19 August 2012

an answer to your question

Benjamin  posted this link as well as this question on my FB page, thought I could answer it better here.

Have you been on LOGOS Hope at all? I found this quote from current chief engineer Willem Zuidema surprising "I am impressed with the quality of work, I think it is actually better than what I have seen on the commercial ships.", in light of some memories from LOGOS II. Maybe things have changed culturally within the organization?
I have not been on Logos Hope, nor do I know, or know of, C/E Zuidema.  And I'm happy to give C/E Zuidema the benefit of the doubt, that his statement re: the work quality being better than what he has seen commercially, is true.  However, it may also be irrelevant.

Compare these photo's, from here:

With these:
What is C/E Zuidema's commercial experience?  And how long ago was that experience?

I have been on commercial ships that were worse, far worse, than anything I ever saw on Logos II, and I'm currently in a commercial environment (as shown by the second set of photos) which rivals a hospital for cleanliness, and where there is little tolerance for cutting corners, and no tolerance for a failure of equipment or procedure which would delay our on-time delivery of cargo.

GBA is in a different business than a commercial ship, though both use the same tool.  GBA (much like governments) does not have the commercial pressures and competition to force innovation and efficiency.  Even with the most talented and accomplished engineers (ahem ... cough cough) working for it, GBA would struggle, as the criteria for decisions is different.  On my commercial ship, my time costs money, delays cost money and reputation, there is a different calculation.  To use 10% more materials with a 50% time saving is well worth doing. With GBA, my time was free (to GBA, not free in an absolute sense ... there was a tangible cost as well as an opportunity cost that was borne elsewhere) and so was not valued the same as spare parts and fuel, which required hard currency to obtain.

So best wishes to C/E Zuidema and his fellow engineers and watchkeepers.  But apples ain't oranges, no matter how much we wish they might be.


  1. What a thoughtful answer to my question. Thank you =). Wow it must feel nice to work in such a clean space in your current environment. I guess I mean I imagine I would feel good about working in such a space.

  2. ' Even with the most talented and accomplished engineers (ahem ... cough cough) working for it...' I hope the ahem... cough cough doesn't refer to my husband.
    Nice reply though.

  3. So, GBA & the government, what are you saying here, my Libertarian friend!!??! (This is Meg, I imagine the computer probably assumes I'm Benjamin!!)