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Undercurrent Tensions

Blog 8




A company rung me up for a two and a half week contract, Yeah this will be sweet, easy I thought. Not even, this has been the most stressful, demanding and challenging time on a boat ever…

I had never worked with this skipper before, he was the most condescending person I have ever worked with in my life, he felt it was necessary to take the micky out of myself and women in general every morning at our pre start meetings. I wasn’t really concerned until the rest of the crew started picking up on it and pointing out that the skipper doesn’t call me by my christian name, that he seems to have a list of womens names he calls me by.

All the elements on the stovetop have been blowing out blue sparks, It’s damn stressful to get a decent variety of meals on the table without a stove top. I’ve had to start cooking some dishes at 1pm for the dinner service at 5pm so that we’ll have enough time and space in the oven.   I stayed in the galley and away from the crew. My stress was building….

I had made a list of safety concerns in the galley that wouldn’t pass an audit, such as a fryer position and location (so dodgy). Fire equipment needed sorting, two elements on the stove kept sparking out. I’d call the electrician and he’d fix it for a day, for it to blow blue sparks the next day. I discussed this at our morning pre-start and to suggest a plan moving forward, it was decided to decommission the stove top. Inside myself I was so tense and trying to keep this frustration in.

Also impacting on me was Mr. XN, he was being a loud aggressive smart ass, aiming comments at myself and going on and on. I felt my energy being insidiously attacked, trying to grind me down, to break me, to be smaller…

There’s such a massive undercurrent of tension on the boat. Jobs that have been requested to do in the mess and galley that aren’t classed as important by the chief mate get bumped down the list.

Chief mate is passive aggressive so no matter what was said he would talk over and twist the point. He would pluck out words in our discussion and manipulate them. He wasn’t interested in listening or finding solutions. His whole body would shake like a leaf. He would talk over crew members who were trying to explain the situation. Too many big egos all fighting to be heard and seen. It’s only going to be a matter of time, you could just feel the tension and nasty stuff coming out of people…

There was a massive division between engineers and crew, It didn’t help that the skipper never spent any time with crew to get to know us or have a laugh.

I can not  believe how tight and stressed I am.  I stayed in the galley and away from the crew. I was at boiling point, fucken over it. Mr XN was being so aggressive and arrogant again. Some of the other crew laughed and went along with it. I was breathing deep and  trying my hardest not to buy into the energy….

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