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June 11 2012 at 4:02 PM
John  (Login hattonj)
Forum Member

Response to Memorandum of Policy - Volunteer Hours

First, I do volunteer work at two parks and a museum besides working on the ship. In all cases I sign in when I get there and sign out when I leave. I get credit for the hours I worked. If there is a special project I work on away from the organization I work with the supervisor or person in charge of the area and they make sure I get credit for those hours. At the park and museum they use a computer program and it tracks what you were working on by area or project. On the ship we are not that "fancy" or detailed and I don't know that we need to be.

As the Captain pointed out the 80 hours required for going on a cruise are very important. New crew members need to learn a lot before taking on the responsibility of being on a cruse. Personally I agree with the "actual hours worked" when not on a cruise. In Engineering it takes some time to learn what needs done and how to do it. ( I am sure the same is true for the deck force). It takes time for us to know what the new crew member can do and how well they can work. Having them only spend a bit over three or four days at a work week was really not nearly enough for us, or the new member, to get acquainted. With the new (actually old) method of counting hours new volunteers need to spend at least ten days of full time work to qualify. This is both fair and reasonable for both sides. It gives the new crew member time to learn more about what we do, how we do it, and get to know the existing crew better.

While it sounds cool to just show up for a few days and then be able to "crew" the ship we all should be honest and recognize that on a cruise we need well qualified hands. This is especially true in Engineering where we have our moments when things go wrong and we have to be able to fix it NOW. Also, I think a new crew member will appreciate the fact that they "earn" the right to go on a cruise. Requiring commitment from them better represents the seriousness of what it takes to actually crew a running ship, especially a "senior" ship like ours. Not only that, it makes it more an honor and an achievement when you have to make a personal investment of your time and energy to earn a spot. An individual who just wants to pay $25 and think they can ride around on the ship clearly isn't being very realistic as to what it takes to keep our gal running.

So I welcome the new policy and feel its a positive step in the right direction. As for counting other hours for special projects it shouldn't be a difficult matter to work out anything that needs done to facilitate that.

While it is human nature to resist or question change I find a positive approach to change helps. Every situation has a solution if we all work together. I think everyone on the ship wants to be fair and will be when given a chance.

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