What makes that special guest aboard a sport fishing boat, who fishes maybe once or twice a year, a “know-it-all” in the cockpit? Maybe he stayed at a Holiday Inn the night before. May be he just finished reading the latest issue of “InTheBite” magazine. Whatever the reason it’s not important. The important principle we need to take away from this encounter is: how do we, as crew, handle this special guest without jeopardizing our employment or our character?
I have always felt that the tee shirt that reads “Shut-Up and Fish” was very rude and unprofessional. I typically saw these tee shirts on the backs of charter boat mates in the Florida Keys and points north. I understand the message, however, when a portion of your daily income is from gratuities, why would you jeopardize that with a sarcastic slogan on a T-shirt?
If you are a seasoned deckie, you should be able to recognize the difference between “Mr. Know it All” and the guest who sincerely wants to know why you are doing what you are doing. Crews need to learn how to respond professionally and discreetly to both types of people without embarrassing themselves or disrespecting the client. I have crewed in both the private and charter sector and I can tell you it is very difficult to hold back what you really want to say to “Mr. Know It All”.
Proverbs 15:1-2 New King James Version
15 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
The charter boat business mind set depends on repeat customers and gratuities. How the crew treats the client will be reflected by both components. When I was a mate in training, I was fortunate to be mentored by a guy who was so personable and friendly that even when we got skunked, the crew always received a tip and the charter couldn’t wait to come back and fish with us the following year. Be Nice! They left the dock with a smile on their faces.
Luke 6:27-31 New King James Version
Love Your Enemies
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
Colossians 3:23-24 New King James Version
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
James 1:2-4 New King James Version
Profitting from Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Philippians 2:14-15 New King James Version
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
As crew, we are living the dream. Our office is immersed in God’s creation. Getting paid to do something we so passionately enjoy. It doesn’t get any better than that. Don’t let a “Mr. Know-it-All” ruin your day.
Tips: Team effort: encourage one another to help deal with client personalities.
We are entertainers, be nice, have fun and don’t forget the “Golden Rule”
Don’t forget who your audience is! God is always watching!
Life’s Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder