Argh frustrating day today.
The yard that I work for has a big-wig client that we are always trying to please. This winter she bought a very fancy 31' antique wooden racing
boat for her son; a nice, young, if not, a tad privileged 13 year old lad with little or no sailing experience. She has requested that the yard provide him with crew/teacher to get him up to speed.
Today I was to assume that crew/teacher position, the idea being that he gain helm
time while someone watches over him making sure he doesn't run into anything.
I got down to the boat early (mind you I have never sailed one of these boats) to try to get my bearings a bit before the client arrived and to make sure that there were reef points rigged because it was quite windy. I got everything semi-sorted and went to get the client at the dock
in the skiff.
There I found one very mopey teen-aged boy, his mother (the client), and three slightly elderly and bewildered looking "yachty types" who resembled characters from a William F Buckley book. They had on shirts with alligators and "Nantucket Red" pants (you know the pants, they are pink).
The boy said he was tired and that he didn't want to sail today. The client asked if I could just take her friends for a spin around the bay. So now I am not the crew/instructor but rather single
handing charter captain
. I said sure and started to leave the dock
asking if everyone had a bit of sailing experience? The one elderly guy who claimed he did fumbled while un-cleating the skiff from the working end out and fell into the bow.
About half way out to the boat all of my "bad idea!!!" alarms start going off in my head
. I cannot single
hand someone elses engineless 31 ft antique racing sloop
on and off the mooring
and around the busy harbor in 20 knots of wind
with a bunch of geriatrics cluttering up the cockpit
without ever having sailed this boat before. "Bad idea!!!" indeed. I tell the people and they seem fine.
When I got back to the yard the boss asked me why the client had called and said, "Next time send me someone who knows how to actually sail!"
I have a friggin' captains license
and someone who's never driven a boat is going to bad mouth me to my employer because I don't want to risk smashing up her expensive boat and making her friends miserable? Why lord, oh why?
The worst part is tomorrow I have to take this women out on charter
for 6 hours in my power boat
and try so suck up to her all day knowing that she thinks I don't know my bilge
It has been a long summer of needy and demanding people. It is really hard when you are just trying to do a good job and look out for everyone's best interest and people somehow mistake it as incompetence.