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THE SEC The Live of a Second Engineer
Very few people, outside of the marine environment, will have ever encounted the term “the Second” not relating to time. Even fewer will have encounted the abreviation of “the Second” to “the Sec”. Indeed, the term is used less and less as the British Merchant Navy continues to decline in the number of Merchant Ships operated under the British flag. Most adult English speakers will understand the meaning of the words “the Captain” and “the Chief Engineer” and a number of people will understand the meaning of “the Mate”. The term “the Mate” is a ship-board term for “the Chief Officer”. On board British Merchant ships, the Captain is ultimately responsible for the ship on which he is the Master, but, over many years, with the introduction of steam engines and later diesel engines the requirement to maintain the propulsion systems required dedicated people. Hence, there developed a two tiered system aboard Merchant ships to operate and maintain those ships. The tiers became known as the Deck Department and the Engine Room Department. The mangement interface between the two tiers is between the Captain and the Chief Engineer. However, the working interface, between the two tiers, is the Chief Officer and the Second Engineering Officer. The term “Second Enginering Officer”, through general usage, was shortented to “the Second” and, then, “the Sec”. On board, the Mate and the Sec work very closely to ensure the safetly of the ship and its crew.
BREAK FREE BE AN EXPAT
Many people seeking to pursue a job in a foreign country, most probably, will have little to no experience of the country that they select to pursue in the first instance. I, for example, had spent 15 years of my working life in the British Merchant Navy and yet, the foreign countries that I eventually worked in, I had no idea of the country, whatsoever, as I filled in my job application, apart from a thumb nail sketch from the newspapers and magazines of the day. The title of this Chapter is “An Expat in the land of the Free and not so Free”. On what grounds have I made that distinction you may ask? A good question, and for those who think they understand the meanings and the differences of a Socialist society and a Capitalist society, should you choose to experience working in a Socialist country you will quickly wish to move to a Capitalist-based country. “Times they are a-changing” goes the song and yet change is very, very, slow in a Socialist country, and yet, the Socialist impact on society is immediately felt when you board an airliner of, for example, flying to Libya.
THE FALL FROM GRACE OF LAW AND ORDER
The development of civilization has brought about groups of people, whom for hundreds of years have been trusted by the PEOPLE who place them in high office, to make laws by which society can live in peace and prosperity. Such people are known as politicians. To ensure politicians remain true to their oath of office, over hundreds of years has grown other groups of people who stand as overseers of the politicians. These people are known as journalists. The PEOPLE understood that a journalist’s work is to seek out the truth and to expose corruption. In seeking out the truth, and presenting the truth to the PEOPLE, they would understand that their inbred biases would have to be put to one side in order to put on display the true facts behind the malfeasance that they wished to expose. However, for the last four years the main-stream media appear to be following the dark road of Citizen Kane’s career, in the publishing world, whose high ideals are born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolved into a ruthless pursuit of power. The Film “Citizen Kane” is about the elusiveness of the truth. The screenplay for the film is credited to Orson Welles but the name of the person who wrote the original is a mystery. In a parallel development, the World is now moving towards the scenario, as shown in the film 1984, from the book 1984, written by George Orwell, where free speech is suppressed and “thought police” are prominent in society.