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Polite way to say you’re overloaded with work

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  • MJJ
    started a topic Polite way to say you’re overloaded with work

    Polite way to say you’re overloaded with work

    I think we’re in the industry now where navigation has become a side duty and paperwork, inventories and mundane tasks have become the norm. How do you approach someone senior and explain to them that you’re currently overloaded with work and by carrying out that job you’d be in breach of your work rest hours. (without sounding like you’re complaining)

  • Hopper
    replied
    Originally posted by MJJ View Post
    I think we’re in the industry now where navigation has become a side duty and paperwork, inventories and mundane tasks have become the norm. How do you approach someone senior and explain to them that you’re currently overloaded with work and by carrying out that job you’d be in breach of your work rest hours. (without sounding like you’re complaining)
    I always found it best to draft in more help, I usually call in Tony to assist me, usually I leave him to do the chart corrections or polish the brass, but sometimes Tony gets to sit in the chair! the thing is Tony does not have a CoC as the Oral examiner could not see Tony either!
    If the crew are unable to see Tony then its very important that you keep chatting with him so he does not feel left out of things.
    Tony loves to doodle in the logbook! and cover random bridge items in tinfoil.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    If you're experiencing it then you can be sure others are too so take the bull by the horns and voice your concern.

    As for "...paperwork, inventories and mundane tasks..." I recommend not thinking of it in this manner as soon as possible. Your company almost certainly isn't frivolously demanding you carry out tasks. They will have identified a risk and put something in place to mitigate that risk. You, an officer and member of management, are deemed competent to complete the tasks and sufficiently responsible to complete the necessary records associated with that risk. Completing the tasks keeps people safe (No matter how mundane you think it is). Completing the paperwork covers your backside so when it goes wrong your company can't slope their shoulders and let you take the heat. That doesn't mean the company has come up with an efficient or effective way of doing it though.

    Bearing this in mind can make your life easier when approaching your superiors (whether that be the chief, master, DPA or company senior leaders) because if you can make suggestions and or recommendations for making the job easier, faster or making more effective use of assets (Yes, you and the crew are assets) then you appear proactive, professional and not just "sounding like you're complaining". If you have others at your rank then presenting a united front with them may help. Not in simply demanding changes which reduce your workload but evidencing the problem is not unique to you and ensuring division of labour is even and achievable in conversation with those others which will be taking things on and who may themselves have responsibilities you aren't aware of.

    These problems should almost always be resolvable but if you don't say anything then who will ever know there's a problem to be solved. Be professional. Always remember the regulations are there to protect you, your colleagues and the company and, in the end, if the ships officers can't come up with a means of satisfying all the requirements of the company with the resources available and within regulated limits then they've a problem and you have done everything which can be expected of you.

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  • agibbs98
    replied
    Just explain that you feel like you’ve been given too many tasks to complete in a short time frame and some need to be reassigned to others, expected timeframes extended or you need assistance. No senior officer can reasonably react negatively to another adult saying they feel overloaded whether it be a personal opinion. If you are working an amount of hours exceeding the normal allowance, or aren’t getting breaks long enough in one block then you definitely need to talk ASAP as you’ll soon become a risk on the bridge through fatigue; they have no leg to stand on.

    If you’re in a position where you physically feel unable to talk about these feelings through lack of approachable management, poor recognition of seafarers welfare etc then this could be a good one for your DPA.

    Leave a comment:

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