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  • Finding it hard to bite my tongue

    I've been on this ship for about a month, and while the older officers are really great, including the Captain, C/O and 2nd officers over 30... The younger officers (aged 23-25) seem to be reveling in the power of being able to withold information (that should be on the ship's plans but isn't) and whenever I ask a question I get a smug "Well, you should know that" as a reply, even when they have watched me searching for said information for the last two hours. I'm an older cadet, so while I try not to let it show, I have a problem with being treated like the 16 yr old idiots they were when they were at the stage I am now. Anyone else finding the same thing?

    Also, when I watch them do drills and ops, I'm cringing at how unsafe it is (even if they have a PTW, they don't seem to follow it) but if I write a report that says they are less than perfect I get shot down, looks like I'm not going to have many reports signed off by the end of this trip!

  • #2
    Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

    Not been to sea yet so feel free to discount anything I say - but have you to spoken to the C/O? Or the Captain? If they don't work I'd go to the company - you may be a cadet but you deserve as much respect as a person as everyone else and you also have the common sense to see when things aren't safe!
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    • #3
      Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

      I had the same situation on my ship, try making your report as though the vessel did actually follow safety protocols, then try get it signed off, chances are less than slim the MCA will question the captain on your report, if not that option then tell the captain / C.O / C.E
      Life at sea is a life for me

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      • #4
        Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

        I am no expert but want speaking up cause you more trouble. You don't want to make enemies or get a reputation for being a "trouble maker". After all your going to be stuck with these people for a few months.

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        • #5
          Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

          Get the Captain, C/O or 2nd to do the sign-offs; don't kick off as that never wins friends, just explain what you need and what the problem is. If you don't get any joy, contact your training officer at your training company and tell them about it. If that doesn't get you anywhere, ask to be moved to another ship; you're on the ship to complete the portfolio, if you can't do that it's a waste of everybody's time.

          Oh, and if you think you've been asked to do something dangerous, refuse and explain why; we don't get paid enough to do dangerous things after qualifying, let alone beforehand. That said, do try and differentiate between something dangerous and something you are scared to do.
          '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
          just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
          down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
          new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

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          • #6
            Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

            1. Reports - write them as if it is being done properly
            2. Are they asking you to do something that is unsafe? If so then refuse and speak to the chief mate or captain about it.

            Not to sound condescending but what are they doing that's unsafe? Are they not following normal procedures? Have you tried asking them why they are doing something that way? Do the senior officers know how things are being done? If not perhaps a quick "sir, I was just wondering why we do xxxx in this way" towards the captain or chief mate.

            [ Post made via Mobile Device ]
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            • #7
              Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

              It may be hard at times to hear officers say the whole 'well you should know that' stuff. I thought a lot of officers i sailed with as cadet were like that and it was unfair when infact it made me remember whatever i was learning a hell of a lot better than if they'd told me. I never realised until i got off these ships that they were actually helping me by not giving up answers straightaway.
              It probably doesnt help that your an older cadet but just because these guys started straight out of school doesn't mean you are any better than they were at the same stage. They've probably gone through exactly the same. Thats probably the way they were taught.
              About not following the procedures, well, not really any excuse for that. All i'm saying is because they're doing something thats not right and then they shout you down for replicating it in a reports not really a bad thing. It's actually teaching you because the one thing that doesn't fly in the orals is saying something like 'well thats how it was done on that ship'.

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              • #8
                Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                CD- It doesn't quite work like that, we're cadets, and 99% of officers had exactly the same treatment when they were cadets, it's an attitude that is perpetuated by each genaration because that's how it was in the old days and each generation seems to feel it necessary to pass on the next cos they had to put up with it. Personally I think it would benefit the MN to pull itself out of the 1940's and learn to treat people with respect, but that's just me... and before anyone else says it, respect is earned. However, as far as I'm concerned, it's also a two way street.

                Lewis and Brimbo - Yeah, I made the mistake of sticking my head up above the wall once (in a fire drill debrief I asked why they hadn't used a waterwall. Got put in my place by the C/O... not going there again!!)

