Persistent Bullies Should Be Removed from Ships

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There has been some version of this policy on almost every ship I’ve sailed on for the last 20 years

These guys are poison and need to go.

Some of these guys are hard to get rid of. They have someone in the office who thinks they are great.

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Or part of a ring knocker frat

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I’m an alumnus of two different academies and am still waiting for my invite to join the cabal/frat. What gives?

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You may see ring knocker frats on ships, but we don’t see that much on tugs.

It seems to me that it’s often younger guys with too many visible tattoos. More likely to be people who are smokers, chewers, and have other bad addictive habits.

Most of the guys we have are great, but we get the occasional bad egg.

No, no, no. They are usually huge, fit young men who played football or rugby and are reservists with a Facebook profile photo of them in their dress whites. At least that’s how it is in my neck of the woods.

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I know it is taboo to show racism but if you show me a white dude, with reddish hair sporting a goatee & a couple if tats I’ll show you a guy that I’m keeping an eye on for trouble.

And it’s not just some office connections that keep bullies comfortable, there’s bullies who attend every union meeting who reads every piece of union literature cover to cover who can be untouchable too.

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The proverbial “red headed step-child.” I have seen them too.

I don’t sail with union guys very much, but I know what you mean.

The few academy kids we see on tugs seem pretty good.

Thank you Tugsailor. My experience with bulliies are/were usually uneducated people that were bullied themselves at an early age. Could spot them quickly on and shown the door. I don’t recall ring knockers or academy fellows from any maritime school being bullies. I have seen them being bullied because of their background by jealous idiots. Not an Academy guy, but respect what they go through. On a lighter note , going to a football game tonite my son is coaching and his friend, a KP alumni and co-captain with him and bride are attending. 36 point favorites. A good engineer and not a bully.

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Probably haven’t been invited because you are good at your job…

That’s because you have small crews; you’re unlikely to have several on board at a time. The ‘dress white’ crowd are almost always fine separately. It’s when they cluster up and run in packs that they become insufferable bullies and miscreants.

They revert to their collage days of verbally abusing the ‘plebes’ (a.k.a. unlicensed mariners), binge drinking, showing up to watch late and/or drunk, and acting like rotten brats who don’t have student loans to repay.

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Drinking and fighting were the norm when I first went to sea on merchant vessels in 1971.
For some reason it seemed to be acceptable and very rarely led to “Loggings”.
I never experienced bullying but people fought over women or certain prejudices.
In later years I have known people go crazy and attack others, sometimes fatally. Having to do a 12 month contract has a bearing on this kind of behaviour especially on shipping these days with very little chance for recreation ashore. Suicide is now a major problem for seafarers. A career at sea cannot be promoted as being romantic anymore.

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Or a Russian CM who finally got kicked off USNS Grasp (2011 in Romania). Not only a bully but really stupid. I heard him instruct the mates to haul the chain to stop the anchor dragging, 2M corrected him in front of the Third! What a jerk. Everyone was glad to see the back of him.

In my experience, those guys generally did not sail at all, and if they did, they rarely picked up enough sea time to go to 2nd Mate or 2nd AE.

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Those types usually got their due eventually.The bullies that downgraded the unlicensed were corrected after time. They eventually figured out that the oilers and ABs would get the last laugh.
The worst I have ever seen were the US drillship guys in Singapore and Korea. They were like animals let out of a zoo.

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I guess “bully” is the political correct term for being an asshole. I fully agree assholes should shape up or ship out but unfortunately its usually something wrong with their psyche caused by insecurity issues that makes them incapable of change. It can a lot of fun to find out what makes assholes tick & talk about it as much as possible. I strongly disagree that academy graduates have a larger proportion of assholes compared to unlicensed & hawspipers though. I admitt young recent graduates can be cocky but so can hawspipers who advanced quickly at a young age. (I was guilty of this too). The cockiness & false confidence usually wears off after a couple of years but assholes stay that way. But again, I suspect you work with a lot of Kings Pointers & they do have a unflattering reputation.

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A dick is a dick. I have run across pecker heads from Wayne County MS to the finest maritime schools. They all had two things in common. They lacked a thorough knowledge of what their position required and they had a great sense of their own importance.Proper Masters and CEs can take those clowns down a notch or two or show them the door. There is no room on any ship for self important asses much less those who intimidate crew.

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I’ve been lucky on unlimited vessels to not have worked for any real insecure, mentally unstable assholes/bullies. I hope that’s an industry thing & they don’t make it to Master or CE when there’s a big group to promote from. But on smaller vessels I seen assholes/bullies make it to the top & that is when you know you’re in trouble.

Observant strong willed introverts can play those assholes/bullies like a fiddle. I once seen a galley hand make an asshole/bully captain completely lose his shit in front of a manager & ABS inspector. Everyone knew the captains pet peeve was to show up to the muster station promptly when the general alarm went off. He taught us this by going into insane fits a rage when someone was late for drills. The annual inspection with Manager & ABS onboard & the galleyhand didn’t show. The capt went apeshit & it turned into a search & rescue drill. The galleyhand showed up on his own & the capt started ripping into him in front of everyone. The galleyhand put on an Oscar performance, said he was in the walk-in cooler cleaning for the audit & couldn’t hear the bell from the airtight sealed room & begged the red faced, steaming captain for forgiveness. That was the last or second from last trip for that captain in that country on that vessel.

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A lot of the real pricks I’ve met in senior billets had a genuine lack of faith in other mariners, that led to the contempt. They didn’t ever learn how to fire shitheads, their ships started becoming a haven for idiots and assholes because they’d get yelled at but never run off, and you end up with a screamer micro managing a pack of morons. The assholes get meaner and the idiots get dumber, there’s a vicious cycle.

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