The first time I went skiing was with a bunch of friends from Arizona State. We stayed in a cabin together and played a card game called “Sabotage”.
One time playing backgamon with my mother, I rolled the dice something I didn’t quite know what to do with. She advised me of a risky, but most likely rewarding move. Her next roll, she defeated me. I looked up at her and said sadly, “You sabotaged me!”.
These are examples of Sabotage on a superficial level.
Yesterday, I woke on the rig, ready for another day of job preparation. We are out here to perform a few different services. One of which is borehole seismic. In short, we have some sensors attached to wireline cable which we lower into the well. Then, we have air guns which are pressurized and fired, initiating waves to travel through the ground and be picked up by the sensors in the well. It is very cool, a little high tech, and also a ‘special service’. The basic equipment which is needed for this operation are: sensors in the well, called shuttles; air guns; computer which communicates commands to the air guns; air compressors which pressurize the guns.
Today, we will be focusing on these air compressors. These are very large containers weighing over 10,000 pounds with an engine inside. We bring two, one for the job, and an additional one in case it fails. On yesterday’s agenda, we were to function test these compressors and make sure everything is working. At roughly 10 am, my mechanic pulled me aside and explained to me,
“uuh…. okay. I started the engine, it run for a few minutes and shut down. I start again. It run for a minute and shut down. I see shut down because ‘low oil pressure’. Okay. I go inside and open the oil. Inside there is sugar.”
I become livid. “WHAT?! ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS?”
“Laila, come look. I tasted it. It is sugar.”
“I believe you. But….f****ck.” I start strategizing. “Okay, call the cheif mechanic. Let him know. I will call MightyMouse and let him know. If you need any parts, get them to the boat. And if you can’t get it to work, start looking at the back up.”
I am outraged. I discreetly borrow a camera from the coman, and start documenting this horrendous scenario.
This is a photo of some sugar scooped out of the engine. I tasted it. It is most definitely sugar. Now it seems that all the lines in the engine of our brand new compressor are contaminated with sugar. We call town to make some requests for more oil and filters.
A few hours pass. I have documented the sugar in the engine, made a report, called my boss, and made a fuss (a professional fuss, of course.) We are moving right along, with some crew working on the air compressor, some working on the cable, and myself working on the computer making templates and reviewing the program for the logging job. The other engineer, Leonardo, a very seasoned and kind engineer from Argentina, comes into the logging cab. I turn to look at him and he says to me, “We’re f*cked.”
“What?” I didn’t hear through the sounds of the rig and his thick accent.
“We’re f*cked.” He states again. “The backup also has sugar in it.”
This time, I laugh. Leonardo calls MightyMouse. “It’s a complete sabotage!” He says. I giggle in the background everytime I hear him say “sugar” and “engine” in the same breath.
We work all day to clean out the engine, to no avail. We thought maybe the gauge which causes the shut down can be bypassed, allowing the engine to run and clean out the remaining sugar. No such luck. By the end of the day, We decide we have to have a third compressor sent from town. It is checked and found to be clean of sugar, salt, flour, or any other baking supplies.
We decide it is time to tell the company man we need another compressor. Some deliberation takes place as to what exactly to tell our client. On the one hand, its embarrassing that our machinery is full of sugar. On the other hand, we didn’t do anything wrong. Everyone agrees that honesty is the best policy.