This last week at work has been very busy. I overcame my brief bout of loneliness by joining the local YMCA!
“I think I’m going to join a gym.”-Me
“Just use the gym at your apartment complex.”-Mom
“I know this is probably bad, but it’s important for me….I want to join a gym for the social aspect. I need to interact with people outside of work.”-Me
“Absolutely, you need friends.”-Mom
Many of you already know this about me, but for those of you who may not: my first job ever was working at the YMCA in my home town. I loved the YMCA so much, I worked summers during college there. I even worked briefly in the YMCA in Tempe during my freshman and sophomore years in college. This gym in Houma is called Bayouland YMCA, and they have offshore rates for rig workers. I have an awesome discount!
I found an apartment. I will be living in a three bedroom apartment with Gertrude, and Alice. We all work for Whataberger and will all be working offshore. I have an address, I am hesitant to post it on here, in fear that random people will start to TP my building during the night and leave me and my roommates creepy letters. If you would like my mailing address, shoot me a text.
I am currently on my journey to Elk City, OK. Whataberger has pretty stringent journey management practices. I had to enter my trip online, asses the risks, and seek approval. When taking my trip, I have to call the journey management center every two hours to check in. During my trip, I saw this:
This red Prius has a black racing stripe.
I am stopping the night in Dallas, where I will see my sister and cousins. Tomorrow, I will continue on to Elk City. I hear it is quite cold. My manager let me borrow her puffy onesy to keep me warm. While I am there, I have a list of objectives. Most seem like a recon. mission where I spy on Elk City and report back to my manager on what they are doing better than us. I am also supposed to learn the old software, and try to explain it to incoming engineers, not unlike myself, who have only learned the new software.
Gertrude’s Birthday dinner:
Albert playing with his food....
“I want to eat the whole thing! Even the shell!!”-Albert
The Houma shop is fantastic. It is unique from other locations for several reasons. The most apparent to me is that many of the engineers and operators are much older. They have been working here for decades. Skipper is one of these operators. I had the pleasure of working with a couple other operators yesterday, Jeau and Larry. Jeau is pronounced like Joe, but it’s spelled the Cajun way. The operators at the job also like to play the “finger” game, that is, flicking people off for fun.
“Well, when they don’t see you, you just do this” *finger* “Then they see you!” -Larry explaining how to communicate across a busy work area
“That f*$%er is wearing red!!!”- Harry (Not to be confused with Larry), enraged at someone else in the shop for wearing San Fransisco colors when they were playing the Saints.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about….”-Andy, the engineer I followed around Friday morning, talking to someone on the phone about certifying Shell cables (see below).
approximately 10:30am: While Andy was working, he casually opens his desk and pulls out a sandwich, plopping it on his desk. “Now, it’s snack time!”, he declared. I followed suit and went downstairs to eat some of the Tuna salad sandwiches brought to us that day.
I am already starting to display biases towards the oil companies, and I have not even been offshore to their rigs. Today on my drive, I found myself seeking out certain gas stations and avoiding others, based on things I’ve heard at the shop. The following is a quick summary of the what I understand so far, from an oilfield services perspective:
Shell: Shell is a HUGE client, with many specific requests. These requests often cause a headache for the staff at the shop. For starters, Shell does not allow green hats on their rigs. When you start out as a trainee, you wear a green hat for about 6 months. I am a green hat. I can not go on Shell jobs. Shell requires a specific water survival course. It is farther away than the local class, and is tougher to schedule. I am still waiting to take this course and therefore can not go offshore for anyone yet. This is partly the reason I am going to Elk City. Shell also has very stringent requirements for the cable you may use to log their well. It has to be sent to a special testing place, not the local one. The cable must be recertified after ever job. When a Shell job comes in, it is a scramble to find which cable we may use for it. Shell also has several other meticulous requirements.
Chevron: I have heard nothing but good things about them. They are a big client. It seems like we get a lot of their jobs, and they give us little trouble. This is just what I think, from less than 2 weeks of working.
Exxon: They don’t like Whataberger for some reason. I do not think we get a lot of jobs from them. I avoid Exxon gas stations.
BP: Nightmare. They require all sorts of specifications on the tool sketch in the software. This causes lots of running around the shop with tape measure, cross checking tool lengths with the software , and weighing of everything. I think they have some other crazy requirements too.
There are several other clients, they are not as recognizable at the pumps though.