My basic plan while on the Tiger Cruise was to wander around by myself as much as possible. I spent some time with my sponsor, of course, but I figured that the best way to get a feel for the ship and the people manning her was to simply walk around at all hours of the day or night and walk through any door that didn't have a warning label on it. This allowed me to meet a fair number of the crew, and to have private talks with them.
The first person to walk up to greet me (other than my sponsor) was SH2 Gorrell.
Mr. Gorrell's job essentially is to take care of the rest of the crew (there's more than one Ship's Serviceman. He doesn't have to do it all by himself). He does this by making sure that the laundry is in working order, that the soft drink and snack machines are well stocked, the change machines in front of the vending machines have change in them, and that the Ship's Store is open on time.
"That's the one thing that can ruin morale. The Ship's Store." he said. "If it's closed for too long or if we don't have enough snacks then people start to grumble right quick!"
"Snacks? But food for the enlisted is free, AND there's four meals a day. In fact, there's always something to eat in the Enlisted Mess. They really buy snacks?"
"Can't keep them on the shelves. It's the crunchy stuff that's popular. If we run out then I hear about it, alright."
Mr. Gorrell has a lovely wife and a beautiful baby daughter waiting for him at home, and he doesn't like to be away from his family any more than anyone else.
"When I first got here it took a little while to adjust, just like everyone. But I realized that people depend on me here on the ship and I should focus on my job and do it the best that I can. It wouldn't do anyone any good if I just thought about what I was missing at home and moped around. So I try to think about everyone else on the ship before me. After all, they wish that they were home just like I was."
Mr. Gorrell seems to actually try and live up to these ideals instead of simply pay lip service to them. He was always friendly, cheerful and ready to answer my dopey questions. Besides that, he was the only member of the crew that I talked to who never said "Not that I'm bitter or anything."
Now that's good morale!