About Controlling Communications and Information aboard ship

Off the top of my head some key points about comms are the characteristics of a message, how urgent and/or important. What format the message is in and how it can easily it can be stored and retrieved.

An important point is which party controls the characteristics of a message.

Most entities control how the general public communicates with it. For example ordering something on-line requires entering information into a form, often with pull-down menus etc. The party with more power controls how communication happens.

This is why, for example if I walk into the galley for lunch and the cook tells me he wants to change his payroll info I don’t accept the message. This is important but not urgent message and the info needs to be stored somehow. That’s why I tell him to email me the details.

I control the method, no requirement on my part to store the information, the information is in digital format, can just be cut and paste, no typos or misread hand written note. I can act on the info on my own schedule, not the crews.


Sometimes I see communication issues when I get a request or asked questions to try and place the next action on me. A legit question is one thing, but many times it is used to move a task to me when it has been defined as their responsibility. I try to reiterate that the ownership of this task or action has been delegated to the person I want responsible for it. This also helps to avoid micromanagement. Of course, as you mentioned, when onboard the urgency and importance certainly must be factored in.

In regards to where you mention intentionally choosing the path and type of communication, the benefit is to the crew because important items are much less likely to fall through the cracks.

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This is a good point, I’ve seen the same thing. Having routine information like departure fuel or crew requests for payroll changes etc in email (digital) format helps me deal with it quickly. The C/M putting odd and difficult problems into email form doesn’t really reduce the difficulty in any significant way.

In my experience once the crew figures out such things as allotment changes, having guests put on terminal gate list and so forth are handled quickly they see the benefit.

I don’t see this any different than my situation. We can’t just call up and tell the company what we want, we have to use system they have set up to put the information in a format convenient for them.