(Note: This is an 2.0 elaboration to my previous post, “Is Yachting for Everybody? Pt. 1“. Maybe read that first and come back, or not, whatever.)
Exciting and exotic ports of call. Azure blue waters. Meals prepared by culinary trained chefs. Big fat cash tip in hand. And a comfy bed to rest your head after sunset cocktails on a soft sandy beach. Oh, the lifestyle or the rich and famous! Or, the lifestyle of yacht crew. Sometimes.
It sounds like the dream job! Travel and a decent pay? Before you fly to Fort Lauderdale and sign up with your first crew agent…
Handle being spoken to as if you’re a second class citizen with a grade school education?
It doesn’t matter if you speak four languages, have a degree from a university that well surpasses those you’re serving and traveled to more exotic locale than they can ever imagine. Remember, you’ll never have the perfect amount of ice in the glass and you call that a drink? Well, that isn’t right either. You’re getting paid to serve. Shut up and deal with it.
Have a cleanliness/organizational OCD that dances the line of insane and institutionalized?
Every drink in the fridge must face perfectly forward. Same goes with every snack cabinet, cleaning cabinet, and toiletry drawer. Closets must be filled with clothing that is ironed to perfection and organized by style and color – all facing the same direction. Hangers evenly spaced.
Do you know exactly how many backups of every product, drink, toiletry, ect you have on board? Can you tell me the last time you polished, wiped, organized, and inventoried every aspect of the vessel? I can… most of the time.
Deal with monotonous work that is never finished, no matter how perfect it is?
Somewhere, in some corner, there is a speck of dust, a streak of grime, or an article of clothing that isn’t perfectly pressed. You can always find a better way to clean, organize, and inventory. Seek it out, and kill it.
Consider ALL family holidays a thing of the past?
Forget Christmas. There is always a Christmas trip, and yes, that includes New Years, so “NO!”, you can not go party with your friends. Holidays – they no longer belong to you. They belong to your “owner”. So pull out their party hats, decorate the boat, and get ‘em drunk!
Work borderline 140 hours for a week with guests aboard?
(charter has its rules)
Do the math. That’s 20 hour days with guests nagging nonstop, constant movement, all while staying one step ahead of the game. Determination should pulse through your veins. Caffeine is your friend. It’s not for the faint of heart or those who cherish sleep. Need 9 hours of “beauty rest”? Get a desk job, Princess.
Expect days off, 30 days paid vacation, full medical and dental, a pension plan, matching 401k, and free flights home?
Well, while some yachts offer a few of these luxuries – don’t expect you’re going to get everything you’ve ever wished for. No position is 100% without hiccups or tradeoffs.
Suck up your own self importance, arrogance, and entitlement issues?
The “Millennial Generation” or “Generation Y” as some know it, is full of narcissistic little bastards. I hate to admit it, but yes, the industry is full of these green kids. Can you get over yourself for the greater good?
Have an upbeat attitude even when you’ve been beaten down, felt unappreciated, and haven’t a clue when your next “me” day will be?
Then you my friend, are a yachtie.
Am I a Negative Nancy? No, I’m a realist. Wake up and smell the coffee! It’s hard work. The days and weeks are long, but can be made up for quickly by a big fat tip in hand or a day off! On a tropical island. Beachside. With a cocktail.
Update: Second installment can be read here, “So, You Wanna Be a Yachtie” Series Pt. II – Breaking In.