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Useless Chief Engineers

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  #176  
Old 26th April 2010, 08:14
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Satanic Mechanic Satanic Mechanic is offline  
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The use of the word Engineer as in Chief Engineer is similar to calling a Nurse a Doctor.

An Engineer, other than in the UK it would appear, is at least degree qualified.

A BoT Chiefs ticket is not comparable and does not confirm Engineer status.

The Chief Engineers we sailed with were more Chief Mechanics and the rest of us Mechanics.
For my part, even as a Junior Engineer, I was a qualified Engineer and the Chief normally a qualified Mechanic.

Mind you it was the best Engineering experience I ever had. Enjoyed every day, every minute down below.
Met loads of great characters. Non of them useless.
Learnt lots and never forgot that.
Actually the Class 1 part A of the ticket is the equivalent of an HND in yup Engineering

Class 2 part A is a HNC in.............. amazingly ...................engineering.

These are of course the academic parts of the tickets with the Part B's and the orals being the more practical/ship related parts.

So I do rather consider myself a fully qualified Engineer both academically and practically
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  #177  
Old 26th April 2010, 08:15
WilliamH WilliamH is offline  
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Originally Posted by mikel1 View Post
No insult intended JOCKY.
I have the utmost respect for all who worked in the Engineroom.

I merely pointed out that by serving an apprenticeship as a Fitter, Turner, or Engineroom Cadet is not an overnight route to become an Engineer.

Now if you're a B Sc or B Eng or similar you can call yourself an Engineer. If not you're a Tradesman - namely a Fitter, Mechanic or of a trade associated with the Engineering industry. Maybe even a Plant Operator as previously suggested.

And in response to your assertion that a few Junior Engineers were better qualified than you I can only agree with. However I have no doubt your practical experience far outweighed their practical experience.

As I said before no insult intended and hope not taken.
Are you saying that a Chartered Engineer is not an Engineer, many of whom do not have B.Sc or B Eng after their names. In my time a Chartered Engineer was required to pass an examination set by his or her professional body and hold a responsible job, in a related field. This type of Enginner was much sort after by employers and well rewarded, they did not finish up serving chips in McDonalds.
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  #178  
Old 26th April 2010, 08:26
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Originally Posted by Marconi Sahib View Post
Gentlemen! PLEASE!
This thread is so old that it's grown a beard.
A bit late to start arguing abput things you should have seen 18 months ago.
And a very interesting thread it has been as well, with some great comments.
Colin
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  #179  
Old 26th April 2010, 12:41
MARINEJOCKY MARINEJOCKY is offline  
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mIKEL1,

You missed my pointed barb completely when I wrote "they THOUGHT they were more qualified".

If you were to check with most equivilancy boards in the UK or abroad you would find that even way back a chiefs ticket was considered a degree and an extra chiefs as a masters.

For those of us who are qualified and have the experience would have no problem being called an engineer and those who are still working there way up should realize that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I always have to laugh when I hear of computer engineers as when I grew up even areospace engineers were laughed at for calling themselves engineers when their biggest "spanners" were 1/2" and had never seen a sledge hammer in their lives.
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  #180  
Old 26th April 2010, 13:42
K urgess K urgess is offline
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ENGINEER n.
1. One who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.
2. One who operates an engine.
3. One who skillfully or shrewdly manages an enterprise.

tr.v. en·gi·neered, en·gi·neer·ing, en·gi·neers
1. To plan, construct, or manage as an engineer.
2. To alter or produce by methods of genetic engineering: "Researchers . . . compared insulin manufactured by bacteria genetically engineered with recombinant DNA techniques to the commercial insulin obtained from swine or cattle" (Fusion).
3. To plan, manage, and put through by skillful acts or contrivance; maneuver.

Let's not get buried in semantics.
One and two make no mention of degrees or membership of professional bodies.
Me I'm just an ex-electronics engineer who turned into a computer engineer and then into an electrical engineer. With 40 years experience I never felt the need to have letters behind my name or join some "engineering" club.
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  #181  
Old 26th April 2010, 15:22
MARINEJOCKY MARINEJOCKY is offline  
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Marconi Sahib,

It is like being a Freemason, once a brother always a brother and therefore I do not believe there is such a thing as an ex-anything except an ex-wife and we are all glad to be rid of them.

