Gardline Limited Employee Reviews about "vessels"

Updated 20 Mar 2019

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2.5
41%
Recommend to a Friend
20%
Approve of CEO
Gardline Limited CEO Christiaan Vermeijden
Christiaan Vermeijden
4 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "no investment (training or pay rises) in staff, meaning most leave once they've gained experience(in 5 reviews)

  • "Considering that you are working away from home for several weeks at a time and usually on old and uncomfortable vessels the salary is a pittance(in 5 reviews)

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Reviews about "vessels"

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Certainly a stepping stone. A sharp stepping stone that's awkward to stand on."

    3.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Gardline Limited full-time

    Pros

    - Lots of tea and coffee provided by the company - Private car parking - Weekends off - Oxygen A pro for me would definitely have to be the Crows Nest canteen which serves delicious food from morning until mid afternoon. From delicious baked potatoes through to grab'n'go cold snacks, as well as a random 'dish of the day' which always kept you eager and filled with wonder as to what they would conjure up. This canteen is simply the best and it a nice social hub to interact with other members of the company and really boost morale. Oh wait this was closed down. The canteen staff were sent packing without a chance of mercy and the whole workforce STARVED. Gardline at first was a really pleasant place to work, everyone turned up to work with fresh, smiling faces with an eagerness to crack on with their work. Everything seemed so wonderful! The company was thriving and clients left, right and everywhere were waiting in line to put one of Gardline's vessels to the test and extract some delicious, thick, oozing creature carcass from the seabed. There was a massive surge of new employment with what seemed to be a new person or three starting every week. The expansion seemed too good to be true!

    Cons

    It was. Slowly, less and less people were joining. Staff in the peasant tier (anything under management basically) were kept out of the loop. But the peasant tier could tell things were changing. Stagnating. Fading away... There was what felt like a recruitment freeze. This, paired with the fact our vessels seemed to be moored up in port a whole lot more than usual, gave us all a sinking feeling deep within. Could our beloved organisation be suffering? Why is this happening to us? Of course, us peasants weren't fully aware of the true status of the group. Not until that day the dreaded email from HR came. The subject alone painted enough of a picture. Worded in such a way that made it sound like the position we were in as a group was impossible and it was the fault of nobody. Just cruel, cruel luck... right? The redundancies effected mostly the offshore people at first. When your money makers are the huge floating metal thingies that require humankind on board to be operated (yeah, technology is great but self-sustaining marine vessels aren't quite in the stage that driver-less cars are in quite yet) this simply doesn't bode well with a good business model. It became more apparent to the peasants that things weren't going to get better and so a lot of answers were demanded. It was quite obvious though that a lot of poor decisions were made over the course of a couple of years that led to the slow and painful fall of such a titan in the scene. We had gone down a route that was hard to recover from and key members of important departments were unfairly chosen as scapegoats. The ones with better friends were kept while the hard workers were sacrificed at will. I guess it's always gonna be the case of "it's who you know, not what you know". Well, I do know that good people were silenced while bigwigs continued to make brash decisions and manage staff poorly. Other cons: - Some staff didn't know how to dial a number - Rude bigwigs - Some staff would rather talk about you in a condescending way instead of sorting their own problems out - Accounts office was like a shrine of Satan - Bought rusty boats from pre-war era instead of getting a decent custom build to actually do work that clients sought after - Fish smell - Barrack Estate

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  2. Helpful (3)

    "Low salary"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Working Offshore - Technical 

    I have been working at Gardline Limited full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Interesting job and get to work with some good people.

    Cons

    Considering that you are working away from home for several weeks at a time and usually on old and uncomfortable vessels the salary is a pittance.

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  3. Helpful (4)

    "Good grass-root workforce failed by poor corporate governance"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Gardline Limited

    Pros

    Currently, there are no benefits to being employed by this company as the industry is in recession. However, to be charitable and when conditions improve such that recruitment is restored, this company would suit graduates in the preferred disciplines who do not wish to seek career advancement, are willing to learn their practical craft "on-the-job" in difficult working conditions and in relatively poor marine conditions, and are only seeking this with a view to improving their CV to seek more advanced opportunities in the future. This company would suit those aims. Remuneration is moderate/low with allowances (which have not been enhanced for at least 10 years) likely to make up the majority of the final package. They do have BUPA health care and a modestly enhanced pension scheme. Other benefits (sickness, redundancy etc.) are geared to minimum mandatory requirements. There is a good quality of grass root employees who are both friendly and helpful and the senior staff have diverse experience to impart.

