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I bitch about work a lot, I'm aware. But sometime there comes a failure so completely epic that if I wasn't witnessing it, I would probably be laughing uproariously at it.

I started this week by opening the MR Orestes, a foreign ship carrying jet fuel. Foreign vessels are almost always a hassle, but this one was beyond the pale.

Right from the beginning, when they lined up at the wrong arm, I knew it was going to be trouble. I sent the shore radio aboard with the gauger, but they never called me to let me know that they were ready to hook up the arm. Then eventually, I called them on the radio, and they told me they were ready, in very broken English. An hour later, no one on deck. I call them again, and they said they did have someone on deck, and asked if I was ready. Sigh.

It took half an hour and five yelled attempts to get them to send me a rope to tie to the MLA's lead line. Normally, I just pitch it up over the rail, but this boat was drafting up so high I'd have never made it. I can't throw that good! After that, they took bloody fucking ages to get the arm hooked up... 40 minutes. 10-12 is typical.

Once I went aboard to do the pre-transfer conference and paperwork, I notice that the deck crew is all coughing. Get inside the ship's office, and the chief mate is also coughing. Wondered to myself if I was going to contract some sort of exotic foreign disease from just being in there. Start going through the paperwork with the chief mate, and he's got a letter of protest related to freedom of crew movement. For christ's sake, we hadn't even done anything yet!

Throughout the entire discharge, the ship was very difficult to reach on the radio, often taking 3-4 attempts, and having to speak in small words and very slowly to be understood. I understand that English isn't your first language, but you should not be handling hazardous cargo if your communication isn't adequate.

At one point, I asked them for a 2hr notice including stripping, and they gave me it at 1700. At 1700, they told me that they were starting to strip and that it would be two more hours.

At the end, I had to go up on board and open the vent on the arm so it could be evacuated. They told me it was open, but they either lied, or had no idea what I was saying to them. While I was up there, the chief mate tried to dump a bunch of paperwork on me... including no less than eight pages of letters of protest. I've never seen that many from a single vessel. I stood on the deck for a moment flipping through them on the clipboard and pondering just tearing them up, or literally wiping my ass with them and handing them back. Insult upon injury, or something like that. But I didn't. I just refused them firmly.

I was very sorely tempted to write my own letter of protest charging the vessel and its crew with lack of sufficient proficiency with English, inability to follow instructions, incompetence, and unsafe operations. But I didn't know if that would reflect badly on either KMI or the company I work for, so I asked the gauger (who the boat also fucked over) to write one, since he also had a legitimate grievance. And he did, taking note of what I said for a letter from his company (Inspectorate).


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2016 01:50 am (UTC)
I need you to bother me more about looking here!
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:38 pm (UTC)
Surprised anyone really still uses LJ, to be honest!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )