Ireland

Ireland

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Strange Days

In May of 2000, I was reading a "letter to the editor" in a trade magazine, and in it, a tug boat Captain was complaining about the fact that he had to wait outside his company's human resources office for an hour before anyone would see him.
He made it very clear that he thought, because he was a "Captain", he should have been shown more respect by the pencil pushers in the HR office.
I agree he should not have been made  to wait a hour, not because he was a Captain, but because nobody should have to wait an hour.

Well, I must have been having a bad day, so I wrote a "letter to the editor" responding to his "letter to the editor." Keep in mind, at the time I had recently been layed off after working for the same company for 24 years, so I was in what you might call a sour mood.

In my letter to the editor I was addressing the captain. What I basically shared with him was the fact that he should let go of this thought that because he is a "captain", he feels he should be treated in a special way. I informed him, that if he wanted to impress someone with his title he should go to the local bar and share with his friends how important he is to the world, because no one in his HR office cares. I stressed that actually he is "just a number", just a guy filling a position on a boat that his company needs filled.

Interestingly enough, it turns out the CEO of my company also reads that same publication, and he read my "letter to the editor." I know this because the CEO sent the magazine from his office in Louisiana to my direct boss in New York. My direct boss contacted me and in a voice full of exasperation asked, "What the hell are you doing?" I explained that everything I wrote was true, especially the fact that we, the employees, are really just numbers on a spread sheet.

Just a few weeks ago, my present company sold their tug and barge fleet, of which I have been a part of for the last 13 years. See, I was right again. Lucky for me and my fellow shipmates, the company that bought us needs people to run the boats, so I am lucky, unlike thousands of people who are out of work. For that, I am grateful.

So, paint the boat a different company color and start wearing different color uniforms, and things should continue as before, that is, until this company decides to sell.

Strange days.


9 comments:

Jerral Miles said...

Perfect...

Jerral Miles said...

By the way, that first picture... the bark... It looks surprisingly like Mayor Filner... only the bark is better looking. Also... a question... Is the rank of mayor above the rank of captain?

Joey said...

And therein lies the problem, my friend.

Formerly known as Frau said...

I glad they needed a crew.....hopefully it won''t change much. I've used that phrase a lot lately we are a dime a dozen....everyone is replaceable...it stinks but it's true!

Karen said...

...because as you stated, you're just a number.


Good for you, Mark.

Donna said...

Glad they still need you and you have income - until they decide they don't and you don't - from one cog to another in corporate America!

beth said...

i hope everything feels the same for you....and yes, you are very lucky....

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

Amen. The CEO, the Captain, and the rest of us put our pants on one leg at a time.


Marilyn said...

Yikes! Glad you still have a job. It gets a bit strange out there these days. Enjoy painting the tug the new color.