Steve's Articles Published in:
Odd Bits of Humour:
This is the informal part of the web site.
About Steve Punter As a young turk Steve went to sea with the Union Steam Ship Company but didn’t like being away so much. After going AWOL for 4 days during a Melbourne wharfie's strike (as you do), the punishment applied was the catalyst to return to girlfriends and home. During his 11 years as a volunteer Instructor with NZ Cadet Forces (Sea Cadet Corps), the Navy threatened to repossess an old 40-foot Officers Liberty Boat they'd lent his Unit - to teach kids with - unless he got his skipper's ticket. After bribing Examiners at the MOT Nautical School, his CLM (RLL in those days) duly arrived, the Navy relented, the kids continued to learn to drive boats, and to make some money out of the ticket he spent some years as a relieving charter skipper while at the same time holding down a ‘proper job’ on shore in various management positions. After a spell at University to find out why he did what he was already doing, he set up Staff Training Associates Ltd, and as a result hardly ever gets to go to sea. His goal in life is to discover how other people afford boats.
Doesn’t have the same ring, does it? I
wonder if Roman Centurions ever discussed among themselves how some of their
Legionaries had that special ‘something’ that made them stand out, perhaps
commenting ‘Ave! There goes a Legionary that is prepared to transit the extra
The Grievance Industry, on its way to another apparent stunning success, has run smack into a Government that, in spite of being ham-strung throughout its history by hand-wringing sack-cloth-and-ashes-wearing penitents and apologists, seems to suddenly have discovered its testicles.
Safe Ship Management System. Total Quality Management. ISO 9000. Quality Assurance. Quality Control. It’s all so confusing… Is it really worth all the hassle? In the old days it was a simple battle between you and the inspector, and your boat either passed or it didn’t, and if it didn’t you were told what had to be done.
Vanuatu. The rainy season. I alternate between being steamed in the rain showers, and then baked in the sunshine. My book has curled up at the edges. My fags won’t smoke properly. They drive on the wrong side of the bloody road and there are no speed limits. I can’t log on to clear email. Even the slightest scratch of the skin has to be covered or is instantly invaded by persistent and very cunning flies. The ground trembles at least once a week from earthquakes, and cyclones happen here, too. What would it be like to be permanently based here? Actually, I think I could handle it.
As we lean into the front end of 2003, some of us having over-fed, over-drank and over-stressed ourselves during the so-called ‘festive’ season, I find myself writing on a topic I wrote about nearly ten years ago. Customer Service – or should I say – the appalling lack of it in general terms. Nothing seems to have changed in that time. I think the hour has come for us all to get tough. The Customer pays for service, but all too often doesn’t get it. The employer pays wages so that staff will provide service. All too often they don’t, but still accept their wages. The employment Agreement is a two-way document, providing rewards in return for performance. This article is a ‘Call to Action’.
I’m ‘all for’ safety in the workplace. I’m also ‘all for’ the responsibility for safety in the workplace to settle on the shoulders of all parties, not just the employer. The latest twist in the ‘new’ Legislation before Parliament has some interesting, and potentially far-reaching implications – and neither the employer nor the employee may be pleased by the outcome.
almost impossible to run a business – no matter how small – without a
computer. Yet years ago we used to do it. Buy a computer today, and you’ve
entered the race to keep up.
There’s nothing surer than that the Sun will
rise, the cycle of life will continue unabated, the lawnmower will need 10 pulls
to start it, and the market survey person will ring just as you sit down to
dinner. But what if that were suddenly not the case?
We all know that the theoretical approach to
‘life planning’ says to plot your specific course to reach those specific
goals with measurable waypoints and a timed outcome. Ever played a pinball
machine? If the pinball was a sentient being, how do you think It might feel?
in the Woodpile (Nov/01)
Why is it that accident investigations often reveal situations where skilled, competent, experienced people have made basic mistakes? Steve Punter takes a quick look at ‘states of competency’ and what they mean to those involved in training and assessment, and safety at sea.
Our children are growing up with technology – particularly the PC - that, in the 50’s, science fiction writers hardly dared to dream of. But what of the grown-up children? Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf – so afraid you won’t even try? Or have you convinced yourself that you are somehow isolated, protected from the effects of advancing technology?
Unions came into being because of the harsh working conditions at the beginning of the 1900’s. People actually died for the Cause. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, organisations died because of excessive Union demands. In the 1990’s, Unions withered (some died) because of the ECA. The ERA 2000 has the potential to make the Pendulum swing back again...
Seafood Industry Council - from compulsion to oblivion? (Apr/01)
on the wild side and daring to dream (Jan/01)
Old Dogs and New Tricks
Employment Relations Bill
Cup runneth over (Jan/99)
my souvenirs – SS TOROA (Nov/98)
the depression with an air of positive expectancy (Jul/98)
and spice, and all things nice (Apr/98)
have a dream (apologies to Martin Luther King) (Jan/98)
the Life of a Sky Rocket (Nov/97)
Poor Knights Reserve - simply a matter of adjustment (Jun/97)
Fishery - Dividing up the spoils (Apr/97)
Praise of Alcohol and Freedom from Oppression (Feb/97)
Charter boats, cups, and fairie tales (Oct/96)
praise of the gentle Deckie (Jun/96)
to kill - or not, in NZ anyway (Apr/96)
Page updated 1st August 2004