Latex Wrist Seals

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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby binklebonk » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:10 pm

Oh cool there is hope for me yet! :lol:
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Cameron_R » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:52 pm

I've gotta say this is one of the more interesting threads we've had for a while :D

Where can I get some dry suit seals, turns into LDS vs online international stores, turns into instructors working for free vs those trying to make a living (and I realise "vs" is an over the top simplification). We sure know how to stay on topic :shock:

I find the instructor discussion interesting because I see thousands (slight exaggeration) of brand new instructors pouring out of the zero to hero (z2h) courses in NZ every year. They flood the market. Pete is working for free because he loves it, and is one of only a few doing so (or am I wrong here?). I would have thought that the flood of new instructors fresh from the z2h would be a MUCH bigger pressure on potential salary/remuneration rates for existing instructors?

Surely!
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby binklebonk » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:09 pm

No cameron I don't think you are right there, competition between professional instructors is a selection process that should ensure high standards (or cronyistic practises). Amateur instructors appeal directly to the wallet of the shop circumventing the competitive process unless everyone is willing to follow suit...

And please take Amateur in it's non pejorative definition... :roll:
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Paul » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:16 pm

What is/are the purpose(s) to minimum wage laws in NZ does anyone know.

This may or may not be a leading question.....
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Andy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:18 pm

Cameron_R wrote:I've gotta say this is one of the more interesting threads we've had for a while :D


Indeed.


I find the instructor discussion interesting because I see thousands (slight exaggeration) of brand new instructors pouring out of the zero to hero (z2h) courses in NZ every year. They flood the market. Pete is working for free because he loves it, and is one of only a few doing so (or am I wrong here?). I would have thought that the flood of new instructors fresh from the z2h would be a MUCH bigger pressure on potential salary/remuneration rates for existing instructors?


I don't know the statistics, Cam, but certainly the Z2H market is declining and we are seeing less numbers of people coming out of those schools. I'd certainly be curious to see the employment rates of graduates from those courses.

I did my IDC alongside the very end of a Z2H course, there were three other students as well as me. None of them went to the same IE as me, one went to the next IE and the other two may have gone to the one after that. Of the three, one of them gave up diving immediate after completing the IE.... literally, the last logged dive was the OW dive for the IE. One of the other two also gave up diving because they couldn't afford to repair their drysuit zip. The third, I don't know.

So, whilst there may be loads of new instructors "flooding" the system - very few of them actually aspire to teach diving, and many give up diving shortly after. In the US, the "half life" of new instructors is two years.... if you take any group of new instructors then after two years, half of them have stopped teaching. I personally feel that many instructors are "sold a lifestyle" that the industry doesn't actually deliver on - that is a comment not limited to NZ, it's a worldwide view.

Of those instructors that do want to teach, many accept internships or experience based positions that do not offer a salary... with a fresh new set of instructor every three to six months willing to do this, there is no incentive for the industry to actually pay a decent wage for a decent days work.

For example, when I started instructing (five years ago now, wow... how time flies) I was typically being paid $100 for a days work. That day started at 6am, getting the boat and dive gear ready. Students would turn up at 8am, I'd end up doing four dives in a day because the student groups were so large that I'd have to split them. On a bad day, that could mean doing up to 16 CESAs in a day as well as other ascents and descents, potentially rather detrimental to my health. The day would wind up around 6-7pm, with washing the gear and the boat.... all for the privilege of $8.33 an hour (minimum wage was something like $10.70 at the time). Personally, I feel that is a demeaning wage to pay considering the level of responsibility.

So, yes, the influx of new instructors or the presence of instructors who teach for free does have an impact on the industry. It keeps most instructors on, or below the minimum wage.

So, the question is, would you trust your life to someone earning $8.33 an hour? What commitment do you really expect them to have to their job?
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby binklebonk » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:19 pm

That's a false argument Pete. you are not comparing like with like. There is a professional circuit in each of the categories you have mentioned. In none of those categories can you enter as an amateur. The ruling bodies of those sports cannot decide to exclude professional participation on the grounds of less prize money having to be put up for amateurs who don't want money..
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby binklebonk » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:21 pm

Paul wrote:What is/are the purpose(s) to minimum wage laws in NZ does anyone know.

This may or may not be a leading question.....

That would be to prevent slavery..
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Andy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:35 pm

Pete wrote:If you were a competitive cyclist then the cost of your sport in terms of time and money would be very close if not more - but people do it and pay without hesitation.


An interesting choice, Pete... particularly given that I used to be a (semi)competitive cyclist.

The nice thing about cycling competitions, is that they have prizes. I used to place well enough that my costs each year were nearly always covered. The time I would spend pounding the pedals had it's reward. 8)

To be honest, I don't see the analogy. Being a cyclist is like being a diver... that is where it is "about the sport". If I were obsessed about diving, I'd be away every weekend doing my own thing, taking pictures, doing wreck penetrations, whatever. That has a cost to it in terms of time away as well as equipment, boat fees etc. I have to decide whether that is something that is important enough to me to warrant spending my time on.

In your analogy, it would be better to think of the bike mechanic. Would I choose to race-tune someone's bike for them for free so that they can go cycling? Probably not. Would I spend the time actually in the saddle and enjoy it? Yes.

Generally, if someone is providing a service then they should be rewarded for that service. We don't go to our GPs and expect them to not get paid for their time listening about our maladies. Why should diving instruction be any different?

