At first, warehouse work was soon replaced with working in the store. “Over the years, I have worked as a cashier on boars several ships, from the legendary Tallink and Georg Ots. In 2004, I took up the position of a purser on powerboats travelling between Helsinki and Tallinn, and I was later promoted to an intendant. Since 2008, I have been working as an intendant on board Superstar,” says Väli.
The intendant’s area of responsibility is very broad, but Hendrik describes his tasks simply: “The intendant is responsible for making sure that passenger services are functional. This includes restaurants, stores and everything associated with passengers. Good social skills are of great help in this line of work, because there are many different characters among both passengers and the staff.”
Influencing Megastar as an intendant
Hendrik has had the opportunity to have a say in shaping Megastar already from an early stage. “I have been able to express my opinion at various meetings, for example regarding the necessary size of meeting rooms. I have also talked about my experiences on today’s powerboats Star and Superstar to make sure that Megastar is better than those.”
And will it be better? “Megastar will be excellent! There was an atmosphere of a cruise ship already during construction – it’s much more stylish than previous shuttle ships.
Traveller Super Store is sure to be Megastar’s greatest point of conversation; the entrance to the store with stairs is particularly impressive.”
Although the rooms are new, intendant’s job stays quite the same. “Rooms will change and there will be more staff. Stores and restaurants have their own managers, so my job doesn’t really change. The staff of Megastar will come from Superstar and Star to a great extent. Changing ships is like moving into a new home. We spend two straight weeks on board the ship and then have two weeks off, so the ship become a new home in the mind.”
Väli has been in Meyer’s ship factory in Turku since August observing the completion of Megastar. “I’m don’t do any screwing or welding! Although this skill could be useful from time to time. My job in the ship factory is to make sure that everything is done as agreed. I am thankful for being able to be here. Because I have the opportunity to see what’s hiding behind the walls of the ship.”
Lot of work has to be done
Megastar’s first trip on the route will take place on 29 January 2017, and everything must be ready by then. Hendrik is trusting, but he admits that he is a little worried about getting a few things done. “I am still a bit nervous, because a lot of things are still underway. It will be tight to get all parts operating as planned. In addition to everything else, all products must be ordered before January. This is quite tricky, because the ship doesn’t have much storage space. Luckily we have a new contemporary warehouse in Tallinn where we can quickly stock up on our supplies.”
Time to be with the daughter
In his private life, the intendant is the father of a little girl. Sometimes the family only sees the positive sides of the father’s working hours.
“This arrangement feels good. I can spend more time with my child than people with “regular” jobs. The girl is used to it. We are in contact every day, so the connection doesn’t break fully even during the working weeks. Every time I go home, I have to bring a small present.”
Hendrik will have an easier time selecting presents in the future, as the wide product range of Megastar’s Traveller Super Store will come to the rescue.