Hannah Ferrier really can’t win. If the chief stew’s not getting along with her stews on Below Deck Mediterranean, then she’s seen as a controlling bitch. And if she is getting along with them, then she’s not being enough of a boss and too much of a friend? Come on!
On the latest episode of the Bravo series, her leadership comes into question by both Captain Sandy and Chef Ben, for understandable reasons. For Ben, he’s annoyed when the gals are in the galley giggling and joking around while he’s hard at work. I do, I understand why that would be annoying. For Sandy, she thinks Hannah’s been too lenient on the girls because table settings aren’t up to her standards.
But here’s the thing, especially about the table settings: Hannah… doesn’t really care about those. That is simply not her top priority until Sandy makes it the top priority. Hannah’s instructing the gals to make the table as nice as it needs to be until it needs to be MORE, per Sandy. And while I do see Sandy’s point of having the breakfast table ready for the guests so it looks like an “inviting” place to sit, I have to side with Hannah on this. It will look TOO inviting. If the guests sit at the decorated table an hour or even two before breakfast is to be served, then they’re going to want it sooner. Then that comes down on Hannah, and of course Ben, to make it happen, when that doesn’t need to be the case. There are plenty of other places to sit and have a coffee on that boat that are just as cozy as the table. Hannah cares more about making sure the guests have a drink in their hand than a flower at their place setting.
Just because Hannah is getting along with Aesha and Anastasia and giving them breaks throughout the day, doesn’t mean she’s still not leading them and instructing them. She had no problem shooting down Aesha’s white glove service suggestion, and staying on top of Anastasia when it comes to cabins or guest requests. “Hannah’s been great all season,” Captain Sandy says, “But I think the two stews think they’re friends with Hannah and they don’t really have to do their job.” Do they? We have most certainly seen lazier stews on this show before. If anything, the fact that they get along, that they don’t resent Hannah and feel the need to question the amount she’s working or the amount she’s making them work, seems to keep the team functioning better than ever.
“Friendship overrides hierarchy and with no hierarchy, there’s no accountability,” Ben says, even though we specifically see both Anastasia and Hannah take accountability for their lack of table settings when Sandy presses them on it. “Hannah puts a lot of pressure on wanting these girls to like her,” the chef also commented. And again, while I get his frustrations, this one is quite puzzling, because in all the years we’ve watched Hannah on Below Deck Mediterranean, she doesn’t seem overly concerned about anyone liking her, least of all her stews.
After Ben bans “the L word” from the galley and calls their relationship “a bloody orgy,” it’s another comment that provides more insight into his disdain for their friendship. “You girls have bigger naps than I have actual sleeps,” he tells them while criticizing the number of breaks Hannah awards her stews. Perhaps Chef Ben, and maybe even Captain Sandy, are just fussy from a lack of sleep and taking it out on the well-rested group? Ben told Decider earlier this month of Hannah, “I feel like her priority was nurturing her little daycare center, which would have been her and “her girls” and I just think that should not really be a priority in yachting. The priority is doing the absolute utmost most for the guests’ experience, and that has got nothing to do with taking naps.”
It was pretty astute of Hannah to note that Anastasia works well on praise but crumbles under criticism — that’s something a good supervisor should be aware of and understand how to work with it. It’s also something a good friend would be aware of as well. Which is why I think it was only a positive quality that Hannah got along with the other ladies so well this season. It was a chance to show viewers another side of the chief stew. Maybe it didn’t make for endless drama, but since we’ve already seen plenty of seasons of her not getting along with her co-workers, this was actually refreshing and fun to watch. Do your thing, Dream Team.
Below Deck Mediterranean airs Monday at 9pm ET/PT on Bravo.
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