Don't get me wrong, it doesn't have to be about money - plenty of people put in their time to coach the kids soccer clubs, and I am sure they get their reward as well - watching the kids play soccer. But the coaches of a professional club will get paid.

The club model works. BSAC is one of the most successful diving training organisations around. Getting the club to invest in it's instructors so that they can invest in the club is great. But it is still a an amateur club, and that comes with it's own set of drawbacks.

If someone wants professional level service, then they should expect to have to pay for that service. That's all.
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Paul » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:38 pm

I totally agree, but then I wasn't talking about the shops when I wrote that.


I missed this point, who were you referring to?

It isn't about profit, it's about value.


I do agree that in general, we are all entitled to determine our own values and what we decide is valuable to us.

I think it's important that instructors are valued.... it then comes down to how.

I would hold the view that it's context dependent. If it's a $$ profit making venture... which I would like to reiterate again that I have no objection to whatsoever..... then I think it important that the value is also expressed in $$.

While a few years ago I would teach "for free", I would not do so now. If there was a local BSAC type of club then I probably would. But there would have to be some exchange of "value" taking place, be it boat fees or trip fees or whatever.

There is a significant amount of effort and investment required to be an exceptional instructor above and beyond the average or mean level. I don't know that the best amateurs (meaning not getting paid) can ever be as good as the best professionals. A professional will be getting paid to do what they do and as such will be able and rewarded for investing far more of their own resources ($$ and time) into improving their ability to do the job and hence increase their earning potential.

Would amateurs not generally be happy with the level they are at... as the only incentive to improve comes from an internal motivation and is not actually necessary to constantly re-invest in their capacity?... ie when the going gets tough.... do something else.

Note, I was referring to the best amateurs vs the best professionals. The best amateurs may well be better than the majority of professionals but that's not what I was referring to.

By not having a healthy professional group of instructors I would argue that the standard will always tend toward mediocrity and from there to lower and lower standards.
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Paul » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:42 pm

If someone wants professional level service, then they should expect to have to pay for that service. That's all.


Mate, That's it exactly. Brilliant!
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby ChuckyBob » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:43 pm

A better analogy would be a driving instructor.
Just about all driving instructors are professional. Sure there are some non paid instructors.
But if a student pays a company for driving lessons then wouldnt they expect a professional paid instructor?

But at the end of the day its your time and your money Pete. Dont let others tell you how you should spend it.
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Andy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:48 pm

Paul wrote:
I do agree that in general, we are all entitled to determine our own values and what we decide is valuable to us.


I think it's important that instructors are valued.... it then comes down to how.



With these two points, yes.... I agree.

I should also apologise, Pete. Your value (reward) from teaching is simply different from mine - if you get your reward from seeing someone improve their skills, then that's awesome. If that is truly enough for you to warrant the expense of staying an instructor, then more power to you.

But, with regards to Paul's second point, how are you actually valued? Like I say, in the BSAC model you would be - that is why I suggested that in the long run you may be happier teaching in the BSAC view of the world. But in the PADi view of the world, you are not valued at all. You are a resource being taken for granted.
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Andy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:59 pm

ChuckyBob wrote:A better analogy would be a driving instructor.
Just about all driving instructors are professional. Sure there are some non paid instructors.
But if a student pays a company for driving lessons then wouldnt they expect a professional paid instructor?



That's actually a really good one.... I was scratching around thinking about sports clubs coaches etc and not finding one that worked.

I guess many people learn to drive with their parents teaching them the basics, and that works - to an extent. I don't know what the driving test is like here, but in the UK you would probably fail your driving test if you just learnt in that way.... on little things like clutch coasting coming up to an intersection (how I failed my first driving test) or some other bad habit that you weren't aware that you'd picked up.
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby Paul » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:07 pm

Andy wrote:But, with regards to Paul's second point, how are you actually valued? Like I say, in the BSAC model you would be - that is why I suggested that in the long run you may be happier teaching in the BSAC view of the world. But in the PADi view of the world, you are not valued at all. You are a resource being taken for granted.


Yup, PADI stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. In the context of working for free for someone who is making money from what you are doing.... it is my opinion that that is not good and it is analogous to slavery.

While I agree 100% that it is the instructors individual choice to accept and be happy with that.... is there not an element of you accepting it as "OK for you" is forcing it on others too? I agree with the principle of minimum wage and I do think it's a more reasonable point of view to force on other than you must work for free or not at all. Working for free should not be a fair expectation in any free democratic country.

Again I want to state again that I am not anti dive shops or making money or even anti dive clubs BSAC etc. I really don't want my point of view on this to be represented as being anti any dive shop or business or individual.
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Re: Latex Wrist Seals

Postby NEMES1S » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:20 pm

Andy wrote:So, the question is, would you trust your life to someone earning $8.33 an hour? What commitment do you really expect them to have to their job?

That explains a great deal about some of the less "heroic" instructors I have met.
Pete mad and all as he is I see what he is saying but in reality he is the absolute exception to the rule...I know no other instructor that bears the same cross,and Pete's teaching I can tell you is without question 1st rate,and he absolutely goes well above the call of duty.(Not that I am insinuating that anybody is challenging Pete's teaching ability I am just making a statement as Pete generally gets a pat on the back for the good work he does in the dive community,I also agree that I think for what he does he should look towards BSAC and similar.)

I also completely agree with what you have said though Andy,I think teaching in a role as you have described is an incredible load of responsibility for that amount or $$0:00
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