and time was a factor in that too.
  4. I don’t know how much protection I would have and I don’t really want others to watch my back or cover for me from one very angry person if it comes to that.

  Maybe I should tell them that I am a slow learner and some things I have difficulty with, although if that gets to the ears of the wrong people I might actually be kicked off the boat. Part of the reason why I have never mentioned Aspergers or as it is called these days Autism Spectrum Condition / autism. It makes my life easier and less complicated as they probably have figured out that I am a tough on the slow side. I would say its a huge combo of everything else and something had to give.


Australian Maritime Safety Authority



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