I trained to be a marine engineer, I worked hard as a marine engineer and I will always be a marine engineer, end of story except to say that some of the best "Engineers" I ever met never had a piece of paper. !
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  #182  
Old 26th April 2010, 15:35
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Marconi Sahib,

It is like being a Freemason, once a brother always a brother and therefore I do not believe there is such a thing as an ex-anything except an ex-wife and we are all glad to be rid of them.

I trained to be a marine engineer, I worked hard as a marine engineer and I will always be a marine engineer, end of story except to say that some of the best "Engineers" I ever met never had a piece of paper. !
Very true MJ and neither in my view should we make adverse comment's about our Marine Engineering Brother's who are not "on line" or "not on this Earth" and are unable to defend themselves in 2010.
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  #183  
Old 26th April 2010, 15:49
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I'll second that GC!
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  #184  
Old 26th April 2010, 16:51
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All this discourse about who is an engineer reminds me of a pamphlet from the American Consulting Engineers Council. The pamphlet was printed in 1991. On the first page it states "33 % of American citizens think engineers drive trains - Gallop Poll"
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  #185  
Old 26th April 2010, 17:49
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When I joined Marconi's as a ship's radio officer, the people who came down to the ships to install or repair electronics equipment were classified as technicians. The only people permitted to call themselves engineers (generally working in the development laboratories or in the factory), were those who either possessed university degrees in one or more branches of engineering, or had achieved Chartered Engineer status via other routes (e.g. HND and further studies). Lacking such qualifications, when I took a shore job installing/repairing the equipment, I always considered myself a technician and not an engineer.

Later the people who visited the ships became known as 'service engineers', like those that fix washing machines in the home. I considered that to be an unwarranted and undeserved elevation and a denigration of real engineers, who had put in the study and passed the examinations required to become a Chartered Engineer. In my opinion you can't fail to reach those standards and then claim the title of 'engineer'. In the same way, you can't claim to be an Olympic champion just because you can run fast. You have to put yourself to the test and be seen to make the grade.

I saw nothing wrong with being a technician and I was happy to call myself one, an honourable and essential member of the business. But a technician is not an engineer in the same way that he is not a doctor or a judge. All are respected members of modern society but are possess different talents and education/training.

I have managed teams of both engineers and technicians and found that, presumably as a consequence of their different training, they have quite different abilities and approaches to problem-solving.
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  #186  
Old 26th April 2010, 19:10
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Never had an Ex-Wife MJ so I can't comment.
If someone wanted to employ me as a computer engineer, that being the official title of the position I was being offered then I wasn't going to argue about a name.
I was offered sponsorship to the Institute of mechanical and Electrical Engineers but felt it gave me no advantage.
There have been "engineers" in the family at least as far back as the beginning of the nineteenth century but way back then they were called blacksmiths. My father was a fitter but was also a Royal Engineer for ten years. I had an uncle who was a chief engineer. My son has an aeronautical engineering degree.
I took a different engineering path preferring to be able to see where I was going while at sea. Two things that had to happen in my life. Some form of engineering and at least a few years at sea. It was either that or the army.
I also became a Marine Electronics Technician when I came ashore. When I got into computer engineering there was an awful lot of mechanical engineering involved.
So I was quite happy to be called "engineer".
I do feel that "customer engineers" etc., devalue the name.
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  #187  
Old 26th April 2010, 23:32
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Originally Posted by mikel1 View Post
The use of the word Engineer as in Chief Engineer is similar to calling a Nurse a Doctor.

An Engineer, other than in the UK it would appear, is at least degree qualified.

A BoT Chiefs ticket is not comparable and does not confirm Engineer status.

The Chief Engineers we sailed with were more Chief Mechanics and the rest of us Mechanics.
For my part, even as a Junior Engineer, I was a qualified Engineer and the Chief normally a qualified Mechanic.

Mind you it was the best Engineering experience I ever had. Enjoyed every day, every minute down below.
Met loads of great characters. Non of them useless.
Learnt lots and never forgot that.
I have to reply to this one. I consider this poster to be a bit of a snob.
Well, the last thing we need in our engineering career is this sort of comment. Someone ashore once said this to my wife and good on her, she made a good effort to put the bloke right.
Since I have been ashore some 15 years I am very proud of my past marine life and like others have considered myself to be a qualified engineer both academically and practically. Certainly far superior to someone with a degree, like someone I worked with, in control engineering. It's a joke! I can vouch for that when this guy got himself in the "real world" he struggled to do his job.
I can only say that it has become obvious to me that I am a better engineer than all the so called degree engineers I have come across and all the fitters/mechanics in my time ashore.
If anyone has the time, please read this letter in reply to our "top" engineer in my factory who saw fit to refuse me an interview for a Reliability Engineer position.

