Archive for September 16th, 2019

Humor in Uniform – The Art of Naval Command

September 16, 2019

(This Story is an Excerpt from my under process Navy Novel Nobody’s Navy by Vikram Karve)

“NOBODY” BECOMES A “SOMEBODY”

Story from “NOBODY’S NAVY” By VIKRAM KARVE

How Sub Lieutenant NOBODY became a “Somebody”

A Fictional Spoof by Vikram Karve

Mumbai (Circa 1977)

Calm Blue Sea – Soft Cool Breeze – Sunset – 31st December 1977.

The lights of Mumbai twinkle in the distance as the city gets ready to ring in the New Year.

It was the happiest moment of his life.

Standing on the bridge-wings of the mighty warship INS Bijlee as she entered Mumbai harbour under his command – for the first time in his life – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody felt as if he was a “somebody”.

At this defining moment of his life – he realized the import of the words the distinguished Admiral had uttered while motivating him to join the Navy while he was studying at IIT.

“Son…” the recruiting Admiral had said, “The Navy is not just another job. The Navy is a way of life.”

Ship life seemed good.

Rank – Spit and Polish – and normal Naval Bullshit – all this did not matter much on a frontline combat warship like INS Bijlee.

Here – it was your professional performance that counted.

So – everyone was busy doing his job.

As long as you did your job well – you were given a free hand – and – after “secure” was piped – and the day’s work was over – you were free to do what you liked.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody realized that no one bothered him – since other officers were busy doing their own work and running their departments.

It was much better over here on a combat ship than the Naval Academy – where they treated you like dirt – and they tried to convert you into a brainless obedient robot.

And – it was certainly much better than the Naval Technical Officers’ College – which boasted of transforming bright young Engineering Graduates into “Technical Zombies”.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had survived both these ordeals – and he had still retained his sanity.

It all happened so fast.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had arrived in Mumbai Central Railway Station in the morning after a tiresome train journey.

There he was picked up in a ramshackle truck and dumped at the boat jetty.

There the ship’s boat was waiting for him.

After a rough journey on the choppy sea – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody was deposited alongside INS Bijlee anchored far out at sea.

It was almost 12 Noon when he clambered up the accommodation ladder to the quarterdeck of the ship with his bag hanging on his shoulder.

He duly saluted the Officer of the Day (OOD) and said:

“Sub-Lieutenant Nobody reporting for duty, Sir. Request permission to come on board…”

The ship was rolling and the ladder staggered so he held on to a stanchion.

The stanchion gave way – and Sub-Lieutenant Nobody lost his balance – and he crashed into the arms of the OOD – and both of them fell on the deck in a heap.

“Sorry, Sir…” Nobody said – as they gathered themselves up.

“You seem to be quite eager to join this ship. What did you say your name was…?” the OOD – a two striper Lieutenant asked with a smile.

“My name is “Nobody”…”

“NOBODY…?” the OOD asked, incredulous.

“Sir, it’s an anglicized version of …”

“Okay. Okay. You can tell me the story later…” the OOD interrupted, “just give me your appointment letter and genform…”

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody took his appointment letter and genform from his shirt pocket and gave them to the OOD.

The OOD looked at the documents.

“Okay, okay – so you’re the new Electrical Officer (LO)…? Welcome on board…” the OOD shook his hand and said, “I’m the TASO (Torpedo Anti-Submarine Officer). Today is “make and mend”. Captain is not on board. You can meet him tomorrow. The Duty Petty Officer will take you to your cabin. Shower up – change into uniform – and meet me in the wardroom in ten minutes.”

Ten minutes later – freshly shaved and bathed – dressed in sparkling white shorts and shirt – Dress No. 8 Naval uniform – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody entered the wardroom.

He saw the OOD – the TASO – wearing civvies – sitting at the Bar – sipping a glass of Beer.

“Ah…there you are. I am waiting for you…” the TASO said – the moment he saw the newly arrived Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

The TASO swallowed his beer in one go – down the hatch.

The TASO gave the OOD’s lanyard with a bunch of keys to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

Then – the TASO said to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody:

“Sub-Lieutenant Nobody – you “hold the deck”. I’m off. Don’t bother to see me off. I’ll see you in the morning…”

And – with lightening speed – the TASO disappeared ashore on the liberty boat – even before Sub-Lieutenant Nobody could recover his wits.

