Two o’clock in the afternoon always seems like the most peaceful time of day on a yacht, at least on mine. Guests have eaten lunch, sun is at its warmest, and the 5,000 items you need for dinner service don’t need to be pulled…yet. Basque in its silent glory! By this time, laundry has already been through the machines and pressed to it’s wrinkle free perfection. Maybe its just me, but laundry is the one mundane task I’ve never minded. It allows my mind to wander – the beach perhaps with a mimosa perhaps? Put me in to wipe out a wet shower and you’ll get a different story. This particular sunny afternoon soon had a dark cloud overhead once my stew appeared with that look. As a chief stew, you’ve probably seen that look before from one of your juniors. Something. Is. Wrong.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“I’m unhappy and I’m leaving… today.” She replies.
Don’t say a word, don’t say a word, don’t say a word. Blank face. Now the leaving didn’t come as much of a surprise as the today did. This particular stew had depression and antisocial behavior due to combination of homesickness and lovesickness. Unless I could have added psychologist or psychiatrist bars to my epaulettes posthaste, there’s nothing I could have done to help her.
What do you do in this situation? You’re in the middle of the busiest trips of the year and you need to move from Point A to Point B the next morning with an already too small crew and one has her foot out the door? How do you explain this to your boss? This is why you get paid the big bucks I tell myself.
1. You could get angry, yell, and threaten her from leaving. Most likely, this would be a waste of breath, unless she’s just wanting you to beg her to stay. This might have been a tiny bit what she wanted, but I don’t cater to feelings. This is a job. I am not Mommy.
2. You could force her to buy her ticket that instant and give her one hour to pack and leave. Hey, this is yachting and it happens all of the time. The hot headed asshole on my right shoulder thought this would be a super-duper fun idea! You quit, you’re no longer my problem.
3. Or, you could calmly state that you acknowledge her decision and ask her to stay one extra day so you’re able to safely move the vessel without disturbing the guests. This is the route I chose. Growing up sucks.
Let her understand that is she giving the whole crew the middle finger while walking out in the middle the busiest guest trips of the season. Be sure to also let her know that this will result in a poor reference. Who is really going to say, “She was AMAZING… even though she screwed us.” No one. Never risk your own hide when giving a reference. If they walked out, let all of your very good agent friends in on, The Flyer. I’m not a total jerk – usually Sweethearts and Gum Drops (
Captain states otherwise), but no one wants that to happen to them. I send her well wishes with her next endeavors.
The moral of the story boys and girls is, crew walk out. It’s happened on every single boat. Whether it’s personal/emotional issues, or a crap work environment, learn to handle it appropriately. Finish what you started. You will forever be remembered not for how you arrived, but by how you left – so make sure you’re ass is covered, you don’t want it spanked.