Taking my Chances

Well. Am taking my chances. Against all odds, namely the surveyors at the examination section of the mercantile marine departmant, India, I start my struggle to procure the Certificate of Chance. Or the CoC, as majority of mariners, know it. I was among those who called it Certificate of Competency, but my colleague Jimmy, enlightened me about the true meaning of this abbreviation, and that left me thinking.

Certificate of Chance!! Is it? More I ponder upon it, more I feel that, for once, my friend Jimmy, has said something true. Certificate of Chance. Yes, it is chance, that confers upon you this certificate, to work on board a ship at a higher position(Though that means nothing for us marine engineers, as all the job profiles in the engine side, on a ship managed by Indian superintendents, are same. Sloggers. But that’s a different matter altogether).

No matter how many ships you have sailed, before appearing for the exams of a higher CoC, you always have to leave it to chance to clear through. No matter how hard you study, and how good you write the papers, the results appear to be printed based upon a game of dice.

Your chances are good if the surveyor is in a good mood. You, an aspirant second engineer, will get off answering to questions meant for a trainee engineer. There is no unravelling of true knowledge possessed by the examinee in the oral examinations. It just depends on whether you came in after another examinee, who has foiled the examiner’s mood.

In short, the examinations for CoC gauge your chances, not your competence.

Right now I am studying for my certificate of chance. But I wonder whether I should study or just leave it to chance? After all, Life’s a struggle, and we all leave it to chance.


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