Over Weight and