Uncertainty and faith!!!!
We in our day to life are concerned about I – me – mine – us. As a chef, while I see the minimum guaranteed in a Function sheet. With respect to any profession, respective professional see the personnel around,as relevant to numbers present for instant- for a bus conductor, the passengers as figures as number of tickets, for a doctor, for a lawyer, for a salesman, it is just numbers, I remember my brother – in – law Mr. Sankaran who mentioned this in many of his debates as to how the humans feature to respective professionals are no humans just numbers, I never gave a thought of it quite so seriously.
Not until my experience in an offshore incident…
I was sailing in D.S.Sagar Prabhat the first drill ship of O.N.G.C. while the oil exploration began in Cauvery delta, representating the company I was Catering Manager / Projecct Manager along with Mr. Kumaresan, who was 5 years senior to me. We with our staff team of 10 travelled to Visakapattinam dry dock to take over from Vishali Caterers. The inventory check, taking over process was quite laborious, as the ship was docked and getting the maintenance done, with limitation to move around. The ship being at the dock, the cabins locked and none too co-operative from the earlier caterers. The Radio Officer who was responsible for the smooth transition was never so had his demands for special care for himself even before we could move in the inventories. This was total different ball game while compared to the offshore operations we had done with other mercantile ships and warehouse ships.
The experience dealing with staff of Public Sector Units- P.S.U. was worth writing in golden letters for posing challenges for budding professionals like me. This has tested my metal to withstand and all sorts of pressures and solve crisis. While we set off on sail from Visakapattinam dry to Cauvery basin near Pondicherry by sailing it took 3 days.
You have no need to be concerned wondering we might have had a insipid time…you have mistaken…! The day it set off the journey and our team was all in action to prepare the first day service as, the equipments, and location was new from my chefs to my laundry man!!!! Yet we clocked the time for having the counter ready for service sharp by noon. IN the offshore ships/ Rigs- THE CRANE OPERATOR is the undisputed leaders for the respective shifts. Hence on that occasion the person named Hussain walks over to me at the counter to mention that the crew on the ship were staging HUNGER STRIKE!!! The reason being change of caterers..! I was devoid of expressions.. I just gazed at him, worrying about the food cost. He crew were squatting on the helipad and gheroing and time and again calling Hai! Hai ! Catering Manager!( Fortunately they did not know my name to be mentioned!!!! ) The irony was I had to serve them frooti – the tetra pack soft drink at the helipad to them, to break the fasting by evening!. I wass counting the heads who were protesting ( obviously all junior staff were there - 100 of them!)
Just before that I had discarded all the prepared Breakfast, Lunch and evening snack overboard on to the sea.!!!! I was so depressed seeing the wastage…later on the voyage had dramas like one of my service staff- LESLIE had cut his palm across while trying to pry open the biscuit tin.
The medic onboard Rajeshwari , this guy was such an entertainment, While Leslie came running to the galley with blood dripping all over, I just grabbed a clean cloth wrapped it with some ice cubes and rushed him to the medic. Rajeshwari not knowing what the situation, was casual and was reading a novel. I was making Leslie sit by the first aid table, who was turning pale. I just yelled at the medic, he with frustration and obnoxious expression turned at me as if I had intruded into his bedroom. With reluctance, not to listen to my relating the incident lethargically flipped over the towel that was covering the injury!! I was standing behind the medic. I suddenly heard a squeak of noise and the next moment I saw Rajeshwari was wobbling and posing his hand over his face like Saint Vishwamitra and slopping onto the chair nearby and fainting! I was cursing myself for having to handle two crisis at the same time, I pushed Leslie towards the wall and asked him to catch hold of the cot frame. I had to run for some water and splashed on Rajeshwari’s face. He came back to his conscious and looked around and with sheepish smile confided, “Chief, please don’t mistake make, You see it has been very long time since I saw blood, It took me by shock.. I think, the wound is too deep as the bones are visible, we need to call emergency chopper and we have to send him to onshore for immediate medical attention as I am just a “First Aid provider on board!! And what happened here let it be between us!!!!!”
The MMI directives insists to have a Medical Attendant on boar for emergeny- Rajeshwari had his certificates and the commission had him on board to fill the number!!!!!
I was wondering to myself, these people have been accounted as professionals and perform their respective duties undeterred. While the situation arises they do not demonstrate the professional command to diffuse the situation and above that they themselves become a factor for the crisis complexity!!!! The organisation that employed persons such as Rajeshwari!!! How far he was interviewed or assessed for his professional competence!!!! I am certain after this 22 odd years the patters and system hopefully could have been redefined and perfected!!
The nature of getting tethered in complex issue, I was just as usual was transferring fund from my bank account at UK to my NRO account, but somehow time and again, A.G. Gardner’s ON THE RULE OF THE ROAD, this was one of the chapters in English while I studied, would keep flashing on to my memory! Sometimes in one of the novels that I read about philosophy.. I never thought those were to be relevant to my day to day life too!!!