Tuesday, June 5, 2012

87th Day at Sea

is a pretty good title for this post even though it has nothing to do with the ocean or boats or anything else along those lines. It's just a good eye catching title. I think I'll run with it.

One of the things that I sometimes have to deal with is people that are not flexible. When you couple that with stupidity all bets are off because stupid people ruin things.

Over the years I have managed to learn how to get some of the shoreside people we deal with to do us a few favors. Gaugers are one of these shoreside people. We meet one every time we eithe pull in to load or discharge cargo. Often called inspectors, these people are hired to make sure everything ison the up and up and that the cargo is transferred properly and in the correct amounts.

The show up at the beginning and the end of every transfer and if you are even halfway decent to these guys you can get them to run a few errands for you.

One time I had a deckhand that asked me to get the gauger a couple of packs of smokes. I did and when I reached for my wallet. I knew I would collect from the deckhand. The gauger was was quick to point out there was a chance he would not be there for the close-out and he would pick them up and collect from me when he arrived. Cool.

Now to someone that has never smoked cigarettes are pretty difficult to pick up because there are not only so many different brands but a huge number of sub-brands. For example there are Camel straights, filters, lights, menthols,100s, Wides and a few others. It can be a gold plated sonuvabitch to get things straight.

Of course the gauger got it close but not too exact and when he arrived the deckhand popped by and immediately started grousing.

I looked at the deckhand and explained that the smokes were for me and simply paid the gauger and put the smokes on the counter.

I certainly didn't want the two packs of smokes but was wise enough to know that it is stupidity like this that ruins things for everybody else because when it starts to cost a person money to do favors they generally stop and returning 2 packs of cigarettes to a convenience store is likely not going to happen and it is also a pain in the neck even if you can.

I paid the man because I didn't want to have him upset and stop working for us. After all, he isn't getting paid for helping us out, it is a courtesy.

I also knew I would not be stuck with the cigarettes for very long.

When we left we had a couple of day run and the deckhand would run out of smokes and I would have an opportunity to teach a little school.

Sure enough the deckhand came by blubbering about being out of smokes. I asked him why he didn't offer to pay the gauger and he told me that the cigarettes were the wrong brand. That's when I handed out the textbook and began the lecture.

1. Beggars can't be choosers. You took a chance that he'd get the right brand but you have to settle for what you get.
2. Courtesies dry up fast when good deeds are punished for.
3. When you get a reputation for ruining things for everyone else you generally wind up pretty miserable as you tend to lose a lot of friends.
4. Paybacks are a bitch and people will get even with you for ruining things for them.

Of course, lectures and talk is cheap. I wanted this lesson to sink in. I decided to hit this guy hard right smack dab in the wallet. I waited a while until his nicotine addiction was at its peak before I sold him the smokes.

I won't tell you what I charged him for the smokes but I ought to go to jail for it.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

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