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Character Building, not bullying ! MAN UP

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  • #16
    Interesting debate, I suppose the question is what is too much?

    As a cadet, you should expect to do your fair share of painting/mopping/chipping and all the other horrible jobs that have to be done, that comes from being at the bottom of the rung. However, at the same time this should not detract from the time you need to complete your task book, which really should be the number 1 priority. On the two ships I served on I generally found that if I heard a job was about to be done that I needed to do, then I simply said to the first engineer: Excuse me First, but that job is one of the ones I need to complete, can I please help soandso do it?

    I found that if you showed willing and did the **** jobs without complaining, then the guys would likewise help you out. Of course you will get the ****** out there who will try and dump everything on you, but I suspect most of the rest of the time the language barrier is the real issue. We cannot understand what they are doing, as they are often speaking their own language, and hence a lot of cadets stand back and just watch without trying to help, and never get involved. What the guys see is a constant stream of UK cadets passing through who do nothing but stand and watch, so they expect it.
    I found being a bit more pro-active made a big difference, I watched a job a couple of times, and worked out what was being done where. After the job was done (NOT during the job, that will piss em off!!), ask the guys why things were done x way etc etc. Then, come the next time I would simply ensure I was in the right place at the right time, and start getting stuck in. Ok, you'll mess up a few times no doubt, and possibly be shouted, simply say sorry, and then catch one of the guys afterwards and ask what you did wrong, and maybe could they show you how to do it right.

    The crew will then start to help you out, but you need to make the first move. At the end of the day, they are there to do their job, teaching you is extra work for them. Once they realise you are helping, and friendly, and not causing problems and being a liability they will trust you to do bigger jobs. It is a ladder, you have to work your way up it.

    At the end of the day, like everything else you will have to work for what you want, no-one is going to give it to you on a plate.

    As has been said, you should never be asked to do anything dangerous, and you can refuse if need be. But don't put people's back up if you can help it, try and be diplomatic (particularly as a cadet!). If you are asked to go in a tank without the correct checks etc done, say! "Bosun, I don't think that is safe?" with a worried look on your face, and then a comment about bad gas etc, possibly a suggestion about testing will go a long way to trying to solve the issue, running to the chief and complaining straight away will piss em off!! Conversely, expect the occasional 'test'! I was asked to check a valve in the ER once, and it was a couple of metres above the deck, reasonably easy to get to. Technically a working aloft permit job, but it took me less than a minute to climb up, check and come back down, in flat seas with little risk. Had I started on being safe etc, I would probably have put the guys backs up, and I am also a rock climber anyway, so to me the risks were completely minimal. Doing so gained me respect from the 1st and 2nd, which helped. Use your head, in rough seas I would have at least grabbed a harness, but it is your own judgement that counts!

    The not questioning your superiors bit, depends on the scenario. It is not the forces, the days of knuckling your forehead and saying aye aye sir are past. Most of the time they are right, but you also get the idiots. Same as everywhere else, you have to live with em. If you suspect an order from an officer, and the guy seems to be a prat, try checking with one of the other officers, as chances are they are aware of the guy, and may tell you an alternative way to do the job etc, and keep it quiet. Makes for an easier life.

    I had a wonderful situation on my first trip where the Electrician decided to reprimand me for being in the galley at lunchtime (I was talking to the messman). Now this leccy was renowned for being a right stickler for the rule book, and he gave me chapter and verse on why I should not be in the galley for safety reasons. All this time the Captain/CE/CO and couple of other deck officers were sat in the dining room listening to every word. I simply waited for him to finish, then quietly pointed out to him that before becoming a cadet I been a hotel manager, and had also worked as a chef, Kitchen Porter and Waiter for several years, in professional kitchens. Oh, and out of interest, what qualifications did he have for being in a kitchen? Cue some stiffled splutters from the dining room, a hmmpf from the leccy, and then when I walked back through the dining room a quick grin and wink from the captain! Simply, time and a place for everything.

    Ohh, and as an aside, oddly enough I only once ever did chipping, and that only because just before I left the last ship as a cadet I went and asked the bosun to show me! I kinda figured I couldn't call myself a cadet if I hadn't wielded a chipper in anger

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    • #17
      Originally posted by thebrookster View Post

      Ohh, and as an aside, oddly enough I only once ever did chipping, and that only because just before I left the last ship as a cadet I went and asked the bosun to show me! I kinda figured I couldn't call myself a cadet if I hadn't wielded a chipper in anger
      hould have been a deckie.

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      • #18
        In all the threads of this type that pop up its generally pointed out that you do the jobs that you may not have pictured
        1. as you need a decent understanding of all aspects of your future jobs,
        2. by getting the crappy jobs done quicker you are then able to slow down the jobs that are related to the TRB etc

        But as for doing every job that the crew ask you to without question, you might get lucky and have very upstanding crew but the chance is you will get someone who decides to simply abuse your good will to skive off, which isnt the same as helping them get a job done.

