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A DM Candidate with a problem (lesson learned)

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by Red Dragon, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oman

    I am a Dm in Training! I have been training for the past few months...

    Finished all the exams, just have few problems with the Stamina test!

    So mean while I practice for my stamina, and help as a DM with few LDSs...

    So far all my dives were with Instructors and high level divers...

    but on my last DM help, I was faced with a problem whn the dive center didn’t check the qualification of the divers i am guiding and all six of them were Open water divers. where two of them were fresh out of O/W course.

    Here are the few I made mistake:

    - I didn’t check with the qualification of the divers before the boat moved.
    - I chose a dive site where its a bit challenging for an O/W
    - Did a really quick dive briefing to try to get in the water fast, since i was feeling Hot & were in a bad mood in the morning just wanted to get in the water.
    - Geared up and then went to help the other divers.

    Lucky for me one of my friends were there and he is an instructor so he came into action and helped me out,,, and we changed dive site.

    Later in the day we had a talk on the things I did wrong...

    but ever since then my motivation dropped and cant really get myself up (Slapped myself few times to wake up :banghead: )

    Did few briefing practice by myself, but now cant get the courage to give it in the boat afraid that i might fail again!!!

    Lessons that I learnt from this!!!

    - Never assume that all divers are great (even though i read this forum every day but I didn’t convince my self that there are bad divers)

    - Never depend on the LDS to check on the Qualifications, check for yourself.

    - Gear up last! even if you are really fast at getting ready.


    Well i need some suggestions to get me self standing again!!!

    what do you guys do when you feel down!!!

    I go solo diving, helps ease my mind but I am Fasting (Ramadan for me) so I can’t go diving during this month.
  2. Scott

    Scott Technical Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Did you also have a talk about what you did right?

    Do you have some close dive buddies or even non diving friends that you can give the briefing to? Sometimes it's easier to speak in front of those you know instead of perfect strangers.
    You may want to write an outline on a slate with the key bullet points and just read from that.
    If you're doing this as the intership for your DM cert, the instructor should be right there to cover what is missed and correct any errors.....without making it appear you oops'd.
  3. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oman
    It seems that all what I did in the boat was wrong...

    The problem is that i was over confident that I made it seem that I am a DM, So I lost my crediablity with my diving friends :(

    He is so mad that he is going to inform the LDS & my instructor on what I did :shakehead:

    and wishing that I dont get qualified for what i did. :( here is wht he told me

    "PADI tries to maintain the quality of the people it certifies, and it's people doing things like this that undermines what they are trying to do. There are numerous occasions when people have claimed to be a DM or instructor, there's been a problem and PADI get insulted for producing poor professionals - when the truth is that it's mostly unqualified people claiming skills they don't have.- I would be happy if you never get qualified as you simply don't have the maturity to be a PADI Pro "

    I messed up big time :(

    It seems me being an instructor is now a far fetched dream :(
  4. Zippsy

    Zippsy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: SIngapore
    Isn't half of the learning process learning from your mistakes? If you were perfect already, you would be a cyber-diver, giving others advice right now.
  5. marinediva

    marinediva Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Illawarra.....south of Sydney australia & Balmain
    Think the first mistake happened when you are leading a dive and not a qualified DM.
    DMT's should not be leading dives unless under direct supervision. Thereby the instructor would have/should have seen the problems which obviously started at the dive shop.
    I feel more blame is due to the instructor.
  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Near Puget Sound
    I agree.
  7. Quero

    Quero Will be missed Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Phuket, Thailand
    I'm not sure I understand the story. You say you were leading a group of six certified divers. You also say there was an instructor on board the boat you and your divers were on. You also say that your "friend" is going to speak with the LDS and your instructor.

    1) Were you under the supervision of the instructor on board the boat as a DMT and leading the dive as part of your internship? If not, what was his role on the boat?
    2) Who is it that is going to talk to your instructor and the LDS? One of the six customers? The instructor who was on the boat with you?
    3) Did the dive itself go okay? Everybody came back safely? No accidents?