Dear ***
First of all, please may I thank you for taking the time to tell me personally about my non selection for an interview rather than telling me by letter.
I am very proud of my career in the Merchant Navy as an Engineer Officer as I am sure you probably are about the Royal Air Force and consequently there are a couple of things that you said that stick in my gullet and I ask your indulgence to explain them further to you in the hope you will look at your thoughts in a fresh light.
With regards to your comments about marine engineering not being appropriate for the work at this factory.
Well, I ask you to please take a look at the following links. This explains about the sort of situation that I am qualified and competent to be second in charge of. In fact as it is rather traditional at sea for the Chief Engineer to leave the Second Engineer to "get on with it", the Second would indeed be front line in this matter. Hopefully you will come to the realisation that a great amount of knowledge and skill, both theoretical and practical would go into carrying out this role. I hope that you see that you have judged this wrongly and indeed the level of skills and expertise required in a Chicken Factory, is in fact far below the level required to be a Marine Engineer.
Queen Mary 2
http://www.beyondships.com/QM2-art-Watling.html
The Emma Mærsk is powered by a Wärtsilä-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine, currently the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tons and capable of 109,000 horsepower (82 MW)
With regards to your comments about my managerial skills not being sufficient for a role in a chicken factory or indeed as a Reliability Engineer or similar.
Firstly I should point out that the gentleman taking the Managing Engineering Excelence course that I went to in Amsterdam was an ex marine engineer who did a lot of work successfully introducing the technology to Shell on their ships.
I point you to the same link as above about the role of the Chief Engineer and in particular the comment on manning levels and I must point out to you that the Second Engineer would be responsible for running the Engineering Staff and Engineering Officers.
http://www.beyondships.com/QM2-art-Watling.html
It is my considered opinion that "shoreside" suffers from the problem of too many managers and we all know about the problems of the NHS, for example, with the over loading of managers at the top of that precarious tree. Managing the job and people at sea was important off course, but to be honest most Engineers were so self-motivated and conscientious that very little was needed in the way of control. When I left the sea to pursue my career "ashore" I was, perhaps naively, of the opinion that in an Engineering Department, it would firstly be about doing the job in a positive way, getting it right and in a pro-active (if possible) way. I thought that Engineer Managers ashore "learned" their way into the job from a sound position of knowledge. I found that Engineering Managers often knew very little about the practical and indeed theoretical side of Engineering and in fact had – as an example, a degree in Control Engineering and as a result got a position as a Plant Engineer. The person I refer loosely to, was I found, a very affable person and I found myself in the ludicrous position of helping this person through the difficult times he had learning enough Engineering to get by in the role he had chosen for himself in life. It was a pleasure as I liked the person. He once said to me " don't forget Colin, you could do my job, but I couldn't do yours"
Since then I have also been in the position of it having been explained to me, that an Engineering Manager/Team Leader does not require to know much about Engineering, a falsehood in my humble opinion and as this country slowly but surely slides down the hill and standards continue to decline, a method of selecting our Engineering future, I feel, that will do the western world no good at all. You only have to look at the Engineering Standards of the modern Engineering Apprentice to get a good idea of how it is going. Apprentices don't seem to be given a good overall grounding in the physical skills that should be acquired to enable that person to improve in later life from a good grounding. A small point, but I have not met one yet who has had the opportunity to develop the physical skills to even sharpen a simple thing like a drill. They may however have developed the skills to get an NVQ done by copy and pasting (a useful computer skill) other peoples work.
If you have read this far, I do hope that you take this letter in sprit it is intended. I have seen and done many things in life, so far, and I see "having a moan" in a constructive way as like many people who take the time to point out a few things, in their opinion, do so in the hope, often forlorn, that they may help to change things in a small way for the better.
Please consider seriously that with all my wealth of experience and knowledge I have not been successful in obtaining even a position of Team Leader in my time in this factory. I am sure enough about myself to feel that the reason for this is not that I couldn't do any of the myriad of jobs that I have applied for, but more that it can only be one of the following, as has been suggested to me by other work colleagues in the past and present.
1. I am too good at the job I do.
2. The job has already been "mentally" allocated to another before the interview process has even begun.
3. I am too qualified for the job applied for. My Dad once said, "only tell 'em what they want to know and don't show 'em you know more than they do"
4. Favouritism has taken place and a person has already been selected and the interviews are a farce.
5. The Managerial system carrying out the interviews is incapable of seeing past the "wallpaper" and only sees a Blue "hands on" Uniform.
6. That I am considered to outspoken and consequently I may be a threat in the applied for role. I can only say that some people, in that case, misunderstand me.
7. That ageism discrimination has taken place in my latest application.

