Frustrated

I am just steaming right now!

I FINALLY got a call for a real job! First one in ages, and after talking to them for a few minutes, they eliminate me because I don’t have one, (just one), of the multitude of newly required certificates of “training’.

You want to know which one? It’s a fairly new one, called “T-HUET”. T-HUET is supposed to be a less involved iteration of the HUET. HUET is a less involved iteration of the BOSIET.

I have the HUET, in fact I just renewed it. I also have BST (which has also been repeatedly renewed). They have not taught anything new in either course in the last 20 years.

ALL of these courses cover almost exactly the same stuff! But the companies now are insisting that you need to spend the thousands of dollars and weeks of time to take ALL 3 of them! Of course, THEY will no longer help pay for any of this. YOU need to spend all YOUR time and money on this stuff!

This is the email I just now sent off to the recruiter:

Just for your information:
T-HUET 
Course Outline
Procedures at Heliport
Helicopter Safety Equipment
Types of Helicopters used in the Offshore Industry
Dangers associated with Helicopters
Helicopter Safety Procedures
Preparation prior to Emergency landing
Emergency landing on Land
Surface Evacuation into an Aviation Liferaft
Escape from a Partially and Capsized Helicopter
In – water Survival Procedures
Helicopter Winching
HUET
Course Outline
Procedures at Heliport
Helicopter Safety Equipment
Types of Helicopters used in the Offshore Industry
Dangers associated with Helicopters
Helicopter Safety Procedures
Preparation prior to Emergency landing
Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET)
Emergency Breathing System Exercises
In -water Survival Procedures
Helicopter Winching

I don’t know why they don’t add the following to their description of their HUET course since they DID cover that same material. The only thing they did NOT cover that they say they do in the T-HUET is:

  • Surface Evacuation into an Aviation Liferaft- (we DID do this in the HUET course)
  • Escape from a Partially and Capsized Helicopter- (this is the exact same thing as what the HUET course describes as Helicopter Underwater Escape Training)
  • Emergency landing on Land

Do these companies SERIOUSLY want to eliminate pretty much ALL experienced mariners from consideration because they don’t have 10 minutes of ‘training’ differing in a course (that is only for the insurance company that has no clue about what ANY of these courses cover anyway)?

Do they really expect someone who has been out of work for months or years to pay hundreds of dollars for another course when the ONLY difference is at most a half hour talk about emergency landing ON LAND??? We get that same lecture every single time we fly, wether to go to work in the helicopter or flying to vacation. I would think it is 100% memorized by everyone in the country by now!

So now it is not years of experience and who can do the job, but who has the largest stack of certificates (most of them completely irrelevant to the job at hand). That is really sad.

I am perfectly willing to wait and ride the crew boat in if they are not willing to put aside that 10 minutes! I think it’s NUTS to throw someone out of a month of work because of some ridiculous ‘rule’ like this!

And you can feel free to pass this email on to Oceaneering (and any other company with the same stupid rule!). Just in case they REALLY believe there is some inherent advantage to their insistence on T-HUET, please do send them the facts, the ONLY difference is 10 minutes about emergency landings ON LAND!

Hope I’m not burning my bridges here too, but some things just have to be said!

Jill Friedman

MASTER MARINER (35+ YEARS OFFSHORE EXPERIENCE).

Do you think that was a little excessive? I don’t, I really don’t. I am getting SO fed up with the amount of complete and total pure BULLSHIT these companies are putting us through. Just in order to go to work for them.

Does anyone really think that after almost 50 YEARS spent working at sea, that 10 minutes, or even if I really push it, 2-3 hours of instruction, will make ANY difference to ANYTHING out there? If anyone does, there is no other word for those people than “INSANE” or “STUPID”. And yes, I am specifically talking to everyone involved in insisting on requiring these so called “training’ certificates!

They’re expensive and they’re USELESS! I know it and you damn sure OUGHT to know it!

How many mariners have you heard gushing about how much they learned in one of those courses? How many have you heard thanking the heavens that they’ve been forced to waste their vacation time in one of those classes instead of spending their time enjoying it the way they EARNED the RIGHT TO?

I can count the number of mariners who’ve felt that way on one hand, and after working out there for so many years, I know a LOT of mariners!

This whole certification rigamarole is just one more unnecessary burden. It’s not as if it’s all that great offshore anymore. They’ve cut and they’ve cut and they’ve cut some more. Yeah, things were finally getting pretty nice out there. Back a couple of years ago when the price of oil was sky high and they needed us badly and so were finally willing to offer us decent pay and conditions. Up until the price of oil dropped like a rock.

