Grooming of deck Cadets – 9
The deck cadets train to be not just any other officers of the ships but to become the future Masters of the ships under their commands!
During my travels recently – I came across a twelve year old boy spending his entire day of the summer vacation at a 4 star hotel that was being run by his father and was also owned by his grand father. During the day it was hard to distinguish him as a ‘boss’s son’ – he was totally involved in his observations and at times even giving hand to the front office staff ! A couple of days later his grandfather arrived and I heard the grand pop and the grandson discussing each other’s work areas with mutual respect! The hotel owner – the grandfather- was himself in his seventies & was in town to purchase some raw material for his carpentry project he had undertaken, the grandson intently listened to him, gave him report on how he was rotating himself within the hotel departments – a while later the boy’s father joined their discussion … I realized this kind of mentoring that was going on in front of my eyes is what exactly is needed for the MN cadets grooming too – after all, they are to take a full charge of the vessel in future and that preparation is to start from day one !!
The companies that are successful in having mentoring the way I was witnessing in this hotel can be doing some real work in grooming and developing the MN cadets. Cadets who are groomed and trained this way have no fear, have no overconfidence but they are truly on-the- scene-commanders in the making …. These days we see the MN watch keeping officers busy filling-in endless number of records and checklists that even their supervisors have no time to verify and together they do not fully verify what is practically happening in and around the vessel, the assessments are largely dependent on the paper records rather than the physical presentations …. A future Master with such negligent foundation would be far less effective than the one who is groomed the way the two generations were doing in that hotel and with so much sincere effort by the learning youngster himself!! This can happen at sea too – it is not difficult..
Cadets – are you getting the message..? You need to take charge of being groomed in an all-round fashion because MN jobs are about being fully in charge of the ship’s functions and operations and that needs such in dedicated approach. The guiding books & programmes are good but their effectiveness is far enhanced by such approaches!!