Let him fall

I let a scout fall on his face at this week’s Quarterdeck meeting. One of my petty officers was unprepared for a particular training activity that I had been trying to implement since the QD Training Sail in early October. I had gone round and round with the QD about this, giving them heads up in September. They kept falling down on the job, so I finally resolved that the activity would be at the end of the November QD meeting any officer who showed up unprepared would be dismissed.

The poor kid! The look of shock on his face was heart rending. It was very difficult for me to let him feel the painful effect of his negligence and to refrain from saving him from himself. But I had to stick to my boundary for his good and for that of the ship. The scout’s father escorted him from the meeting hall into the vestibule where they talked until the exercise was over and meeting adjourned. Then the scout told me he was sorry he came unprepared, and I said I was confident he wouldn’t let it happen again. His dad talked to me aside afterward and thanked me for doing that, and he and Mate Schmoker both felt the action had made a strong impact on the rest of the officers.

They are slowly coming about, starting to take ownership of the ship and their duties. But, gosh, it’s like pulling teeth to get them there. It’s a good thing I love them all very much!

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