Now, we’ve dropped right back to where we were decades ago. Lost pay, lost benefits, lost time at home. Increased workload, increased forced ‘training’ and costs associated with all that, loss of freedom, loss of opportunity.

I used to think this was the best job in the world. It really was, way back when I started. Now, nah, not so much. Yeah, I still do personally consider it the best for me. I really can’t imagine anywhere I’d rather be than out on the ocean somewhere. Sailing to some obscure foreign port with adventures awaiting.

Sadly, there’s not too much of that on offer anymore. It looks to me more and more that my days of sailing the seven seas are about over with. After so many years of fighting to get my license, it’s become all but worthless these days.

Who in their right mind would want to sail as master these days? When every meaningful decision is made by some bean counter on the beach? Yet YOU and ONLY YOU are the one held responsible for the results of those decisions. When you have NOTHING to say about them?

That license you worked so hard to get will be taken from you. Without it, you can’t work ANYWHERE! On top of that, they will probably fine you a lot of money (millions), and then throw you in prison just to make sure that bus runs you over reeeaally good.

The companies need you for your license (by law) but refuse to pay you for them now (see my last job). They treat you like shit and expect you to lap it up like you were slurping down an ice cream Sunday (with a cherry on top)!

The longer it takes me to find a job, the more frustrated, cynical, depressed and angry I get. I think it’s just sick that a company in need of good workers would turn someone with my qualifications and years of experience away simply because they lack one simple certification. Especially when that particular piece of paper is so completely worthless! I worked for that company for 5 years, they KNOW I am perfectly capable and will do them a good job!

I’ve probably just burned my bridges with them and a bunch of other companies office people with this rant. Well, so be it. They need to hear it. For damn sure I’m not the only mariner who feels this way. I guarantee I’m saying what most would say about the situation. These companies need to wake up and get their heads out of their asses and THINK for themselves for a change! STOP sucking up to the god damned insurance companies and their suck-ass lawyers and do the RIGHT thing for once! Stand up for their companies and their people instead of cowering behind the threats of the paper pushers.

God DAMN I wish people in the USA would grow some balls and start acting like the free people we brag to the world about!

I really wish I could afford to start my own boat company. It would be so nice to work for a company that was run by people who really understood the business and was willing to stand up for their employees. I don’t see any like that around anymore. It’s a real shame.

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27 thoughts on “Frustrated

  1. Dang Jill, I think you not only burned the bridge…. you blew it up with a newk! 😉 I have watched this created mandated training economy ruled by the insurance companies became such a huge kracken to the maritime industry. Instead of changing a course curriculum to add some changes, the training world added a whole new course, its like they found Davy Jones Locker…$$$$…. The next job won’t care about T-huet, they will want the BST refresher course. What is even worse is when companies have their own in-house training department and you have to go to their specific training, which is useless to everyone else.
    It is unfortunate that you would not be consider for a job over one minor course, and what is even more unpalatable is you can’t even say, “I will get it at Falck next week”, they just hang up phone and throw your paperwork in the trash and pick up the next one. I wonder how many qualified people they do this to? Then they might find the one person that has the whole stack of certificates but they go out get hurt and sue, or have an accident with an environmental disaster, or even worse kill someone, but it’s ok because that person had T-HUET. AND the best part of this whole point I am about to make…..is the company probably doesn’t even use helicopters for personnel transfers because they are too expensive in these low oil price times!!!

    Well Jill all I can say is “don’t give up before the dream job hires you”…. I wish you all the best of luck.
    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bill,
      You’re 100% right! It’s ALL about the money. Nothing but the money.
      They can talk til it’s coming out our ears, but it’s NOT about safety or anything remotely related to safety- Its about M O N E Y! Period!
      The insurance companies and their lawyers have absolutely ruined the maritime industry (and I expect they have done much damage if not destroyed many other American industries as well).
      I don’t even want to sail captain anymore since I have no REAL authority on my ship any more. The office runs the ship now a days, captains have no say so even about who they can have as crew! But they still have all the RESPONSIBILITY, if anything happens.
      The law still treats the situation as if it was 200 years ago, when the office had NO influence since they had no way to communicate.
      The captain really WAS the MASTER of his ship. He had all the responsibility because he had ALL the authority. His word was LAW on his ship. Yep. They always blame the captain and he will be punished more than anyone else, by far. Just look how they threw Captain Hazlewood under the bus!
      The maritime world has changed and not for the better. It may be crazy, but it makes me glad I’m getting so old. I only have to deal with trying to find nonexistent work for another 12 years or so before social security kicks in.
      Bwahh ha ha ha ha! SS around in 12 years and not broke! Makes me hope I’m dead by then!
      Sad, isn’t it. A person works their ass off their whole life and winds up thrown out like last weeks garbage. With a cardboard box and a bridge to sleep under if they’re lucky!

