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Feel like I'm not a good fit with company.. stick it out or find something else?

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  • Feel like I'm not a good fit with company.. stick it out or find something else?

    Hi all

    just doing my first trip qualified and while the other 2nd mate, chief mate and ABs are amazing and helping me out since I'm new and inexperienced, the captain is a different story.

    He's got a very short temper, feels like he belittles me a lot of the time and since the deck team runs a very slick operation (except for myself who asks for help or asks to repeat an instruction because its a new thing) he gets impatient fast.

    The other day he screamed at the top of his lungs I'm a 'f.ucking moron' and accused me of buying my ticket over a ship handling mistake, and another time I called him to the bridge for help because there were a lot of sailing vessels and fishing vessels about while entering a narrow channel. First time calling him when in doubt.

    He seemed pissed off and hostile when he came up.. yeah thanks, going to feel so reassured calling him next time.

    Add to that, he talks fast and quietly, others understand him ok so it might be a me problem there. But I also struggle a little on the vhf radios sometimes because the mooring deck aft is LOUD being above the main engine space and there's ton of metal between there and the bridge and yeah there's been quite a few "sorry, can you repeat your last please" from me. He's accused me of having hearing problems and it's questioning my sanity a bit, I've booked a hearing test back home because now I'm worried my hearing is going.

    Is this fairly normal for the first trip after qualifying to be a bit nightmarish/stressful or what? I really am not getting on with this captain which is a shame because the rest of the crew is alright and the pay is decent. Im concerned about getting a bad appraisal from him and subsequently my contract getting cut short. At least I'd have a stamp in the book. Is it worth putting in a complaint? I've noticed he's very matey with the DPA

  • #2
    Sounds like you've got an arsehole of a captain. Can I ask what ship type or company it is and whether it's based on UK?


    • #3
      Originally posted by shackleguy View Post
      Sounds like you've got an arsehole of a captain. Can I ask what ship type or company it is and whether it's based on UK?
      I'll pm you


      • #4
        Perfectly normal.
        Yes, it is sad, feels horrible, such people make you have a tonne of self doubt, but I would guess that about 40% of the Masters are like your chump.
        Whether you end up with one is pure luck.

        I too have had the 'good fortune' of sailing with superiors (CO, Captain and 2O) like the above as a cadet, third mate, second mate, and chief mate!
        Normally, every 4th Master of mine was like this.
        After some time, I realised that it was they who had the problem - not me.

        I think your case is pretty similar - it is he who has the problem, not you.
        Just tolerate him. Listen from one ear and remove from the other. You will learn with time - give yourself the time.

        And yes - do keep telling him, in a calm polite voice, to NOT shout at you / call you a whatever moron (verbal abuse is a serious matter and you can make an official complaint on this - he wont have a place to hide his face then, as companies today have to protect you if you make a written complaint).
        Give him 2 chances, then decide if you want to make a written complaint to the DPA or whether you want to just slug it out.

        In my case, I finally could not take it any more (as a 2O) and told the Master not to use such language with me. Surprise surprise - he was taken back, and I found a clear improvement in his demeanor towards me.It certainly allowed me to feel better and more empowered.


        • #5
          PS - Dont let it get to you.As Forrest Gump said ... life is like a box of chocolates. (to which I add... Some are tasty, some are rotten!)
          All the best.


          • #6
            I too had the misfortune of sailing with someone like this. I attributed to his management dysfunction down to him having a deep seated inferiority complex due to being very short. He wore those high heel height boosting shoes and sunglasses on the inside. I would keep a timely written record of his outbursts and talk to your union about it. Let them process the grievance with the company. If its a company that defends the master's behaviour then it isn't one you would want to continue sailing with. Im not hard to find on social media, please feel free to contact me privately if you wish.

            There's a short trip coming up soon , english channel cargo work that needs filling


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