We've been here over four months now. It's obvious the work stress, the heat, and generally being in the desert is kinda getting to everyone. People are starting to bicker about ridiculous things, and you can practically see the animosity in the air.
Back in '02-'03, I was here for nearly eight months, and I remember lashing out myself over things that seemed so important at the time, but after I looked back, I realised how foolish I was being.
I'm trying to take that personal experience into account now as I see the guys on my crew do things to each other just out of spite. I've had to take a few of them aside individually, talk rationally with them, and remind them that we're all under a lot of stress here. I try to reason with them, in that when they get upset, don't take whatever action springs to mind. Take a deep breath, and think about why they feel this way. Is it really that severe or are they just desperate to get back home? Would their actions be any different if we were at home station? Can they get over it long enough to finish this project and go back to being cool with each other?
Even with a few isolated incidents, I'm still really proud of my crew, and I couldn't be happier. And even though it seems like our remaining time here can't go fast enough, I'm sure we'll all look back at this deployment and think, "You know, it wasn't so bad, after all."