“Congratulations…” a voice said from behind.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody turned around to see a Lieutenant Commander sitting on a sofa with a huge tankard of beer before him.

“Good morning, Sir…” Nobody said.

“It is already afternoon, my friend…” the Lieutenant Commander said extending his hand, “I’m “Schoolie” – the Ship’s Education Officer. You’re the new LO – aren’t you…?”

“Yes, Sir…” Nobody said.

“So you are the OOD – the de facto Commanding Officer of the ship now…”

“OOD…?” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody stammered – feeling bewildered and totally taken aback.

“You are holding the fort for TASO – aren’t you…? Smart bugger – that TASO. The horny bastard couldn’t even wait one day to screw his wife…”

Seeing the disorientated expression on Nobody’s face – Schoolie said:

“Pick up a glass of beer and come and sit here. I’ll tell you what to do…”

Then – with breathtaking simplicity – Schoolie elucidated the Art of Command:

“In the Navy – especially on a ship – command is very simple.

The Art of Command comprises just 3 words:

YES

NO

VERY GOOD

Remember these three key words – YES, NO and VERY GOOD.

From time to time – your duty staff will come and ask you something.

It’s a good idea to number their questions.

You just reply “YES’ – to the “odd numbered questions”.

You reply “NO” – to the “even numbered questions”.

And – if someone makes a “report” to you – you just say: “VERY GOOD”.

You got it…? Is it clear…?…”

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody let the wisdom sink in – and he said to Schoolie:

“Yes, Sir – I understood.

Odd numbered questions – I say ‘Yes’.

Even numbered questions – I say ‘No’.

And if someone makes a report – I just say ‘Very Good’.

Is that correct, Sir…?”

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody asked Schoolie.

“Correct. That – in a nutshell – is the Art of Naval Command…” Schoolie pronounced with finality.

Just then – the Duty Petty Officer entered.

The Duty Petty Officer saluted Sub-Lieutenant Nobody and said:

“Request permission to revert to 3 watches, Sir.”

First question – odd numbered question – so Nobody answered:

“Yes”

“Thank you, Sir…” the Duty Petty Officer saluted – and he went away quite happy that he could secure half his men from duty.

“Sir…” it was the duty ERA – who came a few minutes later– and he asked Sub-Lieutenant Nobody:

“Request permission to shut down boilers.”

Question Number Two – even numbered question – so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody answered:

“No”

The ERA nodded – looking quite perplexed – and he went away.

“See – you are learning fast…” Schoolie said to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody – as they sat for lunch.

While going ashore – Schoolie gave Nobody a parting shot of advice:

“Always remember that it is better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression that you are stupid – rather than to open it and remove all doubt…”

Schoolie, a post graduate, was an Education Officer – the lowest class of officer in the Navy.

Education Officers were treated like dirt – and they wasted their entire lives teaching basic mathematics to junior sailors who didn’t give a damn – or acting as lackeys to senior officers wives – helping them run so-called welfare activities – which were more of ego-massage – and less of welfare.

Once in a while – the brighter among them got posted to ships – where they had no work to do – except hang around in the wardroom doing nothing – and offering unsolicited advice to anyone who cared to listen.

Schoolie enjoyed doing talking to people – pontificating and giving advice on all matters under the sun – to anyone who cared to listen – especially to rookies – like Sub-Lieutenant Nobody – who latched on to each word he said.

It was indeed funny.

As far as the officer class was concerned – your status and position in the pecking order was inversely proportional to your academic qualifications.

The Matriculate “Cadet Entry” Seamen Officers were the prima donnas

The Engineering Graduate “Techies” – and the Graduate “Supply and Secretariat” (S&S) Pussers” – they were the middle rung.

And – the Post-Graduate “Schoolies” were at the rock bottom of the Navy status hierarchy.

The “Yeoman of Signals” woke up Sub-Lieutenant Nobody from his beer-induced siesta:

“It is Port Control, Sir…”

Sub-Lieutenant opened his eyes and tried to focus on the face of the “Yeoman of Signals”.