                Penfold and Alistair- I shall simply gloss over certain aspects... like filling in a PTW for going aloft, the first box of which states all crew on deck wearing hard hats... none of them were. And this was with the captain, C/O, OOW and Bosun all there... I was told (by the 3/0) "It's not a check list of what's been done, it's a check list of what will happen, just tick the boxes" No hard hat ever appeared, neither did a few other things either.

                Beer-eng - I ain't never going to say "well that's how it was done on ship.." don't you worry! I'm not asking for answers on a plate either, but after several hours pouring over fire plans and being 100% sure that the info I'm after is NOT on them, (when it should be). I felt it wasn't unreasonable to ask my DSTO what the answer was... I'm not psycic at the end of the day, unfortunately!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                  Originally posted by Gnasher
                  ... and before anyone else says it, respect is earned.

                  Nonsense. You should respect everyone until they give you a reason not to.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                    If I was in your position I'd bite my tounge, bide my time and work hard. If I was still getting stick, then I'd just shrug it off as their problem, not mines.

                    Sorry but at the moment your bottom of the pile, and some will take advantage of that.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                      Can you name and shame? If not the company (for your own anonymity/protection) then at least the sector? What nationality are the officers/crew?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                        If your doing the HND course, then do your best to finish all of your reports, if it does become a big thorn in your side you can always get your training officer to sign them off, as it's been said. Don't do unsafe work without PTW's or soemthing of the sort, (e.g working a height, enclosed spaces, chemicals) you are there to complete your portfolio, if your not doing this then theres no point of you being on the vessel! if you get in trouble for speaking up or asking questions and it gets to become a problem, contact your training officer and DEMAND to be removed at the next port.
                        Life at sea is a life for me

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                        • #13
                          Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                          Remember the cadetship is not the job, it is a means to an end. The end being you have your certificate. It seems like a long way away but it will come faster than you think.

                          If you are having real problems, socially, professionally, personally then there are the correct channels to take it through onboard the ship. Failing that it is up to the ship to inform the company. It is a very bad idea to go straight to the company about things. Sometimes it may be bad enough for you to contact the company but it should be a real problem with no help onboard. It's rare things get that bad.

                          If you are having real difficulties do not hesitate to contact me or any other of the moderators who have been to sea, if you want to ask any questions privately.


                          Originally posted by Steve
                          Can you name and shame? If not the company (for your own anonymity/protection) then at least the sector? What nationality are the officers/crew?
                          We are not in the habbit of naming and shaming on this site I'm afraid. Exact identies of individuals can be discussed privately

                          To boldly go.....
                          Forum Administrator
                          OfficerCadet.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                            Originally posted by Randomist
                            We are not in the habit of naming and shaming on this site I'm afraid. Exact identies of individuals can be discussed privately
                            I thought my question was clearly directed at the company or at least sector involved.

                            If it's a big company with 100 ships, he can safely say which it is without compromising his own identity. If it's one with 5 ships, not so much. Key questions: industry sector and nationalities.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Finding it hard to bite my tongue

                              Work hard, look up what answers you can and then go back and tell them you figured it out. But most of all don't let is discourage you.

                              But as said above, refuse to do anything which is unsafe to yours.
                              Do not let them compromise others safety, especailly passengers and contractors.
                              I can not stress the importance of reporting anything that is compromising the ship as a whole though, the last thing you want is to sink.

                              As a Cadet I realise you can't go arguing, in fact thats the worst idea, bite your tongue yes, but then talk to the C/O (Not Captian unless is gets bad/ignored or you have a incompertant C/O) as he is in charge of the Deck Officers, and if its a problem with an Engineer Officer go to the 2/E or C/E depending on how big the department is. And report it officially that way, they have to take note of official complaints.

                              If its a general problem with the working environment not being safe, why not write a anonymous letter to either Nautilus or CHIRP or if you want to make it ship specific do it to your DPA (Designated person ashore) first.

                              If the Captian and C/E both ignore you, go to your DPA. Doesn't matter which department you are, if the Captian ignores you and your a Deck Officer, it is okay to go see the C/E, they only pretend to be scary.

                              If you feel it is bullying Tell Somone! And if they ignore you, Telll Somone Else! Do not bottle it up, it can be a lonely place the ocean, and the last thing any of us want is for a young cadet to do something silly, when they can easily get sent home if they really can't stand it anymore and decide its the wrong place for them.
                              ....

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