Part of what makes me tick, part of who I am as a person, is someone that wants to help. I want to help others, help make peoples days and lives better. Onboard my desire to help has been jaded by the fact that I haven’t been able to get a job onboard. Being rejected by a company really challenges your desire to want to help them. I had made a deal with myself that I would not help out onboard to a department that has turned me down for a job. I was holding to that, but then this situation changed things.
Guest Services was overwhelmed. There were 1,300 passengers onboard that needed help booking flights, finding hotels, and figuring out how to get home. With changing requirements from the Australian government there was an inundation of questions coming in. Contrary to some of the comments that people are putting online, there was help available to anyone that wanted it in booking their flights and they will be reasonably reimbursed for travel expenses to get home. I couldn’t help with everything, but I could help people book flights, organizing paperwork, and stuffing envelopes. The help was welcomed by both the onboard team and most of the time by grateful guests. (We won’t talk about the guests that might have been in a less-than-grateful category.)
Yesterday, after helping for most of the day I had gone to have dinner with Stuart. We then went up to the crew outside area and on our way down I saw the crew that had been working with and helping guests all day having a drink on the back deck. Once again they welcomed me. I was able to sit with them and talk about our day like I was a part of their team, because for a few days – even with no pay, and even though the company itself doesn’t want me there (seriously their loss by the way), I was a bit of a part of their team.
Now, during my time sailing as Wife-On-Board one of the hardest parts is that you don’t fit in anywhere – you aren’t part of any team. I have friends on board and there are people that welcome me to hang out with them. There are people that I used to work with, but truthfully I am not a part of any team work-wise. I have my non-work team – Stuart and Bienelisa and Christina when she was onboard and Frank. It’s not the same as having a work team though.
For a few days though, even though I was only a sub on the team, I got to feel like I was a part of something, a part of making it through this crazy situation that we are all in. I was reminded that sometimes you get what you give. I gave my time and my patience. I gave my ability to listen to guests, hear their concerns, and help them find answers. What I got was the feeling of place, of purpose, of thanks.