    Cons

    Gardline, historically. occupied a niche position in the market. That position was nearer to the "cheap and cheerful" end of the spectrum. There were better, more strongly resourced, competitors but Gardline eked out a living on the back of cheap vessel costs and operated by enthusiastic and adventurous crews. Operating conditions were very different then with HSE and QA being a long way from formalising as it is today. The owner, George Darling, was fiercely committed to the company and its staff and, through his dogged determination and shrewd business dealings, pulled the company up by its boot strings. As a result, the company's reputation improved and, indeed, survived the severe downturns of 1986 when better companies went to the wall. There was a family orientated feel to the company and, although you didn't always approve of the methods being applied, the staff were comforted in the knowledge of strong but fair leadership. The company continued to grow and diversify under George's direction but, sadly, there came a time when he felt he needed to hand over the reins to his son. However, the supporting bank required that a board of directors was to be installed if he wanted continuing support. At the time, George publicly revealed that he could not envisage being able to achieve this from within the company as the possible candidates were already "operating at a level above their capability". However, this was done with George retaining a strong grip, his concerns being such that he maintained control, literally, until the day of his passing. His assessment has since come to pass. Poor company governance with evidence of some very expensive and ill-advised commercial decisions that have seriously diminished the company's balance sheets have been made. The vessels that the company operates is an eclectic mix, of what can only be described as vessels coming to the end of their useful life, refitted and returned to service in a new role. There is even a story where a vessel was repaired using a part which could only be achieved by procuring it from a maritime museum. What was once a relatively thriving company, with a family feel, now operates in an atmosphere of mistrust, blame culture and discomfort where the management is given the responsibility but not the authority to manage. Managers are not entrusted with budgetary control and even have to seek directorial approval for expenditure over £100 which, in the context of million pound projects, seems ridiculously cheap. At this level and in this atmosphere, it is apparent that each feels he "has to cover his or her own back" so inefficient and ineffective practices abound. Good quality managers and senior staff find this too restrictive with many experienced managers and senior staff being lost. Management is usually replaced from within sometimes with unwilling participants shoe-horned into place. This leads to a management level devoid of any initiative or goodwill who are so fearful of their own positions that they "play the game" to secure and reinforce it. There is a superficial adherence to QA and HSE but this is widespread throughout the industry. Whilst the company has a very assured "say what you do" policy on these, when it comes to "...and do what you say", there is less enthusiasm. The company has placed the company culture into the hands of an HR department which has distanced the employees from the core of the company and removed any feeling of belonging. On the contrary, it appears that the company is content to allow this department full latitude. As a result, the company has allowed them to embark on a fairly long scale but gradual erosion of the quality and long serving members of staff through disciplinary methods or redundancy where the former doesn't succeed. This reduces costs but also removes those most able to assist the company to get through the current down turn in oil and gas It is accepted that, currently, the company is suffering from the malaise of a difficult oil and gas environment with high overheads and little prospect of improvement in the near to middle term. One can only conclude that it may lead to a continuing deterioration of staff, equipment and vessel quality through further redundancies and difficulties in vessel and equipment maintenance. The most striking aspect being that long serving personnel are being discarded with no thanks or recognition.

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  4. "Cutting the Core"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Geophysical Engineer in Great Yarmouth, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Gardline Limited

    Pros

    Eeerm ? A long time off in the winter, for those that dont want a summer holiday it's fine. Perhaps get a lot of skiing in.

    Cons

    Shedding jobs but hanging on to a top heavy management. Looks like they are getting rid of half the doers and keeping the ooh-ers. Dont know how they will man the vessels, maybe a few from the office will have to jump in. Offshore earnings slashed again, 20% this time. Management mistakes are buried - the circus continues.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Missed Opportunities"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Offshore Surveyor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Gardline Limited

    Pros

    Quite good as a start up, stepping stone, to try out the career/lifestyle particularly if it's going off into the wild blue yonder. Life on board is mostly quite good, there are some ship's to avoid though - unfit for human habitation in this century.

    Cons

    The company direction was marred by some very poor corporate decisions. We were traditionally the 'Burger flippers' of the Survey industry and in the case of the vessels and equipment, the scrap metal dealers. With some build up of finances after a poor start to the century, it would have been prudent to bring the company up to the level of it's more professional looking competitors. Purchase of scrap vessels and then obscene investment, in some cases, was nothing short of a cover up of ginormous proportions. This then impacted the investment in the existing assets and we are now reaping the seeds that were cast on stony ground. Their attitude to their staff is abysmal, they would like a good chunk of us to disappear for a year until the market picks up again, at no cost to them of course. We have been consistently lied to regarding the 'national recession' which never happened in our industry until the last year. The Boys on the top floor have given themselves huge pay hikes and shareholder bonuses - again, stripping the financial assets of the company. The boss has had over 400% pay rise during the 'recession' whilst telling all to tighten their belts. We have now to accept another drop in salary (offshore) of another 10% with earnings already having fell by 20% or more due to the drop in workable days for most people. Instead of now building up the company ready for the next surge, assets', including people, will be left to rot.

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