    • If you were leading the dive as a staff member of the LDS, with no supervision, the LDS made the first mistake. It was up to them to assign a competent professional to the group rather than a trainee. DMing is a customer service job, and if the LDS assigned somebody who was not prepared to provide good customer service--whether because of lack of training, lack of experience or being in the wrong frame of mind to work with the paying public--they did their customers a real disservice.
    • If the instructor on the boat was meant to be supervising you as you worked with the divers, part of his responsibility is to debrief you after the dive and help you understand in what ways you need to improve as well as in what areas you performed well. In other words, if your briefing was poor, he needed to let you know so that you could learn from your mistakes, but he also needed to give you props for the things that went well--for example if you managed the dive properly and everybody had an enjoyable, safe underwater experience. The debriefing is supposed to help you learn, not make you so discouraged that you feel like quitting. So if you didn't end the debriefing with the will to try again and do better, this instructor did an inadequate job in the follow up.
    • If you were seen to be unprofessional and immature in your performance, you now seem to have been shaken awake and appear to have made an attitude adjustment. Now is not the time for a pity party--swallow your pride and thank the instructor for giving you the advice you needed. Take it all to heart as a good thing that somebody cares enough to help you (even if he was unkind in the way he went about it), so that next time you don't make the same mistakes. Ask him if you can present mock briefings to him--you'll be nervous since he was so hard on you, but if you can present an acceptable briefing for him, you can do if for anybody!
    • There's nothing like having a success after a failure to help you get over the humiliation and disappointment of a bad performance, so the best thing you could do would be to just try again as soon as possible. You say that because it's now Ramadan you can't dive--that's a shame since the month you will be out of the water could possibly make you more and more fearful of trying again, but on the other hand, maybe with the memories not so fresh in your mind in a month, you won't be as nervous when its time to do your next briefing and help your customers prepare for the dive.

    My advice: Don't be defensive when you speak with your instructor--be honest and humble; admit your mistakes, talk about what you learned from your experience, and ask for help to improve. Then try again.

    Good luck to you!
  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I think anyone who works in a job that involves contact with the public has had those days when we shouldn't be there. I know, as an emergency room physician, it is my JOB to be polite, pleasant and helpful to everyone . . . and I can vividly remember some situations where I failed rather spectacularly at it. You have learned a good lesson about not allowing your own personal emotional condition to show, when your demeanor is part of what you are selling as a DM. (IIRC, there's even a story about this in the PADI DM book!)

    If this was an isolated incident, and you took the criticism well, then I think the instructor is a bit over the top in saying you don't have the maturity to be a DM. But I don't think he would be out of line in mentioning it to your main, supervising instructor, because clearly there's an issue here to work on.

    The final thing to think about, since you have lost momentum, is whether what you are learning is that being a DM isn't really something you want to do. I think a lot of people take the DM class with only a fuzzy or inaccurate idea of what being a DM means -- it's the same with instructor. It may be that you don't WANT to spend time helping novices or poorly skilled divers, or taking responsibility for people with little experience. There's nothing wrong with figuring this out.
  9. dgreenh

    dgreenh Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Angelo, TX
    EVERYONE makes mistakes. Even the pros. You are in training, that is when you are supposed to make mistakes and learn from them. Your instructor should have been there to prevent or correct any mistakes if you were working on your training at the time.

    You should not be doing DM work for anyone until you are a certified assistant (with insurance if required where you live). I'm not sure what the shops that you are working for are thinking. Using a non-professional in a professional position? Their liability in a bad situation would be undefendable.

    Sometimes you need to have a pretty thick skin in this business. You can't let a "bad mood" override your professional responsibilities. You have to suck it up and do your job thoroughly and professionally every time without exception. Dealing with the public and other professionals is not always a joy ride. Take it for what it is. A lesson learned. It could turn out to be a very valuable lesson and make you a much better DM. Get past the ego bashing you took and move on with your training or quit and just be a diver... ultimately, you are the only one that can decide if you are up to the tasks required. From your post, it sounds like you know and understand what you did wrong. Now focus on the things you do right. As long as you learn from your mistakes, you are moving in the right direction.
  10. munselln8

    munselln8 Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charleston, SC, USA
    As a trainer myself (technical field, unrelated to SCUBA) I can say I have been in exactly your shoes a time or two. The really important thing to remember is that you are REALLY GOOD at what you are doing. You are not the "average diver" or you wouldn't have made it to where you are. Yes you had a bad day...don't worry! You are good enough that you can handle the few times you screw up. Secondly, listen to all the criticism, accept it and be thankful that you are now THIS MUCH BETTER! Life is so great to give us the opportunity to make mistakes and just keep getting better and better at what we strive to succeed at! You have had a really, really fortunate experience my friend. You are now better than you were before!!! Most times, when we present a seminar or just a class on something it goes like clockwork and it's just another "same ol' same ol'" You are very fortunate to be an even better DM assisstant now! Lastly....and possibly the most important part: get back on the boat and do it again quick!! Seriously....don't wait for anxiety to build, it only undermines your ability to perform. Remember, you are actually better now than you have ever been before! Get in there and share that with the newbies or anyone else that gets wet with you. Love it, enjoy it...do it! We are sooo lucky to be able to do these things we love, that's why we do them after all, right? Good luck and have a great time and remember all the newbies that get on that boat could really benefit from your experience. Good diving!

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