Sacked Because of Two Lobsters


JP was raised to be a prince. However, one thing is what we plan and other is what actually happens. He is the most charming boy, devoted to the sea since his tens. I doubt there is a better and more responsible diver than he is.


We were not surprised that he was doing well, supervising a group of divers, with a substantial raise and other bonus like a luxury suite in a complex with a gigantic swimming pool.


The job is hard and JP doesn’t look like a prince any longer, more like the hardworking adult he has become. He leaves at the first lights on a barge and spends all day supervising the installation of a system of pipes to lessen the lethal impact of water contamination by the ultra-polluting factories operating in the Richards Bay area.


It is truth that the group of divers has a paid dinner table at a local fancy restaurant, still during the day they starve because the food cooked on the barge is terrible.


The divers are all very young, aged between 20 and 26 (JP’s own age). When the first surfaced with some crayfish, they all realized that the answer to the food crisis lay in the deep where they had been working. A supervisor aged 40-something (from now on here referred to as Old Barracuda) was particularly enthusiastic with the unexpected diet improvement.


Depending on the visibility, from that day on the divers started to catch a little bit of this and that. Despite three of them being the main providers, all ten aboard the barge ate the catch. Old Barracuda was the first to remember them “not to forget the fish for lunch”.


JP couldn’t go against it for two simple reasons: 1) He had been in other situations involving fishing and eating the catch. 2) If a senior supervisor was applauding the action, why should he go against it?


Eventually, JP couldn’t also resist a good visibility day when he discovered two lobsters hiding near one of the pipes they were working with. They only can guess who talked to the directors about the crayfish. Anyway, the Old Barracuda ate the lobsters, eventually watered by 5 or 6 beers, and right after barking with satisfaction he confirmed to the directors that a “huge” mistake had been committed. Two or three days later, four young divers and supervisor JP were sacked without further ado.


Despite recognizing that the five somehow disrespected the company policy of never spear fishing or recollecting during work, I dare anyone to question the following reasons: 1) Nobody respects that rule, including directors. I know for sure that at least half the company should be dismissed for the same reason. 2) I met the man who denounced the young divers and he looked to me like an old fascist. Now I know that he is one. As someone coming from the navy and security jobs, I wonder how he could survive doing what he has done to people working side by side with him. 3) Why Old Barracuda and others also banqueting of crayfish escaped? 4) The company in question was half paid by another American company. That company failed to pay part of the amount agreed, so the original South African owners are in charge again, doing big money on the run because they don’t have to give back the millions already pocketed, as the Americans are unable to fulfill the contract. When I heard that the company was South African again, I have reminded JP that the good wind could be changing direction.


In fact (and this must be the thought of Old Barracuda and some director-owners), why should they employ JP and others alike, especially as supervisors, when most white South Africans are jobless? Who cares if JP is good in what he does, when they can pay less to 2 or 3 of their own to do the same job?


Aren’t rules supposed to be broken for the sake of higher interests? Alas, JP is paying the price and learning about unfairness. Despite everything, somehow we have this feeling that some mistakes are a door to a better place.


This is all sad but true. JP wasn’t really fired from a regular steady job, but from a specific project. And despite promises from one of the directors in terms of future jobs, the simple reality is that we are over with “secret societies”. One of them obeys by the rule: preserve our already fragile environment, while destroying neighbours’ pristine nature. I am just back from Ponta do Ouro, so I know what I am talking about.


Any offshore company needing a first class prince-diver?