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  #188  
Old 27th April 2010, 01:05
mikel1 mikel1 is offline  
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............and you're full of hot air. I can't believe I read all that !!!

Seems to me the chap who 'non-selected' you for the interview wasn't concerned about your outstanding Engineering ability. Well how could he, you sound as if Brunel wasn't fit to scratch your ****. Maybe the chap saw a flaw ?? Maybe you jump to conclusions too early. Maybe not analytical enough for a reliability Engineer, like calling me a snob after a few seconds of reading.

Thereagain maybe you weren't qualified for the job.

I seemed to have touched a raw nerve and will say no more on the subject other than the fact that I have the utmost respect for all who served in the Engineroom, particularly the professional 3rds.
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  #189  
Old 27th April 2010, 06:59
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
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Gingerbeer73 #189, met many of these idiots, which is one of the reasons I left the UK in '70. I was thirty at the time, perhaps part of the problem was that you were older and more, "settled".

Good luck with the rest of your life.
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  #190  
Old 27th April 2010, 07:18
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Satanic Mechanic Satanic Mechanic is offline  
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. particularly the professional 3rds.
Right thats enough fishing for one day
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  #191  
Old 27th April 2010, 07:31
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I don't think the sea was a very healthy life either mentally or physically, no wonder there were casualties. Booze was a big problem, ruined lots of good men.
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  #192  
Old 27th April 2010, 08:04
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............and you're full of hot air. I can't believe I read all that !!!

Seems to me the chap who 'non-selected' you for the interview wasn't concerned about your outstanding Engineering ability. Well how could he, you sound as if Brunel wasn't fit to scratch your ****. Maybe the chap saw a flaw ?? Maybe you jump to conclusions too early. Maybe not analytical enough for a reliability Engineer, like calling me a snob after a few seconds of reading.

Thereagain maybe you weren't qualified for the job.

I seemed to have touched a raw nerve and will say no more on the subject other than the fact that I have the utmost respect for all who served in the Engineroom, particularly the professional 3rds.
And, I have to say that you are very typical in not being able to accept that an Engineer, especially a marine Engineer is a very skilled person and normal to boot. So you are also going to take the ball away, can't hold a good discussion then ? Afraid to declare what qualification you have then? I feel someone has lost the argument when they say " will say no more on the subject" as you have. I make no apollogies for my earlier post. It is not boasting, it is fact and not different to a lot of ex 2nds and chiefs. I don't exclude 3rds etc but the only difference is they have done the study as well.
I have come across very few Engineers ashore that come anywhere near the skills and knowledge of the average 2nd or Chief or any Marine Engineer. Take my word for it, the skills are just not out there and it is also getting worse with regards to the basic skills from whence the Engineer is built. Having a degree is is not a automatic route to being a good Engineer. It is a route to getting a better job ashore, but I have not met one that I could sense or see had any Engineering ability. They learned on their feet once they landed the job, as it is not a lack of intelligence problem, it is lack of Engineering ability.
You mention Brunel, fortuitous that. Now there is an Engineer and an artist to boot, he lived and breathed Engineering, it came out of every pore, he couldn't help it, he was driven because he had Engineering inside him. No degree there I believe. Of course you will say " he would have one nowadays". He may well have, but, I believe he was dyslexic so he would be excluded from academia due to his difficulty as my son is. A degree, you must admit would not have been advantageous to Brunel, he would still be a brilliant engineer, but nowadays he would probably fall foul of the social structure with regards to degrees that we find ourselves in today and no one would have seen his ability because no one can see and judge people correctly any more without a psychometric test or some other piece of paper to tell them how to think. Face it, the industrial world has lost the plot and we are on the way down. It will not get better until we get rid of all the champagne socialist way of thinking (50% in University) and start yet again to built and engineering skill base from the bottom up.
Colin
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  #193  
Old 27th April 2010, 08:07
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Gingerbeer73 #189, met many of these idiots, which is one of the reasons I left the UK in '70. I was thirty at the time, perhaps part of the problem was that you were older and more, "settled".

