Hey, Who's the Guy in the Life Jacket?

| 1/27/2012 10:56:21 AM

Here’s another reason why I don’t go on cruises… because I’d be the guy wearing my lifejacket from the minute I got on the boat. The staff probably wouldn’t like it. I think the other passengers might find it a little disconcerting at the all-you-can-eat buffet when the guy beside them in line looked like he was ready to abandon ship… at any minute.

My family likes to laugh at my philosophy of “always have a Plan B.” It’s so nerdy. It’s so uncool, when everything is just going along normally.

I have a healthy respect for authority but I have to admit that I find myself subscribing more and more to the “Question Authority” mantra. This crystallized on September 11th after the first plane had hit the North Tower. There were announcements made in the South Tower telling everyone that everything was fine, and that they should just go back to their desks. I think if I’d been working in the South Tower that day watching what was going on in the North Tower, I would have taken the rest of the day off regardless of what the voice on the PA told me. It turns out that questioning authority and getting out of there would have been the right thing to do. I think it’s what you would have done instinctively. Always trust your instincts.

If I was on a cruise ship and the lights went out after feeling a big bump, the last thing I’d do was listen to the announcement telling me it was just an electrical problem and to relax and carry on. Forget that baby. I’d find my life jacket. Find a lifeboat. Get my bearings. Trust my instinct. And if it turned out to be just a power failure, well, at least I would know where to find my life jacket.

I have a feeling that the people who work on cruise ships today probably aren’t highly paid. And they probably don’t receive the best training. They just aren’t equipped to help evacuate an entire cruise ship full of passengers in 5 hours, let alone 20 minutes. As for the captain … well it looks like the Captain just didn’t give a sh*t about the passengers. It was every man for himself. It seems like things have changed since the days when Captains went down with their ship. But at least we now know the drill. You’re on your own. It’s like New Orleans. You might be standing on your roof in the flood zone for a long time before the authorities come to the rescue.

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