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  • Does your company keep in touch with you?

    I wanted to know if your company training officer keeps in touch with you. I mean, just an email, say once a month, especially on sea phases, just saying 'How are you, everything alright?' Then, if everything was not alright it would be an opening to tell them what was going on.

    I know cadets are sometimes reluctant to tell their company if they are having problems as it may be seen as 'telling tales' or just moaning, but a simple contact with someone who (should) care would stop things getting too 'big'.

    As I have only had experience of one company I am interested to see if this is the normal way of doing things or if other companies do ask after their cadets well being! I am not being critical in any way just interested to see what other peoples experiences are.

  • #2
    Hiya

    When I was on board a ship, I wouldn't really hear from my training officer in Newcastle. It's a strange situation because on board the vessel, the responsibility for your training lies with the Master/Chief engineer and the "Designated shipboard training officer", however if I e-mailed the office, I would always get a reply straight away and if I had issues, the office would work with the master to solve them

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    • #3
      As a cadet, I did not receive emails to 'ask how I was' however it was one person who I was dealing with in our office and she was absolutely fantastic as well as knowing exactly who I was (which maybe gets lost in the bigger offices) if I was to email about anything I got an answer back asap and the longer into my cadetship I began to realise just how much she had the cadets backs in a company that really didn't want them at all. Plus small things like book vouchers for all cadets at Christmas from the UK side of the company really made a difference

      However I didn't receive much 'pastoral care' either on the ships or from the office in terms of asking about my welfare, I was just left to get on with it. There was a couple of times I really wish I could have gone to/ asked a senior officer about stuff but really didn't felt it was that kind of a relationship (took me a long time to 'get' a few nationalities). On the up side, while not the preferable way to learn about things is always the hardest way, it does set you up for many aspects of 'life at sea'.

      On the flip side I am now an officer and although I have only had a few crossings with cadets I've been much more aware of that side of things and checking that actually things are genuinely okay (and not just putting a front for a good report or to keep the chief/ Captain happy) and they're not struggling too much (particularly being the lone UK cadet on most vessels). Happy to report that most were having positive experiences, but there was a younger cadet who'd had a bit of a time of it, luckily we were a good ship for him and I think having someone else from the UK in a slightly more senior role helped, a little bit of sympathy and a bit of tough love.

      Maybe I'm wrong but sometimes being female means people are more likely to come to you about things or talk to you about things they might not tell the other officers or crew for whatever reason but just want to bend your ear for five minutes. I seem to get this a lot but I kinda hope that in other all male environments they have someone else to talk to. I always have time for someone who genuinely needs a bit of sympathy.

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      • #4
        Never heard from them unless I emailed them first, although they were usually pretty quick to reply. We also had to send them a report every month to tell them what we had been up to and tasks we had signed off etc. If there was any issues raised in the report then they would contact us as well but usually everything was fine.

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        • #5
          I went back in phase 5 to have my training officer try to tear me a new one because I had sat from April to September of a sea phase before I got sent to sea and because of this I didn't have enough sea time and why didn't I think it was reasonable to ask after a while. I had to point out that I had been on a ship for 4 months during that time.

          So no didn't really get in touch much, obviously didn't know where I was in the world and more worryingly if it had actually been true they would have managed me into a position that I wouldn't have had enough sea time for the orals rather than being aware of what cadets need.

          and then there was the fun of the job offer.......

          So no I wouldn't worry if they aren't hearing from the company however as has been said if there is a problem then they will normally be reasonably open and try to help but it will be up to the cadet to get in touch and be careful if not going to the ships staff first
          you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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          • #6
            Didn't get in touch at all but if I had a problem or a question I got a response straight away, prefer it that way, also got one visit from them at college and at sea which was very good!

            Main thing to remember is don't ask don't get, they most likely won't know unless you tell them.

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            • #7
              You need to keep in mind the "chain of command" and when on a vessel the Mate or 2/E is your line manager. It's an unwritten (maybe it is written, chiefy will know) that cadets shouldn't message the office unless its greivance etc. If I wanted to email the company i'd draft it and pass it to the captain who would send it from the ships account. I would usually e-mail from my personal account if it was concerning my next vessel, but that was it.

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              • #8
                Thanks for your replies. This company does reply to emails but i just thought a general 'how are you doing' would be kind of nice, just to let you know they haven't forgotton about you!

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                • #9
                  I don't really know of many companies that email every employee/cadet asking how they are.. Especially those big companies like Shell and BP. Aye, they have bigger things to worry about than whether someone is suffering severe bloating and gas from the curries being served onboard or the sleep deprivation from the noise of the seaman and his wife in the cabin next door every night.

                  Understandably the majority of companies will take initiative if there is a problem, but they will wait to hear from you and if they don't they will expect everything to be going smoothly. I know some people during their cadetship who were with some smaller companies- they actually were more helpful than larger organizations and did occasionally send a gift or a phone call every now and again to make sure things were OK.

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                  • #10
                    I hardly seen my training officer at college never mind heard from them at sea! Most companies you will only hear from when you have messed something up.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jacloc View Post
                      Thanks for your replies. This company does reply to emails but i just thought a general 'how are you doing' would be kind of nice, just to let you know they haven't forgotton about you!
                      If it was being done by email, it would be simple enough, but for a phone call it's not practical. Think about it, Maersk take on what? 30 People per year. At any one point in time they will have 90 cadets without 30-60 being at sea at any one point in time. Trying to call 60 people by sat phone would be difficult as you'd have to arrange a time for the phone call whilst taking into account watch patterns, timezones, etc and not to mention it would prohibitively expensive and would tie up one person for quite a while. With the likes of Clyde Marine and SSTG that number is much higher and would be even less practical.

                      Simple enough to put the cadet on the ship, and let them ring you if there are any issues on board...
                      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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                      • #12
                        Maersk take on about 70 a year irrelivent to the convo but meh

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                        • #13
                          Plus it's the same people who deal with applications, so depending on company that could be 100's more phone calls/emails to send

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Martyboy View Post
                            Maersk take on about 70 a year irrelivent to the convo but meh
                            Thank you...
                            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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                            • #15
                              Only been in college for a few months and not gotten an email or anything like that which is understandable. For the amount of Cadets in the system with my sponsor it would be very impractical to keep up to date with everyone.

                              However any emails I have sent have gotten a prompt reply which I appreciate!

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