Good luck with the rest of your life.
Thanks for that. Yes you correctly spotted that I am getting on a bit, grumpy some would say but most time I still enjoy my engineering and these two hands have seen me through a lot.
Cheers
Colin
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  #194  
Old 27th April 2010, 11:02
MARINEJOCKY MARINEJOCKY is offline  
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Marconi Sahib,

I hope you were taking my point the way I meant it, I was trying to say that us engineers used to think that unless you use something more than just a pin hammer and a small spanner you did not really qualify as a real engineer.

SM, Fishing, the kid has no idea how to use a hook.

Ron Stringer,

I never considered any sparkie I sailed with a technician and certainly not an engineer, it took him all of his time just to get the football scores for the real workers onboard.

Mikel1, watch & learn
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  #195  
Old 27th April 2010, 16:54
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I trained to be a marine engineer, I worked hard as a marine engineer and I will always be a marine engineer, end of story except to say that some of the best "Engineers" I ever met never had a piece of paper. !
That's exactly the way I felt when it came time to commission my father's headstone:

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/galler...e_Engineer.jpg

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  #196  
Old 27th April 2010, 17:38
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Greetings,

I once knew an engineer who was so thick...even the others noticed.

Do you know, I read this tirade of professional character assasination and think to myself, I must be the worst Chief Engineer ever, probably because I am a deck ape but, and this is a very big BUT, my experience of Engineers makes me very proud and fortunate to have served with men, good men, who know how to make my ship work so perhaps all you lubbers who are looking for a cheap snipe might like to give your own navels a serious looking at otherwise I might start a thread having a go at ABs Firemen, stewards etc who are happy to take a pop at but who may not be too happy to have a pop taken at them.

I feel better for that.
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  #197  
Old 27th April 2010, 17:45
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I reckon if you did not demand the going rate of pay/salary you were not an Engineer.
Over my cabin door was Chief Electrical Engineering Marine Officer. I was very proud of the title and the braid. In real terms I was only an Electrician. Had to relie on Newnes handbook to understand my trade. Agree that some managers did not understand us engineer in the factories we worked in. lf you know the story of the pied Piper you may understand why some engineer are resentful.
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  #198  
Old 27th April 2010, 17:58
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Ron Stringer,

I never considered any sparkie I sailed with a technician and certainly not an engineer, it took him all of his time just to get the football scores for the real workers onboard.
MJ. Despite your opinions, R/Os had to undergo training and pass examinations equivalent to those possessed by other technicians (ONC/HNC level) so they were qualified technicians. I never met any that claimed to be engineers.

I do know a number that subsequently left the sea, took further training and education, satisfied the appropriate examiners in order to obtain professional qualifications and so became graduate engineers and/or Chartered Engineers (i.e. proper engineers). However by that time they were no longer employed as R/Os, so they don't count.

As for the real workers onboard, I have to say that I never entertained any ambition to be a worker, on board or anywhere else. I went to sea as an R/O to enjoy myself and see the world, work never entered the equation.

In exchange for my bed and board, and for the transport that the shipowner provided, I carried out certain duties but never considered that to be work. More of a hobby or occupational therapy I would say. For most of the time I did what I wanted, when I wanted. There was no one to direct me, monitor me or criticise my endeavours - I was the only one aboard that knew how to do what I did and understood how things worked. Ideal state of affairs.

Others on board, not sharing the same priveleges and working conditions, may have resented the R/O's luck in securing a cushy number, but I always considered that to be their problem and not mine.

You should bear in mind that envy is one of the deadly sins.
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  #199  
Old 27th April 2010, 18:26
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Greetings,

Should have added....

Try going to war with them, I did, that's when I found who my friends were
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  #200  
Old 27th April 2010, 18:42
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Greetings,

Should have added....

Try going to war with them, I did, that's when I found who my friends were
Yes Pat, it does sort people out!
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