When to Abandon Ship
So lately I’ve been thinking a lot on exactly when you should abandon ship; specifically, what event should be the turning point.
So many questions to ask- is the ship sinking? is it sinking on it’s own, or is someone shooting cannonballs at you?
Lets presume for a moment that the ship isn’t being shot at by anyone- instead, we’ll say that our route has been cut off by a field of icebergs, and the captain has decided “full speed ahead!”
The captain may be reckless and dangerous, but perhaps he knows what he’s doing. Well, lets suppose he gets sick and appoints someone (who was supposedly a captain on another ship) to take over before he dies.
Pretend that you’ve been on this ship for a long time, and you’ve become good friends with the crew, and have actually taken a liking to the ship. Good times, good company, good memories.
The crew starts to get a little nervous about this new captain. Why is this person in charge? She knows nothing about hoisting sails and has never rowed a day in her life. Well, sailing a ship is much more complex you think, so maybe she really is qualified for it.
Within an hour she’s grazed two icebergs, and twice crew members fall out to their icy deaths. The rudder was heavily damaged so your ship can only turn left. Due to the new captain’s actions, you know that the repairs will end up costing you 10% of your take from the journey.
When do you start thinking about jumping ship? You don’t want to be in the next round that falls to their icy deaths, and if the current captain keeps driving, you’re afraid she doesn’t have the skill to avoid future icebergs.
If you abandon ship, any other ships you’re likely to find nearby will also be in the iceberg field, so there’s no guarantee that the next place will be any safer or their captain is more competent.
So when do you jump ship? When you realize half the crew is bailing water, but the captain won’t allow anyone to patch the ship? When you see the people trying to patch the ship are using fishing net to stop leaks?
Now, lets suppose the Captain names an advisor to be the “first first mate” and makes the first mate you trust report to him (essentially stripping him of his power)? You don’t know the new guy, you’re not sure if you can trust him, but the way the situation was handled makes you trust the captain less.
How about when the Captain’s advisor comes down and tells you that, rather than the bilge pumps you should use buckets, because he doesn’t trust bilge pumps. Most of the crew has lost complete faith in the captain at this time, and are planning on abandoning ship, they’re just not sure when.
When do you jump? When you see the first mate say “The captain’s lost it, I’m getting outta here”?
Do you wait until before or after the first mate BTFOs (Bails Out)?
Do you hang on, looking for another ship to jump to, and hope you find one soon?
Right now the first mate is looking for a sturdy lifeboat, preparing to make his escape… so where does that leave you?
Are you ready to abandon ship?