      Like

      • Yep, Yep, Yep…to all.
        SS – what a joke – with this administration, we’ll never see all the money we paid FICA I’m betting.
        Yes, I hope I’m dead before this country goes COMPLETELY down the shitter. Cancer, come get me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah Karyn, I agree, the whole system is in serious trouble. Our ‘leaders’ refuse to do anything but continue to enrich themselves at our expense.
        If I had even half the money I’ve paid into the system, I could’ve retired to live like a queen years ago!
        I doubt I’ll ever see a dime. They’ve already screwed me out of 2.5 years of promised earnings. I’m sure they’ll have to raise the age again before I get to 67.5 yrs old.
        I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone! My dad died from it and what a long, drawn out, miserable death it was. I’d rather just shoot myself and get it over with quickly!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the support!
      I’m not sure if/when I’ll ever get back to CA, but if I do I’ll be sure to look you up. Can’t pass up a free beer. 😉
      If you’re ever in SE TX, look me up and I’ll return the favor. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • taxes suck anywhere! But I think CA has it worse than lots of other places. I think the regulations get to me even more than the taxes.
        One of the main reasons I prefer TX over FL is that our beaches might not be as pretty, but we can still USE them! I remember growing up in FL, we would go out after school and play games on the beach- football, soccer, volleyball, etc. We would have campfires, bring our pets. None of that is allowed anymore. Curfews, etc I can’t stand to go back there now. I might not have the gorgeous white sugar sand, but I can drive down the beach, camp out with no one around. Bring my dogs (if I had any). Cook out over a camp fire. I would much rather have the freedom that I have here over a shiny white sand beach (and we DO have plenty of those a bit further south from me)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it looks very nice. Is it a ketch? Or yawl? Hull and deck look to be in great shape. Of course, can’t really tell from pictures. Looks like a decent sail plan, tho as you said sails look like they might need some work. There’s already a life raft, which is a nice thing to have. Is there a dingy too? Or just the motor for one?
        It looks nice and roomy. 🙂
        Is this something you’re looking at buying?

        Liked by 1 person

      • My boat finally got a good offer and we’ve accepted. I’m looking for an older, heavier battleship like this one for the family and Great Dane. This boat isn’t even on the market yet. Was in a major storm or hurricane. Lost a lot of canvas and possibly the dinghy, I noticed the same stuff. Good change to put things on that we want as we have two years till we leave. Thanks so much for all your comments, that’s what this blog is all about-

        Liked by 1 person

      • Congrats on the offer! That one looks nice and should be a great cruising boat. Plenty roomy.
        Yep, blogging is for sharing and communicating. I enjoy talking to people all over the world. Kind of living vicariously through them for the moment. Waiting and wishing I could get back to work so I can start my own adventures again.
        I HATE being out of work and broke! I’ve never had this happen before. Could always at least work in a bar or something in my time off the boat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the encouragement. I’m doing my best to hang on. I did just get a job. I just posted about it. It’s just a temp job as a deckhand, but it’s something to give me hope and enough cash to pay the bills for another month.
        I wish I knew some reason not to be out there. It seems to me there’s something strange going on with me personally. I’ve NEVER had this kind of trouble finding work. It seems like I’ve been blackballed for some reason and I have no earthly idea why.
        I’ve talked to a few people. Everything sounded wonderful. They wanted to hire me. Then all the sudden, they stop answering the phone, stop replying to emails. I’m totally confused. What did I do??? No one will give me any hints.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I sure do hope so. I feel very discouraged to think I’m back to sailing as an AB again after all the time, money and effort I put into earning my masters license.

        Like

    • Hope your brother can keep it up, it’s getting harder every year.
      Thanks for your support. I wish more people knew how hard it is for us to earn a living now. Maybe with public behind us, we could make some needed changes

      Liked by 1 person

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