What's your least favorite job on a ship

…I may have used a similar line on occasion…“The boys deserve steak and crab for the work last week.”

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Shipyard work.

Starting a seemingly simple project only to find that it’s going to be way more involved than you expected…which is inevitable.
Chasing down welders and painters to have them clean up after themselves.
Constantly having to keep an eye on welders and painters so they don’t cut corners and do the job right.
Constant dust, smoke, and noise.
Shipyard workers walking off with ship’s tools and anything else they can get away with. Having to clean up a giant mess at the end of shipyard period.

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Or the alternative “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”


Can you give us an example of some of the stupid stuff/s that warrants the warning/Termination? :angry:

Let’s see, for the one that comes to mind first, the office directed me to write up a crew member for doing 5 miles over the speed limit on I-10 between lake Charles and Beaumont (gps trackers in all company vehicles) en route to the boat. There were a couple more from that manager that I can’t remember the details on, but since he got terminated from the company, at least I never have to deal with him again.

We’ve got some power trippers on boats that seem to take joy in writing up stupid stuff on their own though. I’ve taken over several boats and find completed write-ups filed for things that should just be verbals all the time. “Missed trash cans during sanitation…” Oooo, I saw one that was for wasting company resources because they had to restrip and rewax the deck.


I haven’t ever been directed by the office to take disciplinary action against any of the crew, but I agree that it is my least favorite part of being Captain. I get more annoyed that I am having to take it to that next level because someone is either not doing their job or acting like a child. When everyone acts like an adult and does their job with some pride, there are hardly ever any disciplinary actions needed.


Hah, I knew a Master on one of the old TECO ships a few years back who said the same thing. He had an AB who just could not function like a normal human being (his nickname apparently was Happy Gilmore, among the officers) and he would often declare “this job would be easier if THEY would just do theirs!”


Listening to the chatter on the radios.

We had a Steward Utility once that we nicknamed “Otis Elevator” due to his preference for riding the elevator all day long.


That’s classic. The guy I knew told me a combination of a bad attitude plus a pastime of playing ice hockey made it the perfect nickname for this character.

“Oh don’t worry man, we’ll finish that by the time y’all leave!”
-Every yardbird ever (Never happens)

Oh, man. . . I remember on the SEALAND MCLEAN. . . .the elevator was fairly essential to get to the engine room (although I did make the climb a time or two). It seemed to me that it spent most of its time operating between the stewards’ cabins and the galley deck, one below. They would even use it to go down one deck. . . .

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It’s a close call: Having to do the Chief Steward’s job and/or the clearance paperwork for the Suez Canal/Mid East ports for the “officials”.


I don’t like making requisitions. I always feel like I’m forgetting something & if it isn’t something that gets bought often it seems the purchasing departments will goof it up no matter how much additional information, photos & links I provide.

Also, I dread any problem that involves another human being. I will gladly spend hours on a mechanical or electrical problem where the science has been worked out a century ago but unfortunately my fellow humans don’t come with a user manual or trouble-shooting guide. People can be too erratic, too often it’s dumb luck & guessing when trying to fix them.


I hate holding cups of someone else’s warm pee in my hand while we fill out the paperwork for the urinalysis testing. Ick.


Even when purchasing knows what you mean and know it only comes from one place they still put it out for bid or at least shop around, infuriating.


I never minded making requisitions, but I learned quickly that they are really just wish lists, and treated them like that. I recall on one instance, I went to work a short term job with another company, made my wish list out and what, on the dock two hours later was EVERYTHING!!! It felt like Christmas. . . and ditto on the personnel. Man, we ALL have stories, right? Hell, I am probably the subject of a few myself.


My worst job - arrival papers for India. It was a different life for masters back in the day of radio officers and chief stewards.
One well known Scottish company running a tramp service around the world in conventional cargo ships had a deserved reputation for being tight fisted. An acquaintance of mine ordered a substantial list of deck stores as chief officer. About a year later a cadet from another company ship berthed astern presented him with a small cardboard carton containing the “stores” he had ordered.
For the mate the job had no dull moments and Thompson’s stowage of ships and their cargoes was bedside reading. They carried everything from railway engines to tallow with union purchase and a jumbo derrick.

You may not be able to name names, but that Scottish Company sounds like Denholms. . . . just sayin’. . .

cleaning EMD air boxes, cleaning the purifier (as mentioned) cleaning black water equip / systems, still, the aforementioned sounds better than handling warm containers of pee (as mentioned)!

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