Title: Not Eligible for Rehire – A Cruise Ship Story
Author: Glenn McGoldrick
Publication Date: October 25, 2018
Genres: Speculative Fiction, Contemporary
Length: 19 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 2 Stars
A day in the life of a Casino Manager, working on a cruise ship in 2011.
Introducing Not Eligible for Rehire, a short story with a twist set on-board a cruise ship.
Brought to you by award winning author Glenn McGoldrick, creator of the Dark Teesside series.
Content Warning: drug use (marijuana). I will briefly mention it in my review.
Summer fun can have an eerie side to it.
Cruise ships are fascinating places. Hundreds or even thousands of strangers cram into them for a week or two only to go their separate ways and probably never see each other again after their trip ends. The only constant presence a cruise ship has is its crew members, and they rarely if ever share their stories with guests. The narrator did an excellent job of capturing what it must feel like to witness so many strangers on vacation and repeat the same patterns of entertainment, dining choices, and ports of call over and over again. I found myself wishing this was a full-length novel so I could follow Jack, a Casino Manager onboard one of these ships, through an entire season of work.
There were two issues that lead me to choose such a low rating for this short story. First, it had an abrupt ending that I found jarring. Second, that it hinted at a possibly paranormal or other speculative fiction explanation for what was going on here, but all of the hints were so vague I was never certain they were how the author actually intended readers to interpret those scenes. The writing was otherwise well done, so it was disappointing to have to give so few stars for it. I would have eagerly gone with a much higher rating if I had a better idea of what was actually happening.
With that being said, I enjoyed seeing how Jack reacted to a report of possible drug use among his employees. It was obvious to me that he cared about his crew members quite a bit but also had high standards for their behaviour and expected everyone to follow the rules. His disappointment at this news was palpable, and I felt plenty of empathy for him as he regretfully followed protocol.
Not Eligible for Rehire – A Cruise Ship Story made me wonder what really goes on behind the scenes on cruise ships.