Continuing from previous part
Wanted the easy way through.
Instead of revising the subjects & attending interviews I was trying for a reference from relatives and friends of friends working in the field and wasted more than 10 months in the process.Cant remember how many million times I had to call Mr.Mark and Mr.Nair for the reference that so & so told them about.Its really ironic for they took so long to deliver the cliché ‘see Anand, the market situation is pretty bad right now as you know with the recession and all, We don’t have anything at the moment.Will let you know if something comes up’ after giving much hope for the past one year with words like ‘Call me back on Friday, I am trying to line you up for a ship’, or ‘Please attach a photo on your CV and send it to this address’ or ‘right now I am in a meeting, I will call u back’.The only person you can rely on is yourself.I had approached almost 30 people for the same starting from masters, long term second engineers to second officers all of whom promised to do something but couldn’t.The saddest thing is even after getting rejected everywhere I still thought Santa would come any day with gifts.
Biggest mistake of all – fell for agents.
Ship recruiting agents is one of those communities whom you could blindly accuse of cheating and fraud without any prior info.These guys have made a irremovable stain on their credibility that its virtually impossible to trust any of them.Consider a sane guy being driven from fake agency to fake agency for a period of an year and a half by a couple of unknown individuals, risking 3 lakh rupees with not even a glimmer of hope of getting a job and him still believing they are his last chance.How sad is that?Let me tell you straight away that it doesn’t matter how big the agents office is and how sweet his words are or even if he is a known person.An agent is aways an agent, crooked and trying to cheat.Maybe 0.001% of my friends(Sulabha bhagat is one such reliable person who placed four of my batch mates eventhough in gulf ships) who did get jobs through agents would disagree to this completely.There are some people who keep their words.But look at the percentage.There is this guy (whose name I would not rather disclose as he gave back my money under certain conditions.If you wanna confirm that your agent is not this same guy contact me personally) who made a complete jackass of myself for an unbelievably long time.He boasted of placing 135 cadets all in foreign ships, till date and told me about this opening in Maersk line.600 dollar stipend, 4 lakhs service charge post joining.Thats what I fell for, the no advance part.Apart from that I know people who knew him for a very long time.After couple of months of inaction he convinced me to giving him half the amount in advance.Well my friends once the Washington is out of your pocket you are doomed.Later all his promises turned out to be well made up blatant lies and one after another all the petty companies where he took me to revealed themselves to be complete fraud.After countless days and months of waiting in vain I asked him to stop.He was very reluctant to give back the money and even threatened my dad.At one point he wasn’t ready to give back a penny and told us to go to court.Later after much pressure he did give back the money.But did I learn my lesson? Not at all.Went straight to another agent is what I did.It was like I needed an agent all the time, like some fatal addiction.This other guy turned out to be a complete ruffian and still has a lakh rupees of my dad’s with him.The union people are no different.They are so influential with police etc that you have absolutely no chance of getting back your money.If you have stronghold in the region like a friend of mine, you could demolish the sicko’s office, beat the hell outta him and sell his computers to reimburse.
To be continued