The “Yeoman of Signals” hesitantly asked the sleepy Sub-Lieutenant Nobody:

“Sir – they are asking if we want to come alongside.”

Nobody struggled to open his eyes and he thought about it.

He counted the questions he had been asked so far.

The First Question by the Duty Petty Officer regarding 3 Watch System – which he had answered “YES”

The Second Question by the Duty ERA regarding Shutting Down Boilers – which he had answered “NO”

One, Two, Three – this was the Third Question – odd numbered question – so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody answered confidently:

“YES”

“Thank you, Sir – I will signal them at once…” the delighted “Yeoman of Signals” said – and he rushed towards the bridge to make a signal to Port Control by Aldis Lamp.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody followed the Yeoman to the bridge wings and watched him exchange visual signals with port control – both lamps frantically flashing.

“Ballard Pier…?” port control asked.

It was the Fourth Question of the day – an even numbered question – so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody assertively said:

“NO”

“Barracks Wharf…?”

Fifth Question – an odd numbered question – so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody assertively said:

“YES”

And then – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody scrupulously followed the “Odd = YES and Even = NO” rule.

Odd Question = YES

Even Question = NO

“Cold move…?” port control asked – the Sixth Question – even numbered question.

“NO…” Nobody said decisively.

“Hot Move…?”

“YES”

Everyone on the bridge was praising Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s foresight in not allowing the boilers to be shut down – otherwise the quick “hot move” would not have been possible at immediate notice – and they would have to spend the whole day waiting for the tug to carry out the laborious “cold move”.

“Should we call for a harbour pilot…?” the duty Midshipman asked.

It was even numbered question – so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody emphatically said:

“NO”

“Sir, should I prepare the pilotage plan…?”

“YES”

“Shall I chart course between sunk rock and oyster rock…?”

“NO”

“Around Middle Ground…?”

“YES”

“Will you be taking the “con”, Sir…?” the Midshipman asked.

“NO”

“Sir – will I have the “con”…?” the Midshipman asked.

“YES”

The Midshipman was filled with happiness and a sense of pride.

It was the first time that someone had shown so much confidence in him.

The Midshipman smartly saluted Sub-Lieutenant Nobody and said:

“I’ll report when ready, Sir.”

This was not a question.

This was a report.

So – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody remembered Schoolie’s advice and said:

“Very Good…”

There was no point hanging around the bridge and exposing his ignorance – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody thought to himself

So – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody told the Midshipman to take the ship alongside.

He then informed the Midshipman that he would be available in the wardroom for any advice.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody then went down to the wardroom– he summoned the bar steward – and ordered a double large scotch whisky and soda.

He desperately needed the alcohol fuelled “Dutch courage”.

Soon his spirits were high – fuelled by alcohol-inspired courage – and he was brimming with confidence.

From then on – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody religiously followed Schoolie’s “odd/even” command formula with great success – and soon – INS Bijlee was underway, sailing smoothly towards the Wharf.

As he sipped whisky in the wardroom – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody was quite clueless as he heard, on the main broadcast, the Midshipman give the conning orders:

“Stand-by Main Engines…Haul Anchor…Anchor off the bottom…Anchor Aweigh…Anchor Coming Home…Anchor Sighted and Clear…Wheel Amidships… Dead Slow…Starboard Ten…”

Everything moved like clockwork – everyone knew their jobs.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody also knew what to do.

In his mind – he had to keep a count of the questions they asked him.

And – he had to quickly determine the question number – odd or even – and answer according to Schoolie’s “Odd = YES and Even = NO” formula.

For every odd numbered question – he said: “Yes”.

For the even numbered question – he said: “No”.

And – from time to time – when someone made him a report – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody would wisely nod – and say: “Very Good”.

It worked.

Yes –the simple “YES” / “NO” / “VERY GOOD” command formula worked.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody strictly followed the formula – and everything went absolutely right.

The ship secured alongside perfectly.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody realized first-hand that the Art of Naval Command was indeed breathtaking in its simplicity.

“Should I announce liberty, Sir…?” asked the Duty Petty Officer hesitantly.

It was an odd numbered question – so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody said: “Yes”

The broad smile on the Petty Officer’s face and the smartness of his salute said it all.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had mastered the Art of Naval Command.

