Things stalled for a while after I had finished the course, so I moved back to Dublin to find a real job.
I went back to live with my dad and his new wife in Sandymount, and I found a position with an International trucking company very quickly, whose warehouse and offices were literally around the corner from where I had worked before embarking on my diving career.
I was back in the business that I had worked in for ten years prior to plunging into the diving industry, & I was back living in the house that I had grown up in.
‘Plus sa change, plus la meme chose’
To be honest that could have been it as regards offshore work ever again, except for Idrotec.
I did get an unsolicited offer of a diving contract in Egypt from the Middle Eastern version of Oceaneering, Hydrospace; I was sorely tempted to go, but I didn’t and put my shoulder to the wheel, in trucking.
The Underwater Centre was contacted by Idrotec (who also believed that they trained ROV personnel) looking for qualified Pilot / Technicians, and as I was probably the only one that got the cert, they put them in touch with me.
Idrotec were a start up operation in Firenze Italy, run by divers and operating a Seaeye Surveyor ROV. By the time that they got in touch with me to ask for a CV, we had just got our first PC with Internet, so I checked out Seaeye.
Yes all of their ROVs were yellow.
They then sent me the spec for the job, “Trenching and Diver Support using a Seaeye Surveyor, with TSS and Profiling Sonar”.
With the aid of the internet I was able to find out what that equipment was, and to compile a CV hinting that I knew how to use it without giving too many details, and incredibly, I got the job.
The departure was supposed to be within a month, but with delays due to shipping etc it was delayed and delayed for nearly 6 months, and during that time I resigned from Walsh Western, and went to work as a sales rep for the biggest bollix in the Irish shipping Industry, on the fifth floor of Apollo house in Dublin city centre.
He was offering more money and a car, so even though I knew that he was a complete prick, I liked the extra money and the car, anyway I would be off to Mexico any day, so what did it matter if I was working for Torquemada.
Idrotec procrastinated outrageously, allowing enough time for my boss to sack me for impertinence, even though I brought in some premium clients from my earlier days in the business. We just didn’t see eye to eye. He demanded absolute obsequiousness, and I just couldn’t acquiesce.
When I demurred on his invitation to the sales team to dine with him at an exclusive restaurant in Ballsbridge, he’d had enough, and so had I
He fired me in January 1998 but he generously gave me over three months’ notice; my departure date would be the 30th of April.
My dismissal became final in April 1998; and I become a labourer on a building site, where my younger brother Dessie was the foreman.
During our time working together, Dessie and I concocted a hare-brained plan to start a building business together, starting with putting a second floor on the bungalow of a once-friend of mine. But that is quite another storey altogether.
I definitely was not thinking straight in those days.