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'Deadliest Catch' Greenhorn Drama: A little kindness might go a long way on deck

Perhaps if Captain Wild Bill would instruct his crew to back off, he could keep a good greenhorn.
Perhaps if Captain Wild Bill would instruct his crew to back off, he could keep a good greenhorn.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Did any of these captains on "Deadliest Catch" ever think of the strategy of--and this is a big one--being nice to a greenhorn in order to keep him around for more than just a few weeks? Watching the Cape Caution last night, it was pretty clear why they cannot keep new crew members any longer than they do: They start jumping down their throats before they give them a chance to get started.

Oh, sure, there is that old-school concept of “break ‘em down and build ‘em up.” Well, like it or not, the guys coming on the boat these days are not “old school” stock; they were not raised with the “break ‘em down” mentality; they were born into the “build ‘em up” era. And, honestly, even if they were not, geez, give a new guy a break!

The new guy on the deck of the Cape Caution, Myles, seems like he might have potential; even after getting his nose smashed and cut open last night, he was still talking about being out on deck, lamenting the fact that the guys were having to work without him. But, perhaps he would not have gotten his face smashed in to begin with if deck boss Nick could have shut up for about 30 seconds and stopped berating him. How many of us can concentrate with someone over our shoulder, constantly screaming at us? Not many of us. Is he just trying to toughen him up, trying to get him accustomed to working in adverse conditions? Well, aren’t the conditions adverse enough without having Nick screaming at you through it all?

Zack was taking up for his new hire, pointing out that it was his first day over and over, but Nick would not listen. Sure, mistakes can mean somebody’s life on a job like crab fishing, but the fact is, when somebody starts a new job--any job--they are going to make mistakes. Can you imagine if you were working in your office job and every couple of minutes your supervisor came in to tell you how you were not typing fast enough? Not adding up the numbers fast enough? Not answering the phone in the right tone of voice? Would that improve your performance? Not likely.

It’s a tough job in a tough world, yes. But, like it or not, it is also a new world. The captains of the boats are allowing their deckhands to beat up on these greenhorns at will, and they are most likely running off potentially good workers because they get tired of being screamed at all the time. Even Captain Wild Bill said last night that he did not think Nick needed to be screaming at the greenhorn like he was, but he was staying out of it. While it is understandable that the captain wants to give the deck crew their space, and wants to be sure the hands respect the boss as their leader, maybe a little guidance from the captain would help some of these crews retain newbies for more than one or two rounds of fishing.

"Deadliest Catch" airs on Discovery Channel on Tuesday nights at 9/8c.