The crew were happy to be secured alongside rather than tossing and turning at a faraway anchorage out at sea.

And now – thanks to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody – there would be liberty – and the ship’s crew would be able to go ashore to enjoy the delights of “Maximum City” after a long hard time at sea.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody became the hot topic of discussion below the deck in the crew messes.

Each and every sailor admired the guts and initiative of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

They were impressed by his prompt and clear decisive commands.

Despite being a non-seaman officer – he had brought the ship alongside by taking effective charge of the Midshipman.

Never before had such a thing happened.

Never before had they seen a greenhorn Sub-Lieutenant demonstrate so much confidence and guts on his first day on board a ship.

Anyone else would have hesitated, dithered – but here was a decisive officer.

“He is a natural leader” – they all said – with awe and in unison – about Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

On his very first day on board this mighty warship – Sub-Lieutenant Nobody earned the admiration, respect and esteem of the crew of INS Bijlee.

The sailors were happy to have Sub-Lieutenant Nobody on board – and they showed it by their body language – especially in the way they saluted him.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s chest swelled with pride.

Nobody had become a “Somebody”

(This is an Excerpt from my under process Navy Novel Nobody’s Navy by Vikram Karve)

To be continued …

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a fictional spoof, pure fiction, satire, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/stories-from-nobodys-navy-my-navy-novel.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Abridged and Updated Version of my two blog posts posted in June 2013

NOBODY’S NAVY at urls:

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/nobodys-navy-by-vikram-karve-my-naval.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/nobodys-navy-by-vikram-karve-my-naval.htmland http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/humor-in-uniform-nobody-becomes-somebody.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/humor-in-uniform-stealing-affections.html

and NOBODY BECOMES A SOMEBODY – LEARNING THE ART OF NAVAL COMMAND at url:

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/nobody-becomes-somebody-learning-art-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/officer-like-qualities-aka-olq-art-of.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/art-of-naval-command-humor-in-uniform-excerpt-from-novel-nobodys-navy-by-vikram-karve/ and https://www.quora.com/profile/Vikram-Karve/Writing-by-VIKRAM-KARVE/Nobody%E2%80%99s-Navy-%E2%80%93-My-Fictional-Spoof-on-Naval-Life and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/humor-in-uniform-nobody-becomes-somebody.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/humor-in-uniform-the-art-of-command-at-sea/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/nobody-becomes-somebody-learning-art-of.html

Humor in Uniform – Memories of a Foreign “Cruise”

September 16, 2019

Once we joined the Navy in the 1970’s – we realized that the recruitment slogan “Join the Navy and See the World” applied to the Merchant Navy – and not to the Indian Navy – which was a Military Navy.

In fact – due to “austerity measures” – even the so-called “cruises” to nearby countries had been curtailed.

However – things seem to much better now – and – we see news of Indian Navy Ships “Showing the Flag” all over the world.

But – in the 1970’s – during the time of this story – a foreign “cruise” was quite a rare event.

We were – therefore – delighted when our ship was sent on a foreign “cruise” to an island nation – an archipelago – in the Indian Ocean.

Here is a delightful “memoir” from that “cruise”…

“DUTY WATCH” ON “CRUISE”

Hilarious “Memoir” from My Wonderful Navy Days

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

PROLOGUE

Way back in the mid-1970’s – when we were trainees at the Naval Academy Cochin (Kochi) – we used to march down for our drill practice to the neighbouring Gunnery School Drill Square.

There would be GI’s (Gunnery Instructors) lurking everywhere – prowling at every nook and corner – waiting to yell at us for the smallest of infractions in parade drill.

Once – when the “guard” was being marched in for morning Divisions – a Chief GI bellowed at the top of his voice:

“Is that the “Guard”…?

Or – is it the bloody “Duty Watch”…?

March smartly – not like the “Duty Watch”…”

He implied that instead of marching smartly like a “guard” – we were walking in a rather slovenly manner like a “duty watch”.

While sailing – and in harbour too – the ship’s company is organized in “watches” to operate a ship 24/7.

Earlier it was the “2 Watch System” (1-in-2) – where half the sailors would be on duty – and the other half would take rest.

