This is an article I was hoping I would never have to write. But here I am, typing away, because common sense is, apparently, a lot less common than you’d think. Wikipedia says: “common sense” equates to the knowledge and experience which most people allegedly have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have.
Let me explain.
I have posted several articles on this blog about the fact that the cruise line industry is hit by the slumping economy just the way land-based businesses are, and in order to come out of this slump in acceptable financial shape, cruise lines have started to pinch pennies. This includes the entertainment departments of virtually all cruise lines.
The heads of entertainment departments have found various ways to spend less money but keep the entertainment going, but all of these ways affect the number of jobs and the salaries that are paid out. Some cruise lines have put freezes on all salary increases, some have lowered starting salaries, some no longer fly bands to ships if they live too far away from the sign-on port, some have shortened the rotations of their entertainers and some have dramatically increased the standard contract length to 6 months or more.
Musicians that had, in the past, relied on land-based gigs, have started to look to cruise ship gigs for work since there is a lot less work to be had on land as well.
So, if you combine both, less job opportunities on cruise ships and more musicians looking to get cruise ship gigs, you end up with a lot more supply than there is demand; the number of musicians looking for gigs on cruise ships is growing, while available gigs on ships are either stagnant or even diminishing.
This is where common sense comes in (or so you’d think).
If a musician manages to get a gig despite the above-mentioned problem of supply and demand, you’d think that the employed would try to keep that gig. You’d think that they would be a model citizen, do their job, play by the rules and make themselves an asset to the company so that they will be considered for re-hire after their first contract.
You’d think that at least the easily avoided conflicts would be a non-issue, obvious things like, showing up on time for the gig, being properly prepared for the gig, not drinking alcohol while on the gig, getting along with superiors, accepting the job for what it is etc. The list of problems that people seem to get themselves into is mind-boggling, and to my surprise, new and utterly amusing items show up on this list regularly (enough material for several blog posts…but let me stay on subject).
It is no secret that when you’re working for a cruise line, you’re representing that company and they will make you follow rules and regulations (that had to be written because people don’t use common sense) that you may not be used to from your previous work on land. This is one big reason for why we, at Oceanbound Entertainment Inc., go to great lengths to explain all the details about the jobs so that people can’t say later that they didn’t know what they were in for.
Just about all those entertainers that are not being re-hired because they messed up, come crying later, saying they’re sorry and it will never happen again.
So, I’m just laying this out here so that you have an opportunity to avoid this mess. I’ve always said, and I say it again, make sure that you are fully aware of what’s going to be expected of you on cruise ships, and be at peace with this before you head out. This is something people like to brush aside at first, not realizing its importance.
As you see, there are many musicians applying for these jobs, cruise lines and entertainment agencies have long wait lists, so it’s very easy to find a replacement for someone that can’t stay out of trouble.
So, if you managed to get the gig, try to keep the gig, because if you can’t get the job done, someone else will.