Apparently I'm "The Guy" and my complaint with Chouest's practices involve things like driving to the airport in late June, getting ran over by a semi, missing a full 4 week hitch. Jumping through their process of getting a return to work, my doctor cleared me in 10 days, but it took another couple weeks for FMS (Choust's medical facility) to clear me. In doing so, I didn't qualify for short or long term disability....which is no big significance. The dirty habits I'm referring to, is after the fact, I couldn't get a return phone call or email from the coordinator or his assistant, so not knowing if I still had a job or not. Waited to late August and took another job back in the Northeast, only to find out that Chouest had canceled my medical insurance in MAY (my accident on my way to fly to Brazil was in late June and I continued to pay insurance premiums). I'm not the only employee that got the runaround by Chouest. There's some major illegal furloughs taking place, and they don't have the decency to give a straight answer.Stealing the 401k match was another dirty tactic, the employees contributed with the expectation of that match.
As far as not being able to do the job...well I've excelled everywhere I've ever went and I'll put my record against anyone. I took the offer that Chouest gave me and made the jump to OSV's....holding up my end of the deal. Chouest on the other hand, their now reputation speaks for itself! The irony to it all, after almost 3 months of sitting around not knowing if I had a job, they had the audacity to call me back in September saying they needed me in a hurry in the Gulf because someone got hurt.
Everything wasn't bad at Chouest, I walked away with diesel electric experience, worked foreign, took some free classes, two more big license upgrades, and a decent savings. Their practices during this downturn though, well they just showed who they really are! Previous, there wasn't a more staunch supporter of the orange fleet....I'm eating humble pie on that one!
And yes I'm back in the Northeast with a pretty easy retirement gig. I happened to land on my feet decently, and hope that all my friends who faced the same downturn struggles do to! When I hear jealous and miserable morons complain about guys coming back, driving down wages, or making their comments about how the companies won't hire the guys back....obviously I'm going to call BS on that, because they are false statements. You should worry more about Vane and Kirby driving your wages down over a few "mudboat" engineers coming back. Haven't seen the first gripe about some of the former Kirby boats that were union jobs, sporting the Vane colors in NY Harbor.