Wow time flies. I’m almost done with my scuba divemaster program. I thought being a divemaster was this dream job of diving into a beautiful landscape each day and being on vacation. Now I have a different perspective. While the “customer” is diving, the divemaster is staring at them. They are examining the surrounding environment and evaluating the safety of the customer. The customer is unaware of all the stress surrounding the dive.
Most days when I dive silfra I’m hardly aware of its beauty. I spend most of the time staring at the customer and hoping they don’t have a rapid ascent. I hope that they don’t get air trapped in their fins. I hope that their equipment functions properly. I feel like I’m just this worry bee that I will do everything correctly in case something goes wrong. I’ve been told by the instructors that this gets easier as time goes by. I’ll slowly start relaxing and have it as half work/half fun each day. Right now I think I’m about 90% worry, and 10% play time.
I don’t know if I seriously considered trading in my engineering job for one in the scuba field. One negative about the engineering field was that the average age of my coworkers was about 50. I always felt like I was the youngest there, and always trying to prove that I was smart enough to be there. With scuba, I’m definitely one of the older peeps. But I don’t feel the age comparisons at all. In fact, I think the dive community here is great. People generally get along well. At work, everyone is working together. Sure there are people that are slow- but its hardly a big issue.
For engineering, there was an employee review process that only rewarded the top 8% of the employees. I grinded myself to exhaustion to be one of the “far exceeds expectations” type of employee. One year, I found that I an average of 67 hours a week. At this scuba thing- I leave work and thats it. I don’t think about it, and I don’t stress about it. Its nice to live a “normal” life. I don’t think I’ve ever worked over 55 hours in one week. It’s nice being able to go home and whip up some dinner and watch some netflix. Who knew you could have so much free time after work??
Engineering pays better but the trade off is having no life.
Scuba pays less, but the trade off is that you are responsible for people’s lives.