        In the last year there has been an engine cadet seriously injured and a deck cadet killed, so people evidently are following instructions without thinking or wishing to raise questions
        you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ETwhat? View Post
          In the last year there has been an engine cadet seriously injured and a deck cadet killed, so people evidently are following instructions without thinking or wishing to raise questions
          I would tread carefully there, unless you know for a fact that these incidents occurred through someone following instructions then you could be blaming someone for something that they had no part in.
          Go out, do stuff

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Lewis View Post
            hould have been a deckie.
            Quite right, I SHOULD have been deckie, but Clyde Marine kinda got things confused between the application and the interview stage, so I ended up an engineer instead (no skin of my nose, I was going to be a physicist, and have a keen love of mechanics and classic cars, so it all ties in).

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            • #21
              got this advice from my grandad years ago
              "the best way to get a better job is to do the **** job well. "

              ps brookster what sort of reaction did you get from the bosun when you volunteered to do some chipping?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                I would tread carefully there, unless you know for a fact that these incidents occurred through someone following instructions then you could be blaming someone for something that they had no part in.

                Knowing the two incidents, it wasnt a task that a cadet would have decided to go and do off their own back, therefore someone must have asked them to help out, and in that the responsible officer is responsible for making sure that all know what is needing done and how to do it safely, most likely the problem came from the officer assuming that the cadet would know how to do it safely / work within their own limits and the cadet not wanting to be shown up by needing more instruction, or leaving some part undone.

                Yes theres obviously cases where a cadet can cause problems becasue they made a bad decision like they wouldnt wear PPE, although thats still a failing of a 'safety culture'
                you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lewis View Post
                  ps brookster what sort of reaction did you get from the bosun when you volunteered to do some chipping?
                  Quite a bit of amusement actually, I wandered up to him and said I had a problem, that I couldn't be a cadet until I had done this job, because everyone knows cadets have to do chipping and painting. He was initially amazed I had never done chipping, then promptly recruited me into his chipping team for the morning with him and the AB. Was a good laugh actually, they were a good set of guys at that time.

                  The best bit was the slightly stunned look on the C/E face when he heard about it, he looked at me and said: "You wanted to go chipping?"

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    You have to take into consideration that everyone has a 'rubbish' job to do. Chiefs/Seconds/Thirds/Cadets...

                    On the chemical tanker I had for my last trip the chief was cleaning in spaces under the bottom plates for a SIRE inspection, I had been cleaning in the purifier room...
                    I had been asked however by the former chief engineer to go and paint in the bow thruster space, which had no fan at the time and no portable fan available for ventilation, i politely refused.

                    It's a job, you're a trainee not a slave but it's also important to remember you are part of a TEAM
                    Engine Cadet | Phase 5 @ Warsash Maritime Academy

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by thebrookster View Post
                      Quite a bit of amusement actually, I wandered up to him and said I had a problem, that I couldn't be a cadet until I had done this job, because everyone knows cadets have to do chipping and painting. He was initially amazed I had never done chipping, then promptly recruited me into his chipping team for the morning with him and the AB. Was a good laugh actually, they were a good set of guys at that time.

                      The best bit was the slightly stunned look on the C/E face when he heard about it, he looked at me and said: "You wanted to go chipping?"
                      I think you'll find chipping and painting can be quite fun for a morning or maybe even a few days, give it a couple of months and you'll hate it, same applies for gangway watch.

                      As for this thread in general in some companies the safety standards are pretty slack and you have to be prepared to point out when something is dangerous and if no one is prepared to make the job safe just not get involved. As for doing things which are illegal I think you have to think about which law it is and what your being asked to do. Anything polloution related its simple just stick to the law and do not involve yourself in anything illegal, but sometimes especially for deckies its with things like safety equipment, col regs, and navigation you will sometimes have to go along with things knowing that they may be illegal or not best practice, and just think of it as learning how to do things by learning how not to do them, and do them properly once you are qualified.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                        for deckies its with things like safety equipment, col regs, and navigation you will sometimes have to go along with things knowing that they may be illegal or not best practice, and just think of it as learning how to do things by learning how not to do them, and do them properly once you are qualified.
                        When it comes to Colregs, it's worth pointing out that if everyone followed the rules to the letter and didn't bend/break them there wouldn't be any collisions.

                        There has never been a collision case at sea where one party is entirely to blame and the other is blameless. At least one rule has been broken just by having a collision.

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

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Randomist View Post
                          When it comes to Colregs, it's worth pointing out that if everyone followed the rules to the letter and didn't bend/break them there wouldn't be any collisions.

                          There has never been a collision case at sea where one party is entirely to blame and the other is blameless. At least one rule has been broken just by having a collision.
                          Yeah but at the end of the day if the OOW is being an idiot and breaking the colregs it generally pisses me off but as a cadet pointing this out to him won't really do you any favours.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                            Yeah but at the end of the day if the OOW is being an idiot and breaking the colregs it generally pisses me off but as a cadet pointing this out to him won't really do you any favours.
                            Well exactly. Besides nothing can be gained as a cadet by pointing this out to the OOW. Ultimately if he chooses to bend or break the rules and has an accident you're not held responsible for anything.

                            As you say, you should use it as an example of how not to conduct yourself when you're qualified

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

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