Day 258: training

Day 258:

The first few weeks of training to be a miner, we were taught how to walk.

Specifically, we were taught never ever to put our full weight on a stone we hadn’t tested yet.

Most of this training came in the form of one of the managers or leads hitting us with sticks if they caught us. In fact, any miner at any time in any situation could hit any other miner with the handle of their tool if someone was caught standing with their full weight on an untested rock.

In space, the Company said, we couldn’t necessarily count on rock behaving the same way we thought it did on our home planets. Heck, my team had five people from five different planets (well two planets, two planetesimals, and an asteroid) and we couldn’t count on rock behaving the same way if we went to visit each other for Sunday breakfast.

(Not that we ever did.)

It didn’t take long to learn to test the rock, with a pick, with another rock, with whatever was handy, every time we wanted to step somewhere.

This got us a lot of teasing when we were on leave, because even when we were walking around the neighborhoods where we grew up, we tested the rock, and we looked really goofy doing so.

But this evening when I tested a rock and it fell into a lava pit a few yards below, and I didn’t know about the lava pit or the fact that I was walking on the ceiling of a magma chamber, well, I was glad for good habits.