So you’ve secured your first job in yachting – well done! Don’t worry if it all seems a bit intense though, there are still plenty of opportunities for a quick return to the carefree life of dock walking, crew house accommodation & living on crackers.
Ø Complain. The rest of the crew aren’t knackered, hot, bored or home-sick, so it’s important to remind them that you are. Having just arrived, you’re bound to be all of the above in far greater measures than those who’ve been there for only months or years.
Ø Arrive late. With your wealth of experience, they should be grateful to see you before lunch, let alone looking awake, smart and in time for a coffee before you’re due to start.
Ø Call the chief engineer to an emergency involving your not understanding how the washing machine/pressure hose/microwave works. They have all the time in the world to answer this sort of query, and certainly won’t storm off in a rage, leaving you with instructions to “RTFB!!!”. (Read the f*cking book).
Ø Screw the crew. What everyone living in a confined space loves is an atmosphere – whether it be of the flirty/nauseatingly lovey-dovey/pornographically sexually charged variety or the hurt/angry/jealous aftermath thereof. The rest of the crew will think it’s great that you’ve put them off their lunch and out of the crew’s mess, and you’ll almost certainly get to walk the unemployment plank back to Antibes and freedom.
Ø Get totally and utterly wrecked at every given opportunity. It’s the ‘yachtie’ way after all - especially when in uniform.
Ø Remember that you are irreplaceable. Never has a junior stew or deckie’s wealth of experience & need for rest been more valued than yours.
Ø Start strong. Enthusiasm, positivity & gratitude for being given your break into the industry are over-rated.
Ø Resist the urge to gossip. Slagging your colleagues off behind their backs achieves far more than discussing any issues with them face to face, and bad mouthing the yacht to the greater floating community can only improve its (and your) reputation in the long run. It definitely won’t get back to your captain either.
Ø Pay too much attention to “constructive” criticism. Your superiors relish your shortcomings – it makes them look better, and therefore everyone’s tips bigger. Having done your job for years previously, their methods & benchmarks are most probably outdated anyway and well in need of your fresh-eyed review.
Ø If you’ve all been out on a tip funded, Dom Perrignon & Jaegermeister fuelled bender the night before, get up before the rest of the crew to ensure that all incriminating evidence is removed from the jacuzzi/crew’s mess/facebook, or put the coffee on, the flag up or chuck any breakages overboard. Crew HATE waking up in a dehydrated, cross-eyed panic only to find that their worst worries have already been allayed, their significant others are still blissfully ignorant of their drunken escapades with the buxom stew/buff deckie from M/Y XXX and that they are still gainfully employed.
Ø Finish strong and see it though until the end of the season if you can’t be arsed. If the crew are starting to grate, the guests are whiny, annoying and tight fisted and you’ve saved all you need for that trip to Thailand then just get the hell out of there. A good reference and a CV demonstrating your ability to see it through are totally over-priced when it comes to securing your next job. Bailing a few weeks early is well worth the long term cost.