A recent article on the Women’s Weekly website was by no means the first of its kind. But it was the last – the last straw.
How many articles have there been in the mainstream media telling ‘horror stories’ of what it’s like to work on a superyacht? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good anecdote. In fact, we’ve printed a list of crew stories from the “What did she say?” stories to the downright hilarious. But these are light-hearted and, like any piece of news reporting should (we think) offer two sides – the good and the bad.
Because yes, everyone’s worked for an owner or captain who has made God-awful requests and demands, the same way everyone reading these mainstream articles from their office or their sofa will have had to work with people who make their skin their crawl at one time or another. OK, those who work in an office probably won’t have as outrageous anecdotes, but the perks of their job probably aren’t quite as good as those who can, and do, share these jaw-dropping stories. Leaving at 5pm rather than 5:30pm or drinks after work paid for by the boss. It’s not really as good as €10,000 in tips made over three months or starting your working day with a view of dolphins swimming alongside your yacht, is it?
Where are the other stories that paint yachting as something other than a world of neurotic, non-toilet-trained billionaires?
What I’m trying to say here is, it’s all relative. In every job there is good and bad, but as our niche industry grows both in size and in the public eye, more and more people are becoming aware of it, and our responsibility to present it accurately increases. I’m not staying these horror stories aren’t true, because they are – we know these things happen. But where are the other stories that paint yachting as something other than a world of neurotic, non-toilet-trained billionaires?
And how do these non-neurotic, toilet-trained billionaires feel when and if they come across these printed recollections? Hopefully they, like us, understand that this is a microscopic depiction of a minuscule portion of superyacht owners. But it’s not a great brush to paint them with, especially when there are so many owners who are just brilliant. Where are the stories of the owners who once a week send the crew off in the tender to the beach to have an afternoon off? The stories of the bosses who pay out of their own pocket for all their crew to do all their training (try and name one office where the boss that does that); the stories of owners coming to the galley after every single meal to tell the chef what a great job they’ve done. These are stories we hear every single day and stories that, I guarantee you, if the mainstream media heard, would paint a completely different picture of our industry.
To show only the good would be equally problematic, but I think it’s time to show that with the bad comes the good. We’re part of an industry that employs over 30,000 crewmembers. It can’t be that bad, can it?
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