I came across an old document written by a Dorte Ostreng, and in his studies of sailors he had taken in center the “difference” between a Norwegian Sailor and a Filipino sailor, and their different ideals and commitment to the job aboard. This made me get a string of thoughts which eventually boiled down to…this thread. Thought it would be fun and interesting to hear what you experienced sailors /personally/ view as your job and your commitment as well as ideals on your workstation.
I am not trying to start a debate, for every person has their different ideals and certaint things has made people’s ideals and such change, could open as well to give ye’ old folks my view on what my work go out on and what, I as a person view important and makes my job interesting.
Truth be told, I am not as experienced as the lot of you, but I’ve found life ashore to be exciting and thrilling. As a member of the Engineer Department and engine cadet/oiler/motorman it is my duty to keep the engine-room and workshop clean and tidy, I spend hours within the engine and love the sound of the machinery, the very heart of the ship. I find pride in how it looks today, looking back at how it was when I first arrived. I do not keep it clean because it’s my job, but it’s essential in keeping the engine optimized and a good-cared engine will last as long as you wish it to last. It is the fundamental in everything of what an engineer is to do. With a clean engine-room it is easier to locate a fault within when an anomaly reaction has occurred, the Engineer will easier locate and henceforth, faster fi the problem afoot. To keep it tidy too will make it easier for my C/E to get the tools needed to get the job done as swiftly as possible, instead of spending, perhaps you are unfortunate, precious minutes seeking out the tools needed in a chaotic environment.
It is also our duty to keep the ship manouverable, ,and every thing I do from the hour-long work of checking for leaks is as important as a C/E’s job and a Wiper’s job, for in singularity, we are in deep shit, but as the C/E has the most experience and he is after-all the Chief,and there is a reason he is, you follow every word he says without question.
What is needed of us is to be excellent in seamanship, which means to be hard working, responsible and technical in our work. Know there is always something to do down in the engine, it’s why I spend most of my time down there. I think all man aboard is essential, if he was not, he would not even been there, why pay for extra baggage?
In case of an emergency we are to also do what is in our might to stop whatever catastrophe that might be at hand, but not to act as a fool, there is a thin line between being a fool and being brave.
I think there is always healthy to find pride in what one does at work. My old man taught me a lot on his better days, told me stories of his experience at sea. He was viewed as a genius in his time, being the youngest C/E educated in Norway (when he was educated), worked on experimental crude, LNG and LPG tankers. One thing he told me which somewhat stuck was
Everyman aboard a ship is equal, do not be hasty to throw away aiding words, even how dumbf*cking it sounds, for I at times gathered my crew and produced forth to them the problem and let them talk while I listened…For even though many did not have much idea, many a times they came in on to something that made sense which got me to think and find the solution or the problem…At times the Captain was the problem but he was a douche.
Unfortunately, I found what I enjoyed as work a bit tad too late, as the old man is sick now for all the exposure to gas, hydraulic oil and other contaminated chemicals they used aboard in the early 70’s to 80’s. Would be one hell of a fun time to see him in action now as I am a bit older. He took me on his two-three monthly voyages now and then, but I was too young to understand much of the intricate working on a ship and its engine.