Monday, December 11

Bad Scuba Students, Musings of a Instructor!

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Being a scuba instructor is a cool job to have but isn’t fun and games all the time.Of course,more up than down moments. Teaching people the finer aspects of underwater skills

can be very gratifying when the students respond well to instruction and but at times downright hairpulling frustrating.Some individuals just dont seem to have it.But they seem to think they are natural water babies.No big deal,breathing underwater,swimming around ,which is pretty much the case except that one needs to be smooth and stable

when swimming ,in full control,not like a rampaging bull charging through the coral reef,crashing and tearing the reef apart,scaring away the fishes. Yup,tough profession we have ,patience,tactfulness is a prerequisite skill we must master , having the ability to tell people,’like “hey,so sorry,but you are an absolute disaster underwater,a downright

clumsy oaf who cant be trusted to be left to your own devices underwater,you would probably drown yourself or worst be an ecological threat to the reef as it is. i just cannot in good conscience sign you a certificate and face mother nature.’ But in reality ,you say to them,”Ummmm,think you need a few more sessions to improve ,come back another time,

and we will work on it,i suggest you put in some practice in swimming pool when back in the city,Overall,you did well,just some minor kinks need to be ironed out.WE’ll make a diver out of you yet”.

There are also the other type,certified divers who can dive but lack the experience to the more challenging diving environments.So called advanced dive sites.

Beginner divers are restricted to not more than 18 meters depth and preselected sites mainly out of safety considerations,more emphasis on the fun factor than taking unnecessary risks.

And you ‘ll have this divers come to you and say,i want to go this site or that,why dont you take me there,i heard its a brilliant dive site.just slightly deeper but no problem,i can handle it.I’ve already done 10 dives in my log and its no big deal,i feel i am ready for all conditions,i insist we dive there,we are paying for diving so as a  customer,our request has priority .”WEll,in your mind you are thinking,you are asking to go to a site where the currents can sweep even the experienced divers out to open sea if they make a mistake,max depth is like 60 meters which is off limits even to us professionals,so have to be extremely careful not to go too deep,and diving with you,what i see is a buffoon who never checks his depth while underwater, the word ‘hazard’ is the name of a song from the 80s,and when swimming underwater with your fins,method looks like pedalling an imaginary bicyle,i take you to this dive site,will be akin to holding your hand and jumping off the top of a 30m waterfall and taking your chances when you land in the water.OK,you have a death wish,but please,not on my  shift”.

But actually you say,”sure,i’ll take you there,if you want ,not today though,site is at open sea and weather forecasts very rough conditions for few days,off limits to small boats,maybe tomorow.if weather calms down”.Then when tomorrow comes and he still asks about going ,you’ll say,”Oh,the dive centre next door went and came and told us not to go because

visibility is very bad,can’t see more than 1 meter ,so no point,cant see the dive site even if you dive in,tell you what,let me take you to another site almost as good as this one,vis is fantastic,you can see 20 meters all around.”

We also have a trick up our sleeves as a last resort.If they are still insistent on going after few days ,then we go,dive and go back. Response” not really that good this site,dont see what the hype was about” .You say “Yup,you’re right,we do think thats this site is a bit overrated, ” but in your mind you are thinking “of course its not that good as expected,dum dum,thats because we didnt exactly take you there,just decided to rename another site similar to the one you requested to go to all in your honour,cos we know you wont be able to tell the difference,”

Well ,why not,sneaky i ‘ll admit,yet in the end everyone’s happy,and no mishaps to worry about.

Customer’s satisfaction.

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