USS William H. Standley DLG/CG-32 Association

An Example of Steamer Resourcefulness and "Will Do" Spirit

Prior to a shipyard availability at Charleston, S.C. we submitted a work request to have the wardroom carpeting replaced. The request was rejected and a job order was not issued.

What to do! The officers forked over a few extra bucks into the mess treasury and came up with a reasonable amount to purchase the carpeting and to have it installed. Samples of material were brought aboard and between the XO and several other officers, material was selected. The Supply Officer did the haggling and devised a method of payment.

On the appointed day the local carpeteers pulled their truck up to the brow and began off-loading carpet and tools to make the installation. At that time, a strange silence fell upon the shipyard. Workers were gesturing toward the ship and their lips were moving as though to make sounds. They wore strange expressions on their faces.

Shortly, the Supervisor of Shipbuilding accompanied by several very important looking gentlemen who wore suits and very elaborate hard hats. "What are you up to?" was the first question. The reply was, "Having new carpeting installed in the wardroom. You wouldn't approve a work request to have the work done as part of the availability so we had to do it ourselves." "No you won't," was the next offering from one of the Quartermen. "These men from the carpet store are not union labor and they can't do any work on the ship. Furthermore, if the don't get off immediately, this entire shipyard will be closed down because the employees are threatening a general strike."

What next! Faced with this dilemma, the XO came up with a brilliant plan. "These buys are not going to install the carpet. They are here to supervise and instruct our sailors in how it should be done. Is that acceptable to you?" After a little grumbling and tooth grinding the yard accepted our proposal.

We then taped over the dead lights to the wardroom doors, had a couple of stewards mates stand by, and as they watched, the carpet men installed the carpet.

Paul Svagdys, Sr., 10 September 1998