Posted by Jim on May 01, 2005 at 22:47:40:
In Reply to: DM's. Do they help, or are they just a figure head? posted by Captain Tim on May 01, 2005 at 21:32:21:
Ah, my favorite topic. I think Doug D has the right approach.
Tell me Captain, do you comp instructors air fills on the boat? If so, why would you treat a divemaster any different? If not, you have a valid complaint. Or better yet, charge the shop for the dm's air like Jerry Shapiro would on the Bold Contender.
Most boats I worked on did provide a few comps because even if I was working with a dive shop group and not for the operator I did provide the boat a service. I never knew a divemaster that would refuse to help another diver, even when the boat had its own. An extra pair of eyes was always welcomed. The boat where we were treated like some kind of parasite (Spectre) I never went back to (this was about 12 years ago). Liberty on the other hand was a pleasure to work on with a shop class or group.
I was lucky, most instructors I worked for took care of the divemasters that worked with them. I did work with a shop for a while. While we weren't compensated, we were given the same discount as the instructors, which lasted until someone actually used it to buy a new rig at which time the shop owner pulled the perk on that grounds that the instructors were complaining. So I quit working shop trips and went freelance. I was still uncompensated working every other dive for passage. Often my free dive wasn't since we had to be the dive buddy of the single diver who came on board without one. I like to think I was good at it, never lost anybody, made a few assists, and generally had a good time. Then I got deposed by an attorney for an incident that took place 40 feet down while I was on deck and decided it was time to get out as I was beginning to get things in my life I didn't want to lose.
I guess the way you treat people ends up determining the kind of people you get. Divemaster was never seen as an end in itself, but just another specialty you had to ticket punch on your way to becoming an instructor. I never wanted to be an instructor, it never paid on a level commensurate with the responsibility. I make more per hour teaching swimming.
Like the late Rodney Dangerfield, we don't get no respect. That's not exactly true, we get it from some and not from others. The ones we get if from we are extremely loyal to. The ones we don't usually end of with dm's that are marginal at best.
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