By Bob Halstead
Over the years, while operating our live-aboard dive boat, we had to face the challenge of recruiting good staff. I have come to realise that, as a veteran in the dive business, there is a service that I can now provide to both job seekers and boat operators: I can write testimonials for up and coming divers that the operator can trust.
We had plenty of applicants for jobs on our boat – but often the applicants’ claims were exaggerated or irrelevant. Only a few could I really respect – such as the young lady who sent in a job application together with a photo of herself naked and “I’m sure you can find me useful, xx” scribbled on the back. I thought this kind of openness deserved a big “The Job is Yours”. However, unfortunately, Dinah vetoed it.
One character, just out of his Openwater scuba course, advertised himself as a Black Belt Judo expert, another, a mad-keen underwater photographer, thought I should employ him so that he could expand his own photo library. In either case I am still not sure what the benefits were supposed to be for us as employers. What we needed were divers with additional experience in repairing compressors, “cooking” the books, and mouth to heart resuscitation, oh, and did I mention repairing compressors?
These days I find that divers that have dived with me once or twice are requesting testimonials from me to go with their applications for high-flying posts in the dive industry. This is what gave me the idea. I am getting quite enthusiastic at the prospect. I can write new-age testimonials, and charge heaps, and will also gain respect from boat owners for my insightful character assassinations.
Anyone out there need a diving job? – Just drop me a line and a large sum of money and I will forward one of my customised masterpieces for you to submit to your prospective employer. The job will be yours! Maybe.
To the Dive Boat Operator,
Reference for Norma-Lee Tudeep
Dear Sir or Madam,
This is a special note to congratulate you on considering Norma for the position of Cruise Director with your company.
Not many people would have done the same – after all, as I am sure you realise, lunatics are notoriously unreliable and an alcoholic lunatic particularly so. You are truly a wonderful person to give her this “fifth chance”.
She has been quite depressed since her release from jail. Fortunately, on the one dive trip we spent together, I recognised the fit of maniacal laughter as a “cry for help” and was able to get the knife off her before she castrated the engineer. She is actually a warm, loving, kind of psychopath, with a great sense of humour. I remember laughing myself silly when she tied the “there’s one on every cruise” guest on the shark bait line along with the tuna at the back of the boat. Wow! Did he swim when the sharks came in! Ha! Ha!
Seriously, some of the stories about her have been exaggerated and as long as you keep all the doors and cupboards securely locked nothing should go missing. She does not take drugs, but does deal occasionally, nothing serious, just enough to cover her gambling debts.
Keep an eye open for small boats coming alongside and your nose finely tuned to the smell of siphoned diesel particularly if she has been wandering around with a length of wide bore plastic tubing. Anyway, I know for a fact that the last time this happened Norma’s aunty was very sick and needed the drum of fuel to get to the hospital.
I suppose I should tell you about her “sleep walking” especially when she ends up in someone else’s cabin. Still, I never heard any complaints, and did hear jokes from the guests as they searched for their “lost” spouses. She is a very good-looking young lady and only really interested in men and, er, women.
Norma has a real friendly personality and likes to chat up all the guests and find out how much money they earn and whether they live in a big house with a spare bedroom she can stay in. She is also a great entertainer and a particular hit on party night when she performs a spectacular pole dance.
Needless to say, Norma is a superb diver. All right, she does have a slight buoyancy problem – on the bright side it is easy to see where she has been from the trail of broken coral and clouds of silt. Uniquely she is the only diver I have ever met who is allergic to salt water, and if you could only get Norma to slow down her ascents, she would not get bent nearly so often.
She loves spending several hours every day crashing round the reef, keeping out of the guests’ way, and collecting live shells and corals for export. I do hope you are able to negotiate her continued participation in this worthy cause. How else can the world find out how beautiful coral reefs are? Pictures are fine –but there is nothing like the real thing. She also likes spearfishing and it was a real shame the time she accidentally speared the American tourist but, you know, the water was dirty and he did look a bit like a giant grouper.
So there it is! I’m sure you will get along just fine – especially as she has promised to give up eating kittens and puppies!! Just joking! She eats goldfish, just like everyone else.