“What do you actually do in the office in the winter,” we often hear this question, “because then there is nothing to do?”
We sometimes feel like saying “oh well, we relax a little in our office chair, surf on the net, playing games, making each other’s life miserable and teasing some skippers ”.
What do we actually do in the office in winter ………. Winter is the busiest season for us. We plan trips, we book ships, we inform customers, we collect money, we devise actions, we arrange our drowsiness …………. in short, in winter the days are too short but our days are sometimes too short. And in the midst of this controlled hectic, our planning board is like a mast on the ship. Once made, in the distant past by a skipper who disappeared a long time ago, from an old clothing rack with plates of hardboard and strips with slots where the so-called planning board cards fit. Ship names horizontal and the days from March to October vertical. Every customer who books a ship is scheduled and provided with the right stickers and riders regarding his or her specific wishes. Every year, every season its own colorful colors. Sometimes you see someone come in at the office and stare in stupid astonishment at the dated antique, archaic plate and suppress a scornful smile. However, we cannot be the only one, as planning board cards can still be ordered with ease; there is therefore more demand because the planning signs factory cannot only run on an annual one-off order from SHZH.
Our planning is of course also in the computer. And that is a good thing, to prevent double bookings. In the same distant past, as already mentioned above, we only had this external planning board but, they can be counted on one hand, sometimes there was a small catastrophe on the quay of two families who both wanted on the same ship.
Or there was the skipper’s dog there, wiggling enthusiastically, wiping out half the planning board. Or the new sailor, who had just arrived at the start of the season, who wanted to know when to sail on her ship. We were busy and pointed the sailor to the planning board with ship; when we looked up the ship had no more bookings. The sailor had removed all the cards from the planning board and was updating his agenda at the table.
Or those two important clips, who indicated that the three-week trip had been opted for, had become somewhat paralyzed and disappeared on the floor in a crevass. A long time later we discovered that this trip was never booked, there was a big gaping hole for the ship in question on the planning board and we had to have a very bad news conversation with the skipper-owner.
You wonder why we keep such a planning board intact. Perhaps the most important reason is the skipper-owner who comes to the office. We do not really want him or her with his or her fat weathered gas oil and grease-smelling work hands to sit on our beautiful keypads to take a look at his or her seasonal schedule. We prefer that they sit comfortably, cup of coffee in their hands, planning board in front of the nose, and so on