Complain to the Cook, is hazardous to your health

A person who gives excessive complaints, also known as complainers are very common on the ship. You can consider yourself a lucky person if you haven’t work with a complainer. Mostly they complain about the food. Its either they don’t like the food, or the way the chief steward prepares it. Eventually they will eat the food, after a few minutes of whining and complaining. But most of the time they will say harsh words to the cook whenever they don’t like the food. After reading this article, maybe you would consider to stop complaining with your food, and start appreciating the cook.

Being a Chief Cook on the Ship

A Chief Cook or Chief Steward basically takes charge of the budgeting and the kind of foods that his assistant would prepare for the crew’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Galley Department is just one of the three departments on a merchant ship. So the Chief Cook is the sole leader and responsible person for his department.


Some crew who constantly complain, usually start by saying their complaints to the messboy. Then later on, the messboy will tell this to the assistant cook or directly to his Chief Steward. After that, expect the worst.

What could happen after a misunderstanding?

  • You can have a choice to continue eating or find a canned food to eat.
  • You can tell your complain to the Chief Officer for deck crew, or to Chief Engineer if your an engine crew.
  • Most of the time the Officers directly complain to the Chief Steward which could worsen the situation.

Let me tell you a real story that happen to one of the ship I worked with. A pumpman who likes to be very close to the Captain always prepare a special food and give this to the Captain as a bribe. The Chief Steward allowed him to cook in the galley for the reason that he doesn’t like any untoward incident or misunderstanding with the pumpman and the captain. But after a month, as the pumpman gains the captain’s trust, he became a complainer. He starts complaining about the food and start saying “If you cook me this food again, I’ll tell the Captain to send you home”. A very strong word that he should have never said. As a usual routine the pumpman always cook food for the captain. But the Steward hides the knives. When the pumpman start to asking for the knives, the Chief Steward look at him very angry and pull out a little bit short knife, and slam it on the table in the galley. After that he said to the pumpman “If you are strong and man enough try to touch the knife and see what will happen”. This means war isn’t it?

So the pumpman complains to the captain about the Chief Stewards attitude and asking him to send the Steward home. But the Captain makes a joke that if you choose the Cook to be your enemy, he might poison your food without you knowing it. The pumpman start to think that day, and never eat the food that the Chief Steward prepare for him. He only eats salad and bread. After a month he became crazy and was unable to perform his duty and was repatriated for further treatment.

I asked the cook if he really plan to poison the pumpman, he said to me “No, Never”, saying it with a smile on his face. We can never tell really if it will result to that kind of situation. I just hope that it doesn’t.

Ask yourself

So now, are you’re a complainer? If your a Galley Department most wanted complainer you better start thinking and be more friendly. After all you have nothing to lose for being friendly. A famous quote of Oscar Wilde says.

“Be careful to choose your enemies well. Friends don’t much matter. But the choice of enemies is very important.”

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