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The mess in the mess
Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2010 10:06 PM
I get upset when people double dip and leave open cans of soda in the crew refrigerator. Table manners and general cleanliness seems to something younger crew don’t learn at home, because they seem to think mommy will come and clean up behind them even when they work on boats. Am I expecting too much when I ask people to get their own plate and not eat things directly out of the serving dishes and/or jars of Nutella?
Posted: Monday, March 22, 2010 2:58 AM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155

Dear Anonymous,

You are posting this here WHY??? and it's a galley, unless it is a mess in a tent.

"Double Dip" in lexicon came from Seinfeld circa 1994...

Get your A** in gear and take it upon yourself, with your crew, your issues. Do you not have crew meetings? Or are you a third stew with no voice? (we all have one, mine is particularly vocal...)

Oh, the Nutella pretty much says it all. Crew is fed with peanuts...and Slacker Jack has candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a prize!

The Slacker

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 6:32 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

People in glass deckhouses ...


A galley is where food is prepared on a boat.

A mess is where it is served.

A mess is also what unthinking or lazy messmates leave behind.

An unthinking or lazy British messmate might also be called a slacker Jack.

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 7:11 PM
Joined: 06/10/2008
Posts: 6

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to expect crew members to clean up after themselves or not to eat directly out of the serving dishes. We are in a unique situation on a yacht where not only do we work together, we also live and eat together. Let's show each other some respect and keep the environment clean and hygienic and not expect others to have to clean up after us.
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 8:44 PM
Sounds like your living with a bunch of back packing slobs, and that's where they belong, back in the youth hostel.Along with their skate boards and kite surfers.
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:59 PM
Joined: 06/01/2010
Posts: 1

I could not agree more with Chefrusso and Anonymous.  For people having to show distinction and class when dealing with Owners and Guests, I find most of these "ex-backpackers" with total lack of education and respect of others. 
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:15 PM
I do think people treat the crew mess like a youth hostel or backpakers. The expectations of many crew are high and one would assume the dream for big bucks and a chance to see the world would also include some effort from themselves. These days I don't bother to learn peoples names for three months because that's how long a slacker lasts.
Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 1:59 PM
Joined: 10/10/2009
Posts: 5

I've one thought on the crew mess issue. If you know the rules of the crewmess and you don't clear up or want to live like a pig you are about to pack your things and move off the boat.
Crew Confessor
Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:20 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

Dear Messed Up,

Ultimately the captain is responsible for setting the tone of a yacht, but on larger boats his influence can be diluted or even altered if he becomes too far removed from the daily goings on of his crew.  When a new person becomes a member of the crew all of the crew who are already in place also set a tone and influence the behavior of the new person.  Additionally the chief stew or purser can have a significant impact upon the eating and living habits of crew.  Chefs too can have a significant effect. 

It's not really fair or accurate to blame "younger" crew, there are plenty of old thoughtless slobs out there too.

Double dipping is gross, and unsanitary.  It should not be permitted. 

Open cans of soda in the fridge?  If it doesn't have a name on it, it gets tossed.  This has been a good solution in the past as I find that 90% of the half empty cans are often generated by just one or two people.  Same thing with bottles of water.

As a general rule, if you would be ashamed for the owner or your charter guests to see how you conduct yourself and maintain your crew quarters its time to clean up your act.  It's demoralizing to spend all your time cleaning and making things "perfect" everywhere else on the yacht, and then return to where you "live" at the end of the day to this "mess."  Having nice manners, consideration for others, and a tidiness with your living area and personal space isn't just for rich people who own yachts --- it's for everyone.

I urge captains and senior staff to examine how their crew are conducting themselves and make changes if needed.  Spring is a great time for this.  Younger crew may get a lot of the blame for being slack but they are following the example shown to them.  Many of them are not fully adults yet, they want and need rules and structure in their life.  Provide it for them.  Establish rules and guidelines and stick to them.  They will thank you some day, well, some will thank you some day.

There will always be some who are so inconsiderate of themselves and others that they make people's lives miserable.  It's an odd form of passive aggressive behavior and people who do it often fancy themselves as indispensable to the yacht.  They will refuse to acknowledge they have a problem and refuse to change. They can be like a form of cancer on the boat.  Beware of these types and do your best not to hire them in the first place.  IF you're stuck with one be very careful about how you do terminate their employment. 

Captains, this is just for you:

In this economy there is no excuse to keep slacker slobs who refuse to obey the basic rules on your boat.  Crew who don't get the message should be warned that they will find themselves on the quay if they don't shape up and then they can live like pigs in a crew house or back with mommy and daddy.  Lest you think this is of no importance in the grand scheme of things, think again.  You are judged by how you run your boat by crew, brokers, owners, and other captains.  A captain who hires someone who once worked for you for a substantial period of time and observes slack, sloppy habits in their newly hired crew can only conclude that this was how you ran your boat, and who wants to have that sort of reputation?  Your crew and everything that happens on your boat is a reflection of you, your skills as a seaman, your leadership and character.    

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