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Date: 6 December 2015. Dealing with Drunks (tool locker and dinette table)


Online commenter extraordinaire Pam asked about the status of my shipwright. I had hired this guy who moved my silverware drawer successfully. What I liked best is that he used the wood I had on hand. The teak is not perfect however it suits me and Seaweed just fine. During that process I discovered for myself that he drinks both too early and too much. Handling him was an exercise however the work was done to my satisfaction. This is how it all came to be.

The locker is where my cube refrigerator lived. Now it holds my canning jars.

We reused the wood from the other locker that was aft under my stove. A nice feature is that hidden cubby hole next to the silverware drawer. It holds spare canning lids and rings. The shelf also allows me to slide in a bunch of juice bottles.

The duck's head is where I hang my trash bag when I'm unloading groceries and getting rid of packaging.

But I digress...

Alcoholics steal time.

When promises are made and broken my happiness quotient suffers. And believe me, I am not one to suffer silently.

The shipwright when sober is fine. However he is a boozer when he has money. Thus paying him one day means the likelihood of him showing up the next day is nearly nil. Argh.

As all boaters know there is a prevalence of alcoholism afloat. People Talk BIG and then...

  1. Fear. It is huge and a bottle of vodka tempts some.

  2. Boats break. That is ongoing. Some opt to forget via booze which exacerbates every problem.

  3. Big Talk. If you have boasted about where you are going and what you are going to do, well, folks from home question you about same. Modest goals are achievable. Build from those and you will not be yet another blowhard who is all smoke and no fire.

That final #3 above gets a lot of boaters. It is tempting to say I am going to XZY. Then when stuff goes wrong unless you have a strong constitution some cruisers fall off the face of the earth. More than a few find solace in a bottle. They disappear, stop answering phone calls, etc.

As for me, you will find me on this chart for the near term.

I have no plans and definitely no schedule.

Those of us out here even with boats that do not work properly might initially feel compassion for the drinkers. It is tempered by the realization that the issues drunks experience are as a direct result of said booze. It is called a consequence and pity does not last long when the problems are self-inflicted...

If you drink like lush bad things tend to happen. There are times when it seems that I am surrounded by those who prefer Vodka to keeping promises. That is frustrating beyond measure. Apologies do not cut it when results remain the same...

The best indicator of future performance is past behavior.

As to the shipwright, he is an alcoholic. Dealing with broken promises "I will be there tomorrow" is a given. Handling him, well, that takes finesse. I Fired him last week.

Essentially I told him he was Done. I owed him $15 (one hour)
and here was the money. Now go away and do not come back.

After totaling the hours spent to get to this point I was finished dealing with him. Six hours is unacceptable.

When I explained the facts of life the shipwright decided to finish the job without further pay.

I was ready to do the rest of the job myself and would have done so. The pieces were ready to be bolted together and Stevie did so. They look good too. I had varnished everything while waiting for him to return incidentally.

I have had it up to HERE with broken promises and will hold workers feet to the fire.

Yes, I did pay him extra money so that he left with cash in his wallet. Perhaps I will hire Stevie again on a job-by-job basis. Never for an hourly wage though. There was no incentive to finish or be wise with time when it is my dime involved.

Stevie's work is good. The dinette table is hinged and fits flush to the front of the locker. The doors open with the table open or folded. There is access to the tools. Skipper has a cubby hole right next to my seat where she can hide, nap or watch me. I am pleased.

It looks much larger inside Seaweed too. When I complete the preps for the Seminars for Reluctant Wives the table is set so to speak. I'll be much happier having folks aboard. There is more room visually now. This 23' long boat is actually spacious.

Most important of all, I am happy.


Hired Help Quandary


My friend Irene and I were discussing this very topic just yesterday. The dilemma is twofold:

  1. Do we become the squeaky wheel and badger the help to get the job done, albeit possibly poorly?


  2. Do we wait patiently while our job is put off time after time for more profitable work?

We are paying perfectly good money to be ignored. Argh!!!


I truly wish I knew the balance that was most effective. I have tried. There are a number of articles detailing past experiences such as Boatyard Blues, and Project Management, and Fighting Inertia regarding Boat Gear, etc. It cannot be just me as this is a common thread at boater get-togethers.

We talk and the *coconut grapevine
is alive and very informative.

*Coconut Grapevine: a boater's radio net. We all listen in and it is a source of information for cruisers. Though primarily over the air, the grapevine also refers to boaters sitting around discussing items of interest such as workers, boatyards, plus companies and products used aboard our vessels.

All I can say to you is Good Luck. I have been
there too, and waiting totally sucks bilge water...


The mechanic (Paul of Sunrize Marine) I am waiting on is a hard worker. He is still on a a job just before mine. I understand that stuff takes longer and jobs extend. I want this man to finish my engine.

Most important of all, the mechanic is keeping me in the loop.

That is critical to my contentment level. I'd rather have the job done though.

In the meantime I finished my Christmas correspondence
and have a pile ready to go to the post office. Whew!

Just one more present to buy from the thrift store for my Grand and that package will be off. In the meantime I hope to get these underway today. Or tomorrow at the latest.

Life is good afloat. To you and yours I wish a very Merry Christmas and lots of joy in the coming new year.  If you celebrate anything else, go for it! This is the time of the year when happiness surrounds me. Enjoy it folks.

What do you do when your worker is not doing the job in a timely manner?
If you're the hired help, what motivates you most to finish a job promptly?

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