Might have been like that 20 years ago when Ferrel was still working for NOAA, but not anything like that today:
No junior stewards; only enough to cook.
Lots of variety in work, once you know something about the missions the ship is doing. Better than MSC, where you will be just standing a watch at best.
Every ship has a mate, there are at least two Masters, and there are opportunities for people to get training and move up. All new positions go into the “pool” and can apply for permanent positions when they open. As with all federal employment, first year is probationary. One of the few places you can, in fact, start at the bottom as a GVA and eventually get to be a Master or CME.
Benefits are good, but the old days of full health care without paying into Federal Employee Health Benefits program was ended after the USPHS had to stop providing internal health care several years ago.
Not many “crazy” NC officers left…not even sure of the reference, but there are stories of the “old days” and maybe that’s what you’re talking about. Biggest problem now is the overtime is generally linked to being at sea, and the NOAA can’t seem to get enough funding for the ships to do their missions. More of an agency problem than NC, though.
[QUOTE=silverbk;51924]Chow is decent, they even have stewards to bring it to you, on most ships. Work is boring and monotonous. Moor, unmoor the ship, operate the cranes and other deck equipment. When slow or in port, chip and paint as needed, as the ships are white, they always seem to need it. Assist the scientists as needed. I don’t think they let you in the pilot house unless they need you for some reason.
On the Ferrel, while they were in NY, they went out in the morning, dragged a few trawl nets to collect fish, ate lunch, dragged a few more and then back to the dock. I don’t know about internet, as it wasn’t invented yet when I was there.
The good: it’s secure, you almost cannot get fired, unless you really try. Health and other benefits, very good. Sometimes there are some cute scientists and NOAA corps officers that you can try and fraternize with, and you can homestead on the ship. The ships have decent accommodations. Not a shell LNG ship with gym, sauna and swimming pool, but not a tug with a room you can’t turn around in, somewhere in the middle. There are generally no long deployments at sea, but you will travel away from home depending on the needs of the ship. Lots of port time., almost regular work hours. Kinda like dayworking on a larger ship.
The bad: boring, dead end job, no advancement whatsoever. Very broad line between officers and crew. Fraternization is a cardinal sin (if you get caught). Some NOAA corps officer are crazy (they drank the cool aid) and they run the show.[/QUOTE]