But now – it is mostly a “3 Watch System” (1-in-3) – where one-third of the crew are on duty and the remainder 2/3rd are off-duty and take rest.

The “watch” on duty is called the “Duty Watch”.

When a ship returns to harbour – everyone wants to rush ashore – the married sailors want to meet their families – and – the bachelors want to have a “good time” and “paint the town red”.

But – sadly – the “Duty Watch” has to remain on board ship on duty under the command of the OOD (Officer of the Day).

So – obviously – the Sailors in the “Duty Watch” are quite demoralized – and this is reflected in their bearing – as they move around in a rather dispirited manner.

This is what the Chief GI was implying when he yelled at us:

“March smartly – not like the ‘Duty Watch’…”

Now – I must tell you a rather amusing “Duty Watch” story which happened around 40 years ago – in the late 1970’s.

“DUTY WATCH” IN ACTION

Once we joined the Navy – we realized that the slogan “Join the Navy and See the World” applied to the Merchant Navy and not the Indian Navy.

In fact – due to ‘austerity measures’ – even the so-called “cruises” to nearby countries had been curtailed.

We were – therefore – delighted when our ship was sent on a “cruise” to an island nation – an archipelago – in the Indian Ocean.

The sea was quite rough – but then – as we approached the Equator – the sea became calm.

Soon – we crossed the Equator – and had the customary “Crossing the Line Ceremony” – which transformed us from “Pollywogs” into “Shellbacks”.

In due course – we reached our destination – and – the moment land was sighted – the first person to surface was the Ship’s Doctor – who had dived below into the sick-bay the moment we had left our base port Mumbai (then called Bombay).

Now – our Doctor was a “sea sick type” – and he used to hit the bunk the moment the sailing order was received.

But now – he was dressed in the best of “civvies” – a bright red T-Shirt – looking out for his “girlfriend” (his medical college classmate) – who was settled here – and was waiting for him on the jetty.

The moment we came alongside at 10 in the morning – the magnanimous Captain announced a “modified routine” – and “liberty” was piped – and soon – everyone was “ashore” – except the unlucky “Duty Watch” – who haplessly watched their shipmates proceed ashore to have a good time.

Of course – since it was ‘modified routine’ – rather than hold back 1/3rd of the sailors – besides the OOD (Officer of the Day) – a reduced ‘Duty Watch’ was held back on board – in order to let maximum sailors enjoy the ‘liberty’.

By noon – the officers and sailors – were spread all over the island – on the beaches, in the bars and pubs – enjoying themselves to the hilt.

The Captain was enjoying himself in the Yacht Club – where he had been invited for Lunch – by the crème de la crème of society.

At around 3:30 in the afternoon – after plenty of beer and a sumptuous lunch – the satiated Captain was contemplating going back to his ship for a “siesta” – but he was reminded that he was required to proceed to the sports stadium as the “Chief Guest” for the “friendly” football match between the visiting “ship’s company” and local club which was to begin at 4 o’clock in the evening.

“Oh, Yes…” he said – vaguely remembering the invitation for the football match – the message had been delivered to him the moment the ship had come alongside – and he had marked it down to his XO (Executive Officer) for “necessary action”.

What had happened was that – after marking the message to his XO for “necessary action” – the Captain went ashore – to the Yacht Club.

Within seconds – his XO followed him out – and soon – he was swimming away on the best beach – trying to woo the beauties in bikinis.

By the time the ‘Duty Signalman’ kept the message on the XO’s table in his cabin – the XO was already swimming on the beach amidst bikini-clad beauties – so obviously – the XO had not seen the message regarding the football match – which was still lying on his table.

Everyone had gone ashore.

The “Duty Watch” was hanging around morosely below decks in their messes.

Only the ‘Duty Quartermaster’ stood at the Gangway – looking downcast – as he imagined the delights his shipmates were enjoying ashore at that moment – while he was on duty – manning the ship’s gangway.

The OOD (Officer of the Day) was “drowning his sorrows” in the Wardroom.

At around 3 in the afternoon – a bus arrived on the jetty.

A ‘Liaison Officer’ alighted from the bus.

He walked up the gangway from the jetty to the ship – and he informed the Gangway Duty Quartermaster that he had come to pick-up the ‘football team’.

