I remember the Chippie, replaced by the GP Fitter, replaced by the AB Handyman, but now a long distant memory......
Back in the 70's when I was a Cadet and Junior, we were repeatedly told that reduced manning wouldn't mean more work for us because the Company would invest some of the Money saved on wages in Labour saving equipment for the ships, and greater use of riding squads and shore side contractors in Port, it happened, in a small way for a short time, then reduced manning became the new "Norm" as it has every time manning has been cut since.
No surprise that that all the maintenance records are falsified to show the work has been done when nobody has time to look at it, and all Surveyors and Superintendents want to do is to look at the PM Computer programme and see no outstanding maintenance, nobody looks at the machinery any more to see if it is actually running properly.
A few years ago I sailed on a British managed reefer ship and we were asked by Management to check the Generator Conn. Rods for cracking, as a Sister ship had found some cracks. My Second and Third started stripping down the engines to crack test the conn. rods. I found that they didn't know how to use the Rocol type spray crack detector, they didn't use the cleaner, just sprayed Red dye all over the oily Bottom End, then sprayed the developer over it until all the die was hiddenand pronounced there were no cracks. I showed them how to use the dye pen properly and we found that 4 out of 6 conn rods were cracked on each engine. The managers wouldn't believe it and sent out makers men to double check and they agreed they were all cracked. They also checked the ovality of the bottom ends and found they were all beyond makers limits, which was probably why they had cracked. However, all the maintenance records for the engines showed the rods were crack free and within limits for ovality. It turned the Engineers were unsure how to use an internal mike and when there readings had been different from the previous readings had copied the previous readings into the new maintenance report.
Very few people at Sea have any understanding of the basics of their job any more, and the continuous pressure from management to have "perfect" maintenance records and freshly painted ships to impress Surveyors, is definitely undermining safety and proper maintenance.
It is always better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing.