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Dive Professional

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by scubadiver888, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    Come on out to Kwajalein and you can take the PADI Zombie Diver course with me. Then you will really be prepared for "ANYTHING" on Maui. :d

    This reminds me of another act of misplaced stupidity that happened in my life:

    I grew up in Denver Colorado and was very active in Boy Scouting...even made Eagle Scout. So I am very familiar with camping, hiking, fishing, first-aid, knots, etc.

    Nearly 30 years ago, when I wore the younger man's clothes or more correctly U.S Army uniform, as a young Buck Sergeant I was tasked to instruct a Wilderness Survival class for a summer JROTC camp for High Schooler. This was in Ft. Richardson, AK outside of Anchorage, a beautiful place to hold such a 90 minute class. I got hold of the U.S. Air Force's Wilderness Survival Manual for it pilots and pulled about 5-6 topics out to show the students. We tied five basic knots, I built several improvised snares and trap, I built a water capture system, I drew diagrams that covered things like where's the best place to find a fish in a stream or wild berry identification. The course was a series of stations and I would take the students along a trail to each station. The students liked it, the High School ROTC Instructors liked it, my command liked it...overall it was a very successful 90-Minute generalized "exposure" course for a High School audience.

    My my command liked it so much I was asked to give it again to a Army National Guard maintenance unit we were supporting during their 2-week summer training. Again the audience was appropriate for such a generalized course. And once again the Guardsmen liked it, my command liked it and the Ak National Guard's command liked it.

    After the second Widerness Survival course the Army showed its Stupidity...The asked me to teach "my wilderness survival course" to the Alaskan Army National Guard's Scouts...these soldiers are northern native Alaskan. So I said He'll Yes. :d

    I flew north of the Article Circle to a small Compound where all of the Army Scouts had gathered for their annual two-week summer training. About two days into their traing I presented my very simplistic course to these true masters of their elements. They were polite and asked a few question that I tried to answer...but I knew I was just showing a Master Painter a paint-by-numbers picture of Donald Duck. A couple of days later we were in the field and I became their student. It was truly one of the most memorable events of my military career. I was and still am in awe these scouts. When we went into the Alaskan Bush, a lot of the cheap U.S. Army's gear that we had at the time, disappeared and native/local tools, clothing and equipment appeared. I learned so much from these generous soldiers in that week, that it surpassed everything I knew before.

    In summary...

    While I was qualified to teach a Specialized Subject to a Specific Audience, that did not make me a Master of the Subject qualified to teach all Audiences.

    Just because a person is not an instructor does not mean they are not an expect.

    Not all DMs start out as fully experienced divers.

    Not all non-Pro divers are unexperienced divers who need a hand to hold.

    Whether you are a highly experienced diver, DM, Instructor, ect., you can always keep learning...if you choose do do so.

  2. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    That's where you come off looking ignorant. You make strong, definitive, and often contemptuous statements about things you know nothing about. I won't attempt to correct you again ... it's clear that you already know everything. I'll only point out that you've made two more erroneous assumptions.

    I don't doubt that you're very good at what you do. I don't doubt that you're extremely effective in the environment in which you earn a living. What gets you into trouble in these discussions is your dismissal and outright contempt for anyone who doesn't do things exactly as you think they should be done, because that's what works for you ... in the environment in which you do them. An example is your constant dismissal of the value of gas management as "worthless" (your word). It may very well be in your world ... where divers with not very much skill rely on professional dive guides to plan their dive, watch their air, and keep them safe. That approach doesn't work in the parts of the world where there are no dive guides. In that world people need gas management skills because if they run out of air they have, at best, a buddy who may or may not have the skill to assist them. So the better approach is to train them how not to run out.

    It's ironic that on the one hand you treat the topic with such contempt, while at the same time you make constant references to how effectively you deal with OOA divers ... and utterly fail to see the connection!

    It isn't us who are looking down on you, beano ... it's you who are constantly making statements that look down on how we approach diving and dive instruction, while it's obvious that you're totally ignorant of the reasons why we use a different approach than you do. You've made statements about how fast and "efficient" your classes are, disparaging anyone who doesn't run people through open water classes as quickly as you do ... without giving a thought to the differences between training divers in warm, clear water and bathing suits vs low vis, drysuits, hoods and heavy gloves. You fail completely to comprehend that divers trained by you are most likely COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED to dive in a cold water environment ... because you failed to train them how to dive in those conditions. How could you ... when you're so obviously unfamiliar with that environment yourself? But rather than be open to listening about why people approach dive training differently than you do, you assume it's because you ... the wonder instructor with "10,000 hours" in bathtub conditions ... knows better how we should train our students than we do ... and you don't hesitate to let us know that your superior experience makes you better qualified than we are to talk about how and what we teach. It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic ... you come off like a teen-ager who, at 16 years old, has life all figured out and can't understand why the adults are so dense.

    You want respect. Great ... I'll happily give it to you. All you need to do is confine your comments to things you know something about ... and drop the disparaging attitude toward things you don't understand. Oh, and try showing some respect once in a while ... it tends to work better when it's a two-way exchange.

    And I won't respect your expertise in my world merely because of your vast experience in yours. This may come as a shock to you, but diving full-time in the tropics only qualifies you to dive in the tropics. It gives you none of the tools you'd need to thrive in my world.

    Not really ... 10,000 hours doing the same thing day in and day out only makes you good at that thing. I have nearly 40 years of experience as a tech writer. I'm damn good at it. But I make a sh!tty novelist ... believe me, I've tried.

    Absolutely ... so before you make any more comments about what life must be like in the cold water environment, I suggest you get some experience there ... because it's pretty obvious from your comments that on THAT topic you don't know what you're talking about.

    Interesting that you should bring that up ... it's often the failing of those who make assumptions about other people in order to feel more important about themselves ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)

    ---------- Post added July 27th, 2014 at 09:01 AM ----------

    FWIW - while you were in here bragging about your vast experience, Cindy was out in the San Juan islands diving with Philippe Cousteau Jr. and his wife Ashlan, working on a documentary on orcas ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  3. beanojones

    beanojones Solo Diver

    FWIW, that's exactly the type of confusion in type of experience that was claimed by you to be a difference maker when you compared a tech writer and a novelist.

    1. Tech Writer vs. novelist.
    Your excellent example

    2. Research Diver/Underwater photographer vs. Recreational Dive worker.
    My example

    #2 is mixing up types of experience, which is at the heart of my argument. You made it for me, in fact. There is nothing like experience in the exact field. As you say.

    I am not bragging about my experience, unless you claiming 45 years of writing about tech is considered bragging. I think it would be silly and offensive to label listing any such experience as bragging. But that's me, politely disagreeing with you. And that's you, not being polite.

    I am saying that someone working full time in the recreational diving field necessariy has vastly more experience in diving in general, and in recreational diving in specific, than others do, because it is the daily activity. And I am further making the point that the only place people can do recreational dive work full time is in the tropics*

    *Which is apparently a bathtub, not an ocean, where people need rescuing even when they are in boats. Who knew? Either the conditions one is used to matter, or they do not. You really cannot have it both ways.

    And that that experience counts.

    But then again, that's the problem, isn't it? Everyone wants to believe that experience matters in their own field, and in every other field they have an interest, they want to pretend it does not. Look at the various emotional responses in this thread. If people spent time thinking it, it would be self evident. But then people would have to admit that others have more experience and more knowledge than themselves. And in diving, that just ain't gonna happen. Everyone thinks they invented the sport 100 dives after they got certified.

    It's the old ask a room full of people who think of themelves as below average drivers, and you won't get half the room raising their hands. But at least half the room is below average.
  4. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    You missed my post where I said I know personally at least 2 people who teach diving full time in the UK and Europe (with occasional jaunts abroad). All they do is instruct. They don't work in shops, they don't sell kit, their partners are not loaded.
    And they manage to do it for a non-mainstream agency.
    The tropics are not the only place instructors can make a living solely as instructors, but it takes a hell of a lot work to do it elsewhere.
    beanojones likes this.
  5. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft. Hood, TX
    How do you figure that? How do you figure that a person with only a year or two of dive experience, yet who works in one location, dealing with one set of dive conditions, is more experienced that a diver who has been diving since before the major agencies, and has dove in conditions that range from clear, warm, and calm all the way up to near-zero-viz, 3 degrees above saltwater freezing, with 10 foot waves and 3-5 knot currents?

    I'll take that "inexperienced" person over the fresh from his IE course DM who's only worked in the tropics. That diver has more experience in the water draining from his dry suit boot than your "dive professional" does in his whole body.

    Again; how do you arrive at this conclusion? Is there a Scuba Police that I, and others, don't know of that forces workers in California, Pacific NW, New England, etc. to not work every day?

    And is there some magical shield that prevents tropical dive workers from being affected by storms, sickness, boat breakdowns, and all the other things that stop dive workers in other places from working? Oh, I know what you're going to say, "thermal concerns". But this is something that can be easily mitigated with good thermal protection; drysuit, hoods, gloves, and solid undergarments.

    It sounds more and more like you've never spent much time where some of these other posters have been; like you've been mainly in the tropics.

    And that's exactly what you're doing here; declaring yourself the "expert" on what makes a dive worker a "professional". There are many people out there that have more experience than you; and I think one of them is NWGrateful Diver.

    Only if the sample size is that room. This is where your logic falls apart. Put 100 F1, NASCAR and Evasive Driving Instructors together in a room, and half would be below average for that room. But take a random sample, and those same 100 drivers would rank in the top 1% of a random sample of 1 million drivers.

    Even then; you wouldn't be able to fill that 1% with professional drivers- there's going to be someone who drives for a hobby, or just has alot of training and experience, who will rank right up there with them. Training and experience often beats "professional" in the title.
    beanojones likes this.
  6. beanojones

    beanojones Solo Diver

    Understand that I don't share your preconceptions, or those of anyone currently posting at SB. That does not mean I am necessarily less experienced than others. There is an alternate explanation of my beliefs as well. As well as another alternate of what my status says about me. Don't fall into the trap of assuming anything, just because I am basically the only representative from my area of experience. In fact, that is one of my ongoing points.

    People talk a lot about things at SB who clearly simply do not have the experience necessarily to justifiably hold the opinions they do. I used to hold many of those same beliefs, because we are all given a line when we are taught diving, or tech diving, or etc tec.. And since we have to believe something, that's what we believe. Some experience, perhaps, makes us more justifably agree with that line, and it is possible more experience can make us justifiably disagree with that line. Experience is a telling difference maker. If you want to think I am less experienced than others because that is the best way for you to reconcile why I do not share your beliefs, then by all means, feel free. This is the internet, and the internet is for porn, and cat videos, after all.

    Here's a fact: People can hold whatever beliefs they want to, until experience forces them to give up those beliefs, or harden those beliefs in the face of experience. The thread that started this split-off thread was one where someone made the "point" that professionals should be reporting the boat that does not do hydros.

    And then someone pointed out that in the Caribbean, not only was there no legal requirement to do anything with tanks , but that it was regular practice to do nothing with tanks until the tank valve unit died. Until one has the experience of seeing that, any belief at all is tenable, pending experience. It's just not not justifiable, though the only way to know that it to actually walk down that line

    It's like people saying that regulators last a lifetime. This gets said a lot at SB. OK. Until people have the experience to let them know that is not true, the position might be tenable. It's just not, in the end, justifiable, since enough experience proves it false. But then again, for the amount that most people, even "professionals" dive, that statement is "true". Same quotes around both, for the same reasons. "True" for the way the vast majority of divers, even "professionals" dive.

    For the people for whom regulators last a lifetime, they may have dove many years, but, in the grand scheme of things, they are not that experienced. All moving systems suffer wear. It may just be that wear only happens at the number of hours that very few reach.

    ---------- Post added July 27th, 2014 at 07:17 PM ----------

    I did not mean to miss it, and in fact I am curious about it. Can you elaborate on what they do? I am all for options, but everytime I have looked into the options, it turns out that biggest part of it is being a shop bitch, which is just off the table for me. I can take some amount of classroom work, but...

    (Actually it takes a hell of a lot of work to do it anywhere. I often have people come along for the ride for a while and decide full-time instruction is just too much work. The usual reason is to do a working holiday comes to just that: it is just too much work, combined with no work whatsoever randomly, and on no sort of schedule.)
  7. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    ... but that wasn't your position earlier.

    Let's refresh your memory ... shall we?

    Your comment ... the one that I took exception to ... was your claim that "It is a basic requirement that one live in the tropics to do it. Otherwise it is a week-end only gig."

    That is a demonstrably false assumption. I've provided you examples ... and you now respond by claiming I'm "confused". No, there is no confusion ... you were quite clear in what you said.

    Not really ... but it would be if, like you, I claimed that you had to have my experience in order to consider yourself a professional. I made no such claim ... you did.

    No, beano ... you were not polite. You never are.

    I KNOW you're saying that ... and I'm saying that you're wrong.

    Working full time in the recreational diving field makes you vastly more experienced in diving in your environment, and at your level. It doesn't make you more experienced in diving in general. There are environments in which you have NO EXPERIENCE ... and therefore would not have any ability to excel until you obtained that experience. It may be true that you could gain that expertise at a relatively fast pace ... but without exposure to that environment you are NOT "vastly more experienced" at that type of diving. It'd be interesting to see how well you'd do in six feet of vis in a drysuit and dry gloves ... my guess is that someone with one tenth your overall underwater time, but with all of it in that environment would be a lot better at it than you would.

    ... and I'm telling you ... as someone who lives and dives in an area that is most definitely NOT the tropics ... that you're wrong! I gave you some examples ... others have too. You dismissed them out of hand ... based on no knowledge on your part whatsoever. That's being willfully ignorant. Be that way if you choose ... it's only your credibility that's at stake.

    My reference to a bathtub is warm and clear water ... which is what you deal with. Put yourself ... or ANY of your students ... into 52 degree water and 10 feet of vis and let me know how well you do. It'd be interesting to see how long it took you to lose a few of them.

    Yes it does ... gain some before you presume to know anything about environments you've never dived in.

    That is what you have been doing!

    My responses have nothing to do with your experience ... they are completely about your presumption to speak about a subject you know nothing about.

    I'd love to see how well your vast experience would serve you in Pacific Northwest, the North Atlantic, or the Channel Islands. None of those places are tropical ... all of them have a pretty healthy, year-round diving population. All of them also have people who dive for a living, and who could probably teach you a thing or two ... if they could get past your presumption that you already know it all.

    No ... some of us just recognize BS when we see it. But the sentiment is particularly ironic coming from someone who did the zero-to-hero route to become an instructor at 100 dives.

    Interestingly, the same could be said of people who dive for a living in the tropics ... I've seen plenty of good ones, but I've seen some who weren't very good too. And yet they all universally seem to think they're God's gift to scuba diving.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
  8. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft. Hood, TX
    There's only one thing that comes through all this; that you believe yourself to be the only one able to decide what makes a diver a professional. You're not.

    The rest of your post is simply blowing hot air and talking about how great you are. Let's try to keep the self-propaganda to a blog, where the two or three people in the world who are interested in hearing how great you are can read it.

    In fact, I would say all this bragging defines you as NOT a professional; no matter how much you dive. You see, professionalism doesn't just involve experience, training, and the ability to perform the task often. It also has to do with your mindset; knowing that you don't have to brag, boast and thump your chest to the world. You know your job; you know that you're thoroughly competent to perform that job; that you are among the best in your field, and there is nothing that anyone can do to you to change this. You don't have to tell the world, because you already know you're among the best- and it is now your task to teach others and to perform that task.