The Duty Quartermaster called up the Wardroom to inform the OOD about the arrival of the ‘Liaison Officer’ who had come to pick-up the ‘football team’.

“What bloody ‘football team’…?” the OOD muttered annoyingly.

“I don’t know, Sir…” the Quartermaster said.

“Okay – I am coming up…” the OOD said.

The OOD downed the remains of his beer – he put on his cap – and he walked up to the gangway.

After speaking to the ‘Liaison Officer’ – the OOD asked the Quartermaster:

“Do you know anything about this ‘football match’ business…?”

“No, Sir…” the Quartermaster said.

“Okay – call the ‘Duty Signalman’…” the OOD ordered.

The ‘Duty Signalman’ was duly piped for – and he arrived within a minute.

“Yes, Sir…” the ‘Duty Signalman’ said, “there was a message regarding a ‘football match’. The Captain marked it down to the XO – so – I left it on the XO’s table…”

“Bloody Hell – did the XO see the message…?” the OOD asked the ‘Duty Signalman’.

“Sir – I don’t know….”

“You buggers are really great…!!! Now – go on the double and get the message…” the OOD shouted.

The ‘Duty Signalman’ rushed to the XO’s cabin and got the message.

The OOD read the message.

The “friendly” football match between the Navy Ship and Local Football Club was scheduled at 4 PM.

The time now was 3:15 PM – it was just 45 minutes to go for the match.

The OOD did some quick thinking.

Recalling the ship’s company was not feasible – the sailors would be all over the island – enjoying themselves – living it up – having a good time – on the Beaches, in the Booze Bars, or gallivanting on the streets – in various states of drunkenness.

So – the OOD told the Quartermaster:

“I want the ‘Duty Watch’ assembled here immediately…”

The Quartermaster piped:

“Duty Watch Fall-in on Gangway”

Within minutes – the ‘Duty Watch’ had fallen-in on the gangway.

The OOD asked the Quartermaster and the Duty Engine Room Sailor to fall-out.

Around 15 ‘Duty Watch’ sailors remained on deck.

The OOD told the rest of the ‘Duty Watch’ sailors:

“You are proceeding to play a football match – 11 of you will play – the rest 4 of you will be ‘substitutes’ and sit on the bench. Now change into sports rig – and – do your best on the football field…”

With the ‘Duty Watch’ playing the Football Match against a talented local team – you can well imagine the result of the match.

Thankfully – the referee blew the whistle before the score could reach double figures.

The embarrassed Captain was the only one present from our ship – sitting with the spectators – and – cheering his Ship’s ‘Duty Watch’ Football Team – while the rest of his Officers and Sailors were painting the town red.

EPILOGUE

Next morning – the ‘Master-At-Arms’ informed the XO about the Football Match Fiasco.

Then – the ‘Master-At-Arms’ asked the XO:

“Sir – will there be “liberty” today…?”

The XO had come back to the ship in a most “happy” state in the wee hours of the morning – and he was nursing a terrible hangover.

The XO said to the ‘Master-At-Arms’:

“Bloody Hell – after yesterday’s fiasco – the Captain is sure to stop “liberty” today. You do one thing – why don’t you ask the Captain directly…?”

“Sir – I was told by the Quartermaster that the Captain has already gone ashore…” the Master-at-Arms said.

“The Captain has already gone ashore…? Okay – that means that he hasn’t stopped “liberty”. So – announce “liberty” as usual – let the sailors enjoy themselves…” the XO said happily.

Later – we met the Captain sunbathing on a beach.

We expected a tongue-lashing.

But – the Captain did not utter a single word about the “Duty Watch” Football Match Fiasco.

The Captain just said to us – that he was happy – to see that his ship’s officers and sailors were enjoying themselves on the “cruise”.

As far as the “Duty Watch” Football Match Fiasco was concerned – we realized that – the Captain’s silence was the most effective reprimand.

I learnt genuine Human Resource Management from this Captain – more than I learnt from the many Mananagement Courses I did later.

He knew how to run an “Happy Ship”.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/navy-memories-duty-watch-on-cruise.html

This is a revised repost of my story DUTY WATCH posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch-in-action.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch-on-cruise.html



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