New breed of irritating Divemaster candidate on the increase.

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Culture, Diving Equipment, Media, Scuba Diving, Sport, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

“You mean I actually have to work for this?….”

Ongoing studies by The Scuba Monkey’s research team at their top-secret location (just off the A3 near Horsham) have a revealed and new and highly irritating breed of Divemaster Trainee are becoming rife within the industry.

Becoming a Divemaster is the first “professional” level within scuba diving and achieving this status has for years been associated with candidates’ hard work, self-motivation, commitment, positive attitude, fitness, role-model behaviour and absorbing the knowledge and experience of experienced Instructors mentoring you through the course.

However, a new breed of Divemaster candidate is emerging who are able to completely ignore this conventional wisdom.

Known as ‘Badge-Collectors’ (BCs), this new breed of candidate are usually middle-aged men undergoing some form of existential crisis that leads them to crave the status and kudos of being a professional diver without actually being prepared to put any work in towards achieving the qualification. Usually, they have a background in middle or upper management, drive a plush diesel saloon car, wear clothing from the Alan Partridge range and, for some misguided reason, think that having a senior position in their chosen day-to-day employment field gives them knowledge or credentials in the completely different field of Scuba Diving.

Often BCs have no interest in the key aspects of being a Divemaster such as coaching new divers, meeting practical challenges and maintaining good fitness, taking responsibility at dive sites or managing centre logistics. BCs have been known in many instances to take umbrage at being asked to do simple tasks or accept advice and mentoring from senior divers.

They will also often be ‘unavailable’ to assist throughout busy seasonal periods which are opportune for meeting course requirements before re-appearing like a bad smell at the end of season to complain that they haven’t finished their course – seemingly under the impression that certification may be obtained by simply owning the training materials and having them sat in a cupboard at home.


The Badge Collector is often found at the summit of “Mount Stupid”

Mick McNobb, 52, a BC from Swindon, said “I have absolutely no interest in helping anyone other than myself. Student divers? Pah! I’m simply doing this Divemaster training with the least effort I can get away with so that I have the certification card to brag about at the golf club.” Mick, neatly dressed in his M&S Blue Harbour chinos and pastel-coloured polo shirt, added “I manage an office supplies business during the week, so obviously that means I know more about diving than the experienced instructor who’s coaching me. It’s not like they have 20x the experience and knowledge of me is it? Well, they do. But you know what I mean…”

Typically BCs are often shocked to learn that they actually have to study the materials provided and improve their skill levels and fitness to achieve the performance requirements set out in the course curriculum before achieving their goal and having other divers’ lives in their hands.


A role model to hundreds of Badge Collectors (BCs)

Steve Twatty, 48, a BC from Dartford, said “One of the things I was asked to master as part of my course was Dive Site Management. So, I turned up at the pool, as requested, had a look around, chatted with some mates, unloaded half a dozen tanks from the van and then went home again.” Steve, clearly angry and brandishing his Audi key-fob in anger like a flick knife, said “I was then livid to be told by my instructor that simply turning up wasn’t enough. I had to do what it sets out clearly in the course curriculum and performance requirements, apparently! I mean, who do these people think they are?!? – I work as a manager at an engineering company during the week!!”

Patrick St.Cockend, 46, from Southsea, said “I’m truly disappointed and appalled to find that I have to study, complete exams, achieve a level of fitness, meet practical performance requirements, improve my skill level and behave in a respectful and professional manner. I thought I could just buy the qualification so that I could boast on my next overseas holiday. I feel cheated. I blame the dive centre, the training organisation, the equipment, the instructors…anything, basically, other than my own shortcomings. I just want another card. It outrageous that it’s so demanding. I’m going to write to the Daily Mail”

Sarah, 41, an experienced instructor from High Wycombe, said “This breed of complete knob-jockeys seems to be on the increase. I’ve even known BCs in extreme circumstances to try to tell me I was wrong and they were right publically, during a skill circuit or in-water assessment. Despite it all being in black in white on a slate in front of them. Unbelievable. I wouldn’t have the arrogance to presume I could go to their offices at 11am on a Thursday morning and tell them how to try and sell office supplies to unsuspecting customers, meet sales targets or ogle the attractive female employees by the water cooler. Why don’t they just buy a Harley Davidson rather than put us all through this agony.”


Less harrowing for your Diving Instructor

  1. Mark the old bit says:

    Hmm. Not a new problem.
    I have seen this dealt with professionally but you will have to trust your students to do the job….
    Badge collectors (of any age or financial means), whilst they are DMT’s should be referred to by the students ( AKA the paying customers) as ” Tank Bitch”
    This will help them focus on their role and status thus making them appreciate why they are chasing this badge.

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