    Take OldBear's example from before; about the professionalism of the Alaska National Guard Scouts. They knew that they had vastly more knowledge and experience than he did; and that there was nothing he was going to teach them. But instead of being rude, leaving, interrupting or snickering at him; they listened politely. They knew they were better, but they were professionals; so they sat quietly, thought there may be something to learn, and went about their way. When the time came; they taught without reservation or patronizing him for his attempt to tell the professional his job.

    I've had the same experience; I've worked with "elite" units who were all about bragging how good they were, how many missions, objectives, and HVT they had captured. They were arrogant and all about proving to others how "great" they were. They were not elite, nor truly professional; merely well trained. I have also worked with the US Army Special Forces and the Navy SEALs. They do not brag or even talk about the stuff they have done. You will rarely find a Special Forces operator who will even acknowledge that they are in the SF. But as we've seen as a Nation in the last few years; they are among the best in the world. They know this; they don't need to brag about it to prove it.

    It boils down to respect. A professional has respect for the people around them; regardless of their experience level. When I've worked with SF, they treated every single one of my Soldiers with the same respect they gave to their superiors. They did not talk down to us, patronize us, or treat us like 2nd-class people. We were nowhere nearly as well trained and equipped as they were; but they don't lord it over you. They treat you with respect.

    But all your bragging about how "experienced" you are, and how you great you are; you miss the point of being a professional. Anyone can dive a lot, can instruct, can gain experience, training and great stories. That doesn't make them, or you, a professional. You talk about how you "severely haze" DMs, how does that respect those people? How can you consider it "professional" to treat someone that way? Even worse; you know it isn't professional; yet you do it anyway.

    So how can you even consider yourself a professional? You fit instead into the first example I gave; the loud and arrogant people who have to proclaim how good they are. You're merely a diver with training and experience, and from what it sounds; experience in only one type of diving.
    fisheater and TSandM like this.
  9. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    You seem to believe that your experience somehow entitles you to some measure of respect. It does not. Respect comes from making credible statements and backing up your position with facts and logic. It comes from being helpful ... not condescending.

    Here's a clue for you ... the most respected person on ScubaBoard ... the person who everyone most enjoys listening to, who consistently offers the most useful and helpful advice ... has a lot less experience than either you or me. She has enough to know what she's talking about ... and she limits her advice to things she does have knowledge and experience in. As a result, she gains universal respect from pretty much everyone who comes here.

    You, on the other hand, project the attitude (as you have in your post above), that everyone on ScubaBoard except you is somehow deficient.

    That won't get you much respect ... it projects an attitude of a very insecure person looking to validate her self-image.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
    fisheater likes this.
  10. Dr. Lecter

    Dr. Lecter Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC/Honolulu
    I was with you right up until you tried to jump from what you've said you're doing to what you think that work experience translates into.

    Let me help you out: I'm sure you're a superb "recreational dive worker", but I doubt you're great at much else underwater…and by your own logic, you shouldn't be. For example, I wouldn't presume to do anything but learn from someone like you about how to herd barely-competent tourists underwater, or how to demonstrate PADI skills, or how to give a safe, interesting, tip-generating tour around one of your local sites. Unfortunately, being a tourist herding/training diver doesn't give you experience in things like obsessive focus on trim/buoyancy, gas selection and planning, deco profile selection and planning, or actually going on anything other than a bland little recreational dive where you can't focus on much beyond your customers.

    You're only a pro at what you repeatedly do--your words--and the things in which you'd likely to be orders of magnitude better than other divers…aren't really much to brag about.

    Oh, I missed this gem! Know what else requires one to "take themselves seriously in terms of diving"? Avoiding death. As between the guy who spends 6 days a week diving with a group in 30'-130' of tropical water under conditions acceptable for tourist diving, and the guy who spends significant time past 100m every weekend…I know who I think is likely to take their abilities more seriously. Hint, it's not the guy wondering whether he'll have beer money, it's the guy who'll explode like a shaken beer if he screws up his hobby.
    Jim Lapenta likes this.

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