To be very honest, there’s a saying that “Grass is always greener on the other side”. So, normally a Deck officer would say that the Engine department is better and an Engineer might say that the Deck department is better. Let’s have a look at their opinions in detail:
Why is the deck department better according to an Engineer
- I, work in a very hazardous environment, where it’s very hot all the time and I have to look after the machinery as well. While working with machinery, I have to be cautious all the time, I can get severely injured with a slight mistake. Whereas, they do their watchkeeping in an air-conditioned Bridge.
- Each day, I am walking vertically more than I walk horizontally. Climbing up and going down the stairs in the Engine room, is really a very tiring job. Whereas, out of their normal 10 hrs of work, they spend 8 hours just standing on Bridge.
- Whenever Deck Officers get stuck with any technical issue on the Ship, they immediately call us. Can’t they take care of small issues themselves and sometimes it is because of their mistakes that we have to do additional work.
- I am an engineer with an Engineering Degree and they are mostly 12th passouts, shouldn’t we be given more respect and salary?
- They get to see such good sceneries, and aquatic animals when on Bridge whereas I am just confined to the Engine room attending to machinery in a hot and humid environment.
I do have many other points but these are some of my basic causes of concern and anger.
Why is the engine department better according to a deck officer
- The engine department has an alarm for every problem in their machinery but with us, we have to be on our toes all the time. One mistake can cause an accident, which will be a million-dollar loss to the owners and might also harm my career. So, a lot is dependent on my watchful eyes. Yes, I have radars but I cannot believe anyone but myself.
- Working with hands interests me but I have to do paperwork as well which requires a lot of alertness. A single mistake made by me and overlooked by my seniors can land the Ship and Company in legal issues or severe fines.
- Yes, we are technically not sound but still maintaining Deck is never easy. Especially when it is weather-dependent. I cannot work when it’s raining when the weather is bad. Moreover, seawater sprays and rusts keep us at our toes all the time. We start working from the forward of the ship and by the time we reach aft of the Ship, we know we have to start maintenance in the forward of the ship once again.
- Yes, I know I am 12th pass out and a BSc. Degree holder only. Most of the time that keeps an added pressure on me, that I do not have a backup career for myself. One small mistake and I am doomed for failure. The career options for an engineer are far more than I have.
- One day, I will become Captain of the Ship and the complete Ship responsibility will be mine. I will be talking to charterers, agents, Ship chandlers. I will be under enormous commercial pressure all the time. Any work is done on Ship against law, by anyone, I will be held responsible for that action as well.
This blog has been written in the form of a light note, as a friendly banter between Deck Officers and Engineers on Ship. Though, a good Captain or Chief Engineer will never let such kind of opinions surface in the minds of their juniors.