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  • Dealing with an angry chief mate

    Ok, so I am on the fillipino chief mates watch and last week the ships clock retarded one hour in increments in the evening. Asking an AB what time to go to the morning watch I got told to 'wait for a wake up call', I am pretty sure this call never came and that I didn't sleep through it. However, I got a call later which I assumed was my wake up call and I got up and ready, 5 minutes later the lookout knocks on my door and says I'm late (to which I probably looked bemused). So I proceeded to go to the bridge.

    With me changing duty that week and it being the first time I had been on duty when the clocks retarded and not, in my view, getting a wake up call I thought the chief mate would understand. However, he went on a shouting session at me accusing me of having 'a bad attitude', asking me 'did I think this was a holiday?' and saying he was going to wake the captain etc. When a ship then appeared on the radar he was stood infront of far into the distance, eventually appearing on the horizon he berated me for not spotting it before him (I was stood forward of the radar acting as a lookout) and told me to go down back to my cabin. I cannot say how angry I was at this treatment and I had to hold my tongue tightly. I understand we are cadets and are often viewed of as the lowest rank on the ship but is this treatment fair? What would you do in this situation? I'm still annoyed about it this week.

  • #2
    My advice; take it on the chin - in this industry you will get lots of bad "remarks" directed at you - if you take them all personally then you won't survive.

    Most "shoutings / comments" aren't intended to be malicious - its purely the way certain cultures express being annoyed - you should see Italians it's hilarious when they're annoyed.

    Learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them.

    Besides... you should have encouraged him to call the captain... I'm sure the captain would appreciate being woken up for this :-)
    Last edited by alistairuk; 5 April 2012, 05:03 PM.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #3
      Its probably just down to a combination of the second mate forgetting to call you, and the chief having a bad day/being in a bad mood (remember most people aren't exactly cheery at 4am) and taking it out on the cadet. Its not exactly fair but I wouldn't take it personally, if it carries on consider talking to the captain about it.

      One thing its worth bearing in mind is that some officers of certain nationalities have a sort of jealousy/fear of British cadets and therefore treat them harsher than they should.

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      • #4
        It's also a good idea to have an alarm clock that reliably wakes you; the wake-up call is nice but you can't rely on it.
        '... 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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        • #5
          Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
          Its probably just down to a combination of the second mate forgetting to call you, and the chief having a bad day/being in a bad mood (remember most people aren't exactly cheery at 4am) and taking it out on the cadet. Its not exactly fair but I wouldn't take it personally, if it carries on consider talking to the captain about it.

          One thing its worth bearing in mind is that some officers of certain nationalities have a sort of jealousy/fear of British cadets and therefore treat them harsher than they should.
          what's the reason behind their fear of British cadets?

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          • #6
            You will get more respect by taking it on the chin as alistairuk said. I had many a battle with one of my Chief Mates, but eventually I learned that it wasn't doing anything good, so I just kept quiet and agreed with whatever he was shouting about. Eventually it got to the stage where we got on well, and he gave me excellent monthly reviews, and spent the last 2 months of my contract on board teaching me loads of stuff, taking me in and out all the tanks, letting me take control of ballasting, and all other little jobs. Just one of those things. Grin and bear it, as they say.
            Linkedin

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
              what's the reason behind their fear of British cadets?
              They think the training they had to go through, is harder than what you are doing, so they want to make it harder for you. They also tend to think that british tickets are worth more and therefore you will get paid more and will be prefered by shipping companies and will steal their jobs.

              Obviously this attitude is wrong and pretty rare but there are guys out there like it. I only understood it when a chief engineer took me to one side to explain why the captain was giving me such a hard time and not to take it personally.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                They think the training they had to go through, is harder than what you are doing, so they want to make it harder for you. They also tend to think that british tickets are worth more and therefore you will get paid more and will be prefered by shipping companies and will steal their jobs.
                ? Logic failure.
                '... 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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by penfold View Post
                  ? Logic failure.
                  Not really. Some do truly believe that...
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by penfold View Post
                    ? Logic failure.

                    It's completely illogical, but there are people who genuinely believe it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                      It's completely illogical, but there are people who genuinely believe it.
                      To be honest, I'd be very happy on some of the wages we pay our officers...
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                        To be honest, I'd be very happy on some of the wages we pay our officers...
                        Tempted to give up piloting the desk and run away to sea(again) GM?
                        '... 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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Exactly the same thing happened to me when I was a cadet (honestly I could have written that post myself) but the chief mate in question is now one of my best mates! I know it's hard when you come up against 'difficult people' I've had to be a pain the arse chief mate myself now and again but in most cases it's not personal... Its just work! On ships I find that because there is no going home in the evening you get to see the whole spectrum of people's emotions and as a cadet you are sometimes vulnerable to the more irrational outbursts.
                          Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by penfold View Post
                            Tempted to give up piloting the desk and run away to sea(again) GM?
                            Nah, quite happy where am I....
                            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.

                            Comment

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