Steve Martin is the vessel manager and DPA for over 1000 linear meters of yacht. Were the 21 vessels he personally manages lined up bow to stern they would stretch for just over a kilometer, or more than 100,000 centimeters, or approximately 1/1160th of the way across the Great Australian Bight. A lot of boat, with a lot of crew, and he receives a lot of feedback, much of which he pays some attention to. But not all.
“It’s not that I don’t hear the concerns. Generally the vessels I visit are relatively quiet, and the crew I deal with speak clearly, and adequately enunciate their view that the amount of paperwork they are being required to do by the Safety Management System in place, is crushing them like an ant under an Unabridged Webster’s Dictionary with a foreword by James A. Michener. So in answer to your question, yes, I do hear them, it’s just that I simply do not care.”
Mr. Martin explains that as someone who has no one to complain to about his own mountain of checklists, and accompanying concerns that carpal tunnel syndrome brought on by completing them will soon prohibit him from picking up his grandchildren, he has little patience. “A lot of those forms of mine are two-pen jobs. Each. I go through about a box of Bics a day. I’m like a chain smoker only I’m a chain checker, and I can tell you they are about equally as bad for your health. But no one cares, do they? So yes I hear you young mates, officers, and engineers, no I don’t care, and if you complain to me I’m going to tell you, ‘That’s good to know, let me see what I can do about it,’ which really means it’s going to be spring tide in Paperville for you my complaining little friends, and you didn’t bring your hole punch.”
He carries on with the analogy a ways further, eventually bringing in the national guard to help complete the forms, build filing cabinets, and restore order to the pulpy town, before drawing the interview to a hasty close, saying that he has to go look at high speed printers and shredders.