As I’m sure all employers can sympathize with, choosing new staff is one of the hardest tasks that we have. Plus, in the dive industry we are asking people to travel a long way for a job, and we never really get to interview them face to face, so it makes the choice a difficult one.
When we look for new employees I put out an advertisement and then you won’t believe all the replies that we get! As I am going through all the emails and resumes I print out all the “possible” candidates. There is normally quite a large pile. As we were searching for a new employee my mom happened to be visiting. We were all looking through the printed resumes together and while Chris and I are saying things like “this one has great boat experience” or “this one seems to jump around too much” or “This one has too much experience, they will be set in their ways” my mom says “Ooooh, look. This one’s from Cornwall.”
Cornwall is a beautiful county in the very south of England with world famous coastlines, rolling fields of hay, tasty pasties (this is a local delicacy), majestic tin mines and of course… Cornishmen. Cornish people are proud of their culture and in fact there are some that would like to separate from Britain all together. To me, Cornwall will always have a special place in my heart as ever since I was a little girl we would spend our summers in Sunny Cornwall in a little place called Rinsey.
So, my mom spots this one resume, the author of which is from Lostwithiel, Cornwall. This is a bit further north than where we spent our summers, but it also where I worked when I was completing my Master’s of Science in Applied Marine Science at Plymouth University (just a 30 minute drive away). I was working with the local community to see whether or not it was viable to turn the local salt marsh into a Local Nature Reserve. The salt marsh here is wonderful and I spent many hours counting and documenting the flora and fauna there.
You can see me here in my fetching orange waterproofs!
Now, what the heck does this all have to do with Diving in St Martin? I don’t know… You don’t think that I plan these blogs before I write them, do you?
Well, my mom looked at this resume and she said “I like this one.”
So, we went through it a bit more carefully. The author seemed to have some good work experience, but not so much that they would be stuck in their ways. I have to say that it was a long resume, seven pages. I can just hear my college career officer groaning! It included four color photographs of the candidate in various work environments, all the grades that they received on their school exams as well as the inclusion of a sketch of a lion fish (which took up about a whole page.) This is the lion fish!
I had to include it! I hope Dave doesn’t mind…
Anyway… we had a good feeling about it, so we asked Dave to join the team. (There was a bit more in between, but I don’t need to write all that here.)
Dave was here for a few days when I received a short, but friendly email from his parents.
“Hello Octopus Diving. So sorry to trouble you as we know you are busy, and hope you don’t mind us asking, but our son David traveled to you on Saturday to start work for you, we know he got to Trinidad, just hope he got to you okay as it was all a bit hectic but thrilling for him and us, fuss pot mum here, sorry, again hope you don’t mind me asking.”
Well, I don’t know if it was because I was a new mom (Keiran was still under a month old) but my heart when out to Dave’s mum. I just couldn’t imagine my beautiful little boy, (who not only did I spend 9 months growing and nurturing, but then brought into the world and NOW dote on every second of every day), leaving me to fly halfway around the world and not sending me a message to say that he had arrived safely. Shame on you Dave!!
I promptly emailed Fran back and then reprimanded Dave for not contacting his mother. Had we made the wrong decision here?
Since then I have exchanged several emails with Dave’s mom, and I’m not sure exactly how this falls under employee / employer etiquette, but I plan to continue. I like to forward her the emails that I get praising Dave as a boat captain and dive instructor. I imagine that it makes her proud, as it would make me proud, and I like to think that someone would do the same for me one day (not that my little boy is EVER allowed to move anywhere more than a 10 minute drive from my house 🙂 ) Plus, Fran has invited me over for a cup of tea next time I am in the area.
So, my intention in writing this blog was to give Fran a little update on how her Cornish son, Dave is doing. He is doing just great. Dave has such an easy going nature about him, yet he seems very serious at the same time. We trust him completely. The customers love him and so do the other members of staff. He laughs at all my jokes (big point for him) and he has even held my little boy a couple of times (although he was very nervous about it at first.) He is a hard worker and eager to learn anything that we can teach him. He already completed his Advanced Nitrox Course and is attending a Scubapro technicians course on Wednesday. He is mentor to our Divemaster trainee Maaike and has certified Open Water divers, Advanced Open Water divers and Enriched Air Nitrox divers since first coming to the island.
Here is Dave driving Arvor (which, funnily enough is Cornish for “by the sea.”).
So, Fran. You should be proud. You did a great job with Dave and I will make sure that he keeps calling home and checking in! Don’t worry about being a Fuss Pot Mom, I think I am one too!
We aren’t giving him back though, we would like to keep him for awhile, but you are always welcome to come and visit.
Feel free to email me anytime for more info, Fran!
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )