Why mariners do not want you to join Merchant Navy ?

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Rishi Kashyap
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Why mariners do not want you to join Merchant Navy ?


Most mariners do not want you to join Merchant Navy & I too warn everyone prior joining Merchant Navy (the reason stated last).

I found people replying in facebook community what is wrong with Merchant Navy and why new joiners should stay away. Lets break that conversation into Parts :

  1. Merchant Navy is not honorable profession / no more lucrative wages
    Both terms are relative. Its we who need to honour anything either its our profession or country ! What others think does not matter. Same goes for lucrative part too. For some 1 lakh /month is huge amount for some it is not !

  2. No dignity/ No appreciation
    Sorry if you find me repeating same thing again, but dignity and appreciation also comes from within. I do not care what others think about Merchant Navy or about me as such, but I know that the world is moved by the mariners. The Laptop/computer/mobile on which you are reading this is shipped in a container (perhaps from China) on a ship safely by mariners. The automobiles which the world drives run on petrol/CNG transported by Mariners. We guys are the basic necessity of this world. Countries would collapse and people will die hungry in major continents, if food is not imported/exported.

  3. Bad food onboard Ship
    Good food may be a questionable thing but I think it depends much on the captain of the ship than on Merchant Navy ! Thankfully after 10 years of Merchant Navy life I had problem only once and that was not because of Merchant Navy but because of uninterested Indian Chief cook. Food improved the moment he was replaced by passionate Vietnamese Chief cook (I am vegetarian and it is even more difficult).

    Today Merchant Navy is spoiled by uninterested Mariners (Officers/crew) who are there just for money and do not want to learn or work. The reason they sail is because of EMI and not because they were ready for it !

  4. Rest hours, unsafe from being hijacked
    Rest hours and Security guards are just few examples contradicting "Merchant Navy profession has not evolved". In a decade I too saw lot of things. 2nd mate getting tracings, ECDIS for all, Sat phones for all and few other things which are also evolving but at a slow pace (read internet on ships). I admit that ISPS, paperwork and lot other bizzare regulations did affect us badly but every profession is changing these days and red tapism is everywhere.

    Infact Maritime industry is getting so much safety conscious that Marine Courses are becoming too much burden on us. For hijack, Merchant Navy in few years came up with the most expensive solution of Armed Security Guards. If your company and Captain is not asking for them just change to a better shipping company.

  5. MMD are s**t
    MMD or Mercantile marine department is where we mariners go for the examinations and certificates. More than MMD its the SIR CLERK who are! Tell me do you know about the PIO of MMD/DG Shipping ? You can use RTI for your status of the CDC or any file. Trust me I have never seen anyone trying RTI but every mariner is ready to bribe SIR CLERK at MMD and curse Merchant Navy. I admit MMD is frustrating but that is a very small part of the Merchant Navy life.

  6. Merchant Navy is quick sand, you cannot get out
    It amazes me again and again how people always mix up Satisfaction, happiness, profession, money etc. I avoid spiritual talks and will cut this short. PLEASE LOOK INSIDE THAN OUTSIDE !

    As time passes you will certainly get to the top of this profession, rather the worse/best thing with Merchant Navy is that it is very generous to all. Competent/Incompetent everyone gets promoted. Once you are at the top there is nothing much to do/show/learn for many and they start to think "How to get out of this quicksand". I told lot of my friends also the right question to ask is "What will make me happy, lets do that". I feel sorry for someone who does not know what makes him happy as nobody could tell you that. You can change profession after profession and could never get out this quicksand.

    While there are thousands of mariners with crores of property and drown in this "QUICK SAND" but their are also mariners who are changing the society, helping others or better still doing what they wanted. I heard of a captain in Kanpur who started a society to clean Kanpur he is doing really well and he is happy. I know a mariner who teaches in slums during vacations, a TME who completed his seatime and cleared exams but joined an NGO and left sea for 5K/month salary...today he is happier than the richest/smartest chief engineer I ever met. Do you see in social networking websites mariners doing strange things singing/cutting videos/tutorials/india tour on bike etc they do not think Merchant navy is quicksand but choose to be happy .

    I am sorry if I sound like "Miyan mithu"(self-bragging) but when I started JAHAJEE.com it was not to make money and it still isn't. I did everything to end decade old style of passing MMD Oral exams and it makes me very happy when I see other websites focusing on MMD Orals simply coz now mariners have more better/smarter and community based way of helping each other. The sad part is 90% of mariners still ask me how much money I make rather than where and how to post MMD Oral question!
    Trust me for some mariners Merchant Navy may be a quick sand but for some its the safest bridge to happiness ;-)

  7. Mariners post shore-leave photos on Facebook to impress
    Well its the hard core truth of life, but it is with every profession, whether its software, I-Bankers or Merchant Navy. Social media has given us the power to tell whatever we want and everyone does that !
    Software and I Bankers want to go onsight to make money and dream that they will see US/UK/ etc. They are also working like a dog, away from family, away from Indian food, friends and everything but yes whenever they go out they make sure that they tell everyone by "flashing them".
    When a mariner gets shore leave he is happy (its human behaviour) allow him to share his pics. His pics do show a small part of Merchant Navy called shore leave (rare but still possible). Shore leave are so less because the infrastructure and shipping has EVOLVED so drastically that the port stay has reduced.

  8. Masters & Chief Engineers treated like s**t by superintendent and company
    It is in every profession. In corporate life an employee is cursed by some MBA executive, MBA executive by some AVP, AVP by some VP and VP by some director. Yes they use english as their primary language for slang but they too are no better...In fact they are treated exactly the same during their vacations ...thankfully in Merchant Navy it is not the case and here mariners talk of cars, bikes, laptops and phones (do you see the difference)

OK enough of reference !!! WHY SHOULD AN ASPIRANT NOT JOIN MERCHANT NAVY. The simple answer is because there is no jobs! The market is flooded and people are greedy (agents/companies) etc. Excepting few, the Pre-sea course degree too is not suitable for higher studies resulting in complete waste of new joinee's time...

Lastly about me, I am Rishi Kashyap or JAHAJEE and have seen 10 Years of Merchant Navy life. I was in IIT extended list and AIR Rank of 30 in IIIT...left everything to join sea (T. S. Chanakya) and sailed a lot till my marriage. I was really upset to leave my wife and so slowed down and sail with my wife these days. During my vacations I work on jahajee.com and improve it with features and posts so that it can help mariners and marine aspirants. I do not have any EMI. I am not a crorepati. I sail few months and happily pay my Tax ;-) Thank you for reading.

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