Peter Gough, the 204th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, has an unusual job.
Peter is in the Royal Australian Navy.
That comes with a lot of variety.
Right now, Peter is stationed in Sydney and performing a teaching role. So he basically has a 9-5 office job.
But Peter has also been to sea for weeks at a time, in his role as the ship’s medic.
Even that can be a varied job.
At times, Peter might be in his ward, attending to a patient. Or he might be in his ward watching TV, because there are no patients. Or he might be boarding an overloaded refugee vessel, which is in danger of sinking.
Back in 2017, Peter spent six months serving at a NATO hospital in Afghanistan – and, again, it came with plenty of variety.
One day, an enormous truck bomb was detonated, and scores of heavily wounded patients were rushed by helicopter to his hospital. For hour after hour, Peter had to run back and forth between the landing strip and the hospital, in 47-degree heat, with heavy armour strapped to his body and a weapon draped over his shoulder. But there were also shifts where Peter had nothing to do but pass a football back and forth with a colleague.
In early 2022, Peter is being transferred to Darwin for another land-based role. In 2023, he’s expecting to return to sea. That’s navy life for you.