Here's a little Nautie History.
I had a tough ship as Third Mate. My Chief Mate was a 'very not nice man' (insert every bad word you can imagine). He made my life hell. I cried all the time. I was going to quit.
Then I had this epiphany - if I did my absolute best, if I defaulted to absolute professionalism, if I answered every one of his inquiries with absolute positivity - he'd eventually wear himself out - or better yet, he'd be the one who looked like a loser even though he was doing everything in his power to make me look like a total reject.
I realized that it was a matter of me biding my time.
I had an arsenal of 'biding my time' survival tactics.
I made a playlist full of antsy rock songs that I listened to non-stop. I decorated my room full of photos of home and happy things. I had three plain white t-shirts that I transformed with sharpies and glitter glue. One said, 'Make Puttanesca'. One said, 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'. The last one said, 'Hakuna Matata'.
Long story short: very not nice man ended up getting escorted off the vessel by the Coast Guard after pretty much diving off the deep end. I ended up smelling like a rose, a professional rose.
Until I get a job there will be a daily Mettle Maker - we're on a mission - a mission to get a job and maintain mettle - so we'll call it the Mettle Mission.