When you move around a lot, you jobs change often and perhaps the best job I ever had was when I worked on ferries – being paid to travel must be good! So this week’s Working Wednesday comes from my time being ‘Gangway Man’ on the ferries.
While some people hate thinking about their jobs, I have the opinion that every job is an experience to be cherished and simply another door on life’s corridor. I give 100% when I’m in work, but when I leave it’s my life and my job stays in work!! Anyone who lets a job run their life is actually (sometimes without realising it) not in control of their own life. Have a think about it. This is my life and it always has been. Yes, I’ve worked for countless companies and worked my ass off for them, but only during paid time 😉
I love looking back on the jobs I’ve had and piecing some work memories together. After all it’s all the money I earned from my countless jobs that has given me the chance to see the world! I’m heading back to 2009 now for today’s featured work related story.
I was working on the cross channel ferries that ran from England to Jersey, Guernsey and France. I worked 4 days on and 2 days off (except that for the love of money and travel on my days off and 2 of my days on, I had another job!) and the perks of the job were immense I must say! Check them out:
– Free travel while working 4 days out of 6 (OK, I was working most of the time, but being paid to travel each day is great!)
– Free food and drinks at work
– Cheap cigarettes and alcohol (I don’t smoke and at the time I had quit alcohol for 6 months, but I could buy cheap duty free stuff, then get staff discount then sell them for a profit)
– Meeting a range of nationalities again (French and English mostly, but also Spanish, New Zealand, Polish, Romanian, South African)
– Speaking a bit of French (je ne sais pas pourquoi)
– Guaranteed travel every day in work
– Chatting to fellow travellers – my customers!
The job on the boats itself had many different aspects to it however and I mostly worked in the cafe and restaurant which I loved. However today I look at the times in that job that I was on Gangway Patrol. This was the easiest job on our crew, and believe it or not it was one of my least favourite jobs on the boat, even though it guaranteed you would be working in three countries in one day.
Your job on the Gangway was split into a few main parts, I cannot remember every detail, but it ran something like this:
1. Making sure the Gangway walkway for foot passengers was put down properly
2. Making sure not to leave the Gangway walkway for foot passengers while passengers were boarding
3. Any suspicious items – take them to the bridge (I confiscated a Spear Gun once!)
4. Check some documents on leaving harbour and hand them to the bridge
5. Check there are no passengers on the car deck once you’ve left harbour (didn’t have to check the ‘bow doors’ – I worked mostly on catamarans.
6. Once you arrive in the destination port, get off the boat with some passengers and take them to arrivals along with a document for the harbour staff which comes from the bridge.
So that’s 6 of the main parts of the job but really they could be:
1. Stand around holding a walkie talkie watching sunsets while passengers board the boat
2. Talk to passengers about their holidays and basically act like a traveller
3. Take photos of the boat leaving port
4. Walk up to the bridge to talk to the captain and check out the views
5. Staff room for a free tea and a packet of sandwiches
6. Visit another country – head off the boat and walk around like a tourist.
So there you have it – I was once ‘Gangway Man’ on the England to France ferries and it was easy. My highlights were – sitting on the car deck doing nothing while docked in harbour, smuggling a spear gun into Jersey!
As working Wednesdays go, this is possibly as easy as your working life will ever get.
Don’t Stop Living!
A video I took while doing Gangway Patrol: