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Is Dishonesty the New Policy?
Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 2:25 PM

Dear Crew Confessor, I hate the new boat I'm working on. I started in November and have stuck it out through the boat show and the holiday charters but much longer and I'm going to pitch myself off the bow. Not quite at that level of desperation, but close. This is just not the yacht for me on so many levels. It's. Just. Not. Right. My conflict? I got this job through an agency that has really done well by me for several years. They have a 90 day guarantee policy. I'm just a few weeks away from passing that 90 day mark. Said agency, has just contacted me with an outstanding opportunity, honestly the dream job of a lifetime. Great boat, owners, itinerary, money, you name it. Here's the thing, they want me to do something to get myself fired intentionally so that they can keep this commission and collect a new one from the new job they are placing me on. As much as I want the new job and dislike the current one I feel torn by the dishonesty. I don't like my current boat but it's not a hell ship by any stretch. Additionally I can't afford to piss this agency off, I've been one of their favorites for years and I want to keep it that way. Quick! What do I do? Signed, Betwixt and Between

Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 9:22 PM
look in the mirror and do what is for the highest good, if you dislike dishonesty so much then you will have no trouble making the right decision.
Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 10:25 PM
How will help you to get yourself fired? You will ruin your reputation for the sake of an agency? That's crazy. It sounds like you are really unhappy on this boat, then leave and take the other job. Life is too short to be miserable. And the agnecy will get the commission from the other boat so their not too bad off. I think you should be honest with everyone and then do what is best for you. good luck
Sally Finbow Pawelek
Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 11:06 AM
Joined: 22/08/2008
Posts: 1

Dear Betwixt and Between,  As a Crew Agent, I was horrified to read your story!  Your Agent is acting totally unprofessionally, to say nothing of unethically, and they are certainly not doing you any favours.  As another reply pointed out, compromising your reputation would be a huge mistake - and these things do have a way of coming out in the wash!  I can't believe that a fellow crew agent is acting so irresponsibly and putting you in such a situation.  Stick to the honesty policy and do things by the book - it will work out for the best and you will feel  better about yourself!  Happy New Year!
Anita Warwick
Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 7:26 PM
Joined: 15/05/2008
Posts: 44

I can understand your dilemma, but loyalty to such an unethical Agency?!

If you're good at what you'll do and have good references, you won't have a problem in the future.  If you're unhappy on the boat you're on, secure the other job, give fair notice and move on.

I remember not jumping from a boat to a good job I was offered as it demanded an immediate start. I did not take it as I was unable to give fair notice on the vessel I was already on.  I was fired very soon thereafter (no notice given!) Ha! funny old world.

To thyself be true. 

Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 10:16 PM

Definitely be honest, honesty is still the best policy...even if it can get you "black balled". 

Also, anyone should keep in mind that there are those in EVERY industry, including recruiters, who shriek at people doing the right thing with respect to hard work and honesty. 

You may find yourself doing what you feel is right and then losing your bid for the new job and perhaps with the agency in total.  If that happens, keep your chin up and refrain from letting other agencys know about the matter how big your grudge is

Also, keep in mind that if you dare complain to an agent about anything, no matter how serious, it can reflect bad on yourself...even if you feel it's only thing you should do.  Then again, discretion is one thing.

Adversity and discrimination is another.



Crew Confessor
Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2009 8:03 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

Dear Betwixt and Between, Under no circumstances should you do what the agency has asked. No. Not. Ever. It's unethical and just plain wrong. In this economy crew are holding onto their jobs for dear life so I am guessing that some of the crew agencies are feeling the pinch. The last few years has seen so many new ones popping up everywhere I think it was inevitable that their numbers would have to shrink somehow. Crew agencies make their money on crew placements, and consequently for them a degree of crew turnover puts money in their pocket. The exception is the case of the ongoing contracts some of them have with especially large yachts where they provide all (or part) of their crew for a set price. This agency is being very unethical and though I am not an attorney it reeks of fraud to me. I understand that you are not happy on this boat but you yourself have said that this is not a "hell ship." I presume if things were abusive or unsafe you would have quit already, AND I don't read of any complaints about your pay. But you are not happy and because as a crew person you must work and live in the same place, if you are not happy a change must be made. Ideally I would suggest that you stick out the season and then give your notice, much easier for them to find your replacement. About this other job: has it actually been offered to you? Would they really want you if they learned that you are the sort of person to not give any notice to your current boat? Would you really want to work for a yacht that is forcing you to act unethically from the get go? There is that old saying about "the grass being greener on the the other side of the fence." There is another saying too, "the devil you know versus the devil you don't." I would first speak with the captain of the new boat (not the agency) about exactly when they would need you, presuming that you do have an employment offer from them. Who knows they might be able to get along without you till the end of the season and then you can do the right thing for everyone. If they need you right away then I would say no thanks, they know you are working now and not giving notice is just not fair. Finally, if they can wait, but just a few weeks, and you have a firm job offer then give your boat proper notice (two weeks min.) and proceed. I'm afraid the agency was attempting a triple dip here by suggesting that you get yourself fired so be very guarded with your communication with them. Goodness knows there are enough crew looking for work that they shouldn't have to stoop to churning. Say as little as possible to everyone, especially the agency. If pressed you can always say that the captain on boat A found out about boat B, so of course you gave proper notice and couldn't go through with "getting yourself fired!" Of course you could go ahead and do the right thing, give proper notice etc... and, like Anita experienced, find your bags on the dock ten minutes later, that is a risk in any job, anywhere. In that case hopefully the new job will be available and if not it wasn't meant to be. Your conscience will be clear though and MOST captains will think better of you for it. Good luck. Remember, most of the time if we need to ask if doing something is right or wrong we already know what the answer is. The Crew Confessor
Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2009 9:50 PM
What the Crew Confessor said.
Posted: Friday, January 9, 2009 11:21 PM

hey crewconfessor,


are you a stew? are you a mate? where are you from? could you give us a hint at least?

how did you start your yachting experience and where did you begin the job hunt?




