Persistent Bullies Should Be Removed from Ships

From an article regarding avoiding assholes:. “An asshole is someone who leaves us feeling demeaned, de-energized, disrespected, and/or oppressed. In other words, someone who makes you feel like dirt.”

Apparently, “Not giving a shit takes the wind out of an asshole’s sails.”


this thread is so amusing

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An asshole is a person who is unpleasant to deal with in general. . A bully on the other hand seeks out specific targets perceived to be weaker.

: a blustering, browbeating person especially : one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable

That why you see captains going after cadets and third mates.

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Hey, I played rugby. . . . and I dare you to find a photo of me in uniform. Yeah, there might be one or two out there, but I think they are khaki. . . .

I was only an asshole to those that earned the privilege. Most of the time I was pretty easy going. Many who I sailed with would tell me that I was a liar when I told them where I went to school. . . . . and I took that as a compliment.


As a passive aggressive type person. . . I am impressed by the galleyhand. . . .


Yep, the captain & I were the only Americans on the vessel during that audit & everyone else was of the same nationality. No one wanted to see a asshole/bully American degrade the lowly galleyhand. The galleyhand was cool too with no complaints against him. A self help book I read once said that if you can’t control yourselves then it means pretty much everyone else can. The galleyhand played his cards better than the captain. Anyone could push a button on that asshole anytime they wanted.


for those of us who’ve been around a while we could re-write the definition of what a asshole is based on the foregoing !!
They’ve always backed down for me but due to my military discipline the last thing i’d do is stand up to them. Doing so always took such a effort, one that maybe should of been exercised more but a cost I personally would rather avoid.
to sum it up: Nothing a moderate ass kicking won’t cure.

I have witnessed a few assholes in action. In general they hid their assholeness if I was around but word gets back. On occasion I have counseled a few of the pricks and explained that they were not doing themselves any favors nor were they furthering their careers. During the course of conversation we would discuss safety, the importance of keeping ones cabin unlocked in case of fire. I also reminded them that they needed proper rest and one can rest easy if one doesn’t have to worry about someone entering their cabin and prolonging their sleep. Most took the hint. The ones that didn’t left of their own volition or were given a letter stating they were no longer needed. A ship is a community, we bitch, moan and groan but at the end of the day we all have to get along . It costs a lot of money to assemble a good crew, it is foolish to let a bully no matter their position to increase the attrition rate.


To me an asshole is someone acting unpleasantly against social norms to nearly anyone around them. Motivating factors could be fatigue, sadness, hurt, illness, hunger… or just being anti-social.

A bully is someone acting unpleasantly against social norms who is always motivated by an exercise of power. (Other factors may be involved.) The behavior is targeted. The target may be an individual or a group.

Wise words self controll keeping your cool so important A young Dutch captain wanted to know why I was laughing when his CM let go the anchor when we were doing 8 knot going into the dock

Don’t forget the overly nice and helpful with a secret agenda.


There a quite a few of those where I just left including one who would greet me warmly when I arrived for a relief trip but badmouthed me behind my back every chance he got. I managed to repair a few things that stumped him and it pissed him off.

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Weren’t that hard to spot John.

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While back had a job where in the nature of things a bully came into supervisory role above me.

Started well enough and some great ideas …. but in time I saw his paranoia and how he went thru harassing each team member in turn. One day it came my turn for the bullying treatment from this guy.

Got my coffee and called the CEO to say I wasn’t coming off my vacation to work for that silly guy. Ran out my excess leave and some weeks later went to the office for a chat, turn in my badge, get severance and receive a nice marine brass clock.

But the best part was the CEO told me to go downstairs and bore the guy a new backside for mistreating the younger staff. Privilege of age I suppose.

It’s all rather rare in real life … I met many despicable buggers onboard at MSC and in the Gulf and just had to suck it up … but this time luck ran my way.

CEO called me 6 months later to say the malefactor had been terminated after 3 others (all fine young people) quit after me. Still get a Christmas card and annual company party invite.

The respect I was shown after reporting the bully and just saying “screw that noise”probably meant more to me than the severance.


No hard to spot but hard to manage because the office loves the nice and polite ones who don’t ever bother them with real problems.

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A thread full of people whining about bullies makes me again thankful that I typically work in the fishing industry.

Never met a bully.

Super glue is great for closing up open wounds on your knuckles.


Exactly. When you call someone a bully you are addressing them from an inferior position. They love that & might claim you’re being over sensitive & maybe not mature or strong enough to be in a harsh, stressful environment. Call them a fucking asshole instead. Screw that weak political correctness speech.

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I’m kind curious the average age of those who made the complaints this article is referring to. I have been sailing since 1983 and while I have seen my fair share of bullies, for the most part, it is something that is handled through established company policy. We may be different than most work environments, but we’re not that different.

I’m not saying some things cannot get beyond reasonable but, this country is hemorrhaging snowflakes who get their “feelings” hurt if people don’t validate their every position and bend to their demands.

There is a never ending list of things to do at sea and instead of a participation trophy, we get a pretty good paycheck and the respect of those who know we are pretty damn good at what we do.

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“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”

That’s a crock. They know their alumni of the same schools but there’s no secret society. If any discussions come up about what maritime colleges anyone went to it’s just that, a discussion. I’ve been doing this for more than 38 years. I’m a hawespiper and I have sailed with literally hundred and hundreds of buttchuggers, Maine, mass, GL, TX, SUNY and even a few CAL engineers. (That’s another story).

In the office, during hiring or conferences you may see that shit but at sea? In my experience, you are valued on how well you do what you get paid to do.