Crew Confessor
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 5:48 AM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94

My identity is not important. Suffice to say that I began in this industry before many of you were born! This is not the time or place for an overly long tale, but perhaps someday soon I will tell you what it was like, and how I found myself in the yachting industry long before the Lonely Planet broadcast it to the masses, or the Travel Channel existed. Let's just say that all of you are much better off today in so many ways, not the least of which is that you have resources to help you figure out how it is, that one works and lives successfully together, in the sometimes high stress environment that is yachting today. Publications like Dockwalk offer an enormous resource to crew, and with the ease of availability of the internet what a wonderful tool. As great as the swift technology is, you still need human beings at each end and I hope, that by offering my bits and bobs of wisdom, I can help some of you navigate this odd but wonderful lifestyle/profession we call yachting. Carry on Crew Peeps! Your Crew Confessor Lets Keep the Questions Coming - Don't Be Shy....
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 9:08 PM


I'll cherish the advice. Thanks.

Seems like your mother tongue is English. Are you from America or another English speaking country?

thanks Crew Confessor!

Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009 11:23 PM

Glad you have a conscience, accept new job, resign from this one & PAY THE AGENCY ITS LOST COMMISSION OUT OF YOUR PAY, you will sleep well, the agency will value you ( but not respect you as they will see you as a sucker given their ethics!) & you will have your dream job. Good luck.


Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2009 2:34 AM
I don't think it's fare of the agency to put you in that position - very unprofessional in my opinion! Do what you know is right - might bite you in the ass later if you don't

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2009 3:31 AM

I have no faith in crew agencies as it is. I just met with a crew agent that has been in the "industry" for thirty years or so. All she did in the in the "interview" was talk about herself and her high profile clients and then told me personal stories for half an hour. The only boat this agency ever placed me on was a nightmare and has one of the highest turnovers in the industry. She bashed other crew agencies and told me they were all "nipping at her heels" and wouldn't make it through this recession we are experiencing right now. It was the worst hour of my life and they are one of the biggest crew agencies in Lauderdale. Well, surprise, I am about to leave for a job that one of the inferior crew agents has placed me on.

Life lesson - look out for number one and take everything you are told with a grain of salt, there are not many honest people left out there anymore.

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2009 3:32 PM
Joined: 11/01/2009
Posts: 22

Crew level beneath Real estate agents. They thrive on crew represents their profit stream.  Id recommend that in the future you stand clear of all the barnacles and influence peddlers that grow up around the waterfront and approach the yacht directly.  IE, put on your happy face and speak with the captain.  As THE CAPTAIN, I respect crew that put the effort into applying for a job..... in person.    
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 5:24 PM
Joined: 17/06/2008
Posts: 70

Over the years I’ve seen the owner’s credit card thrown around, paying for this and paying for that.


It’s the crew with boat credit cards that use them dishonestly and knowingly abuse the privilege, which ruin it for the rest of us.


Typically people with such credit cards are on good salaries, yet there is great a great tendency to buy drinks, lunch or dinner for all and sundry.


I’ve even heard of crew buying groceries for their apartments, taking time to drop the stuff off and then head onward to the yacht or continue on with other trips for the day.


There are many ways to be dishonest and get away with it, besides credit card abuse (theft), such as frittering away the day in coffee shops, malls and doing miscellaneous errands. All the while pushing junior crew around and making them work hard while they play.


Collecting receipts from the grocery store floor to fudge the books is another classic ploy of the dodgy crew member.


The upside is that virtually every person who does the wrong thing does get caught out eventually.


The downside is those who respect the boss, their money and are responsible often don’t get a credit card because the last person ruined it for them.


Cash, credit card or what ever you need for boat business is exactly for that and nothing else unless there is a specific budget.

Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 8:24 PM
Dean, Try reading the questions and answers before adding your two cents. The title may be misleading, it's not about crew stealing money.
Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 3:45 PM
And they say men don't listen?????......
Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 8:45 PM

Hey that's alright, I thought this article was about crew lying on their applications to get that dream job.  I was going to find out how an intelligent hardworking guy, new to the yachting ind, but knowledgesble on boats, could get a job, without going to the waste of time crew agencies, myself being told not to come back after the new year(while in Nov) if I was to be considered. 

Now, maybe I should dockwalk more, but when you get off the bus in front of 1 girl( & felling good)  & then you see groups of 2 & 3 ahead of me in every direction, you get a little discouraged, hence the NO WORK!                              (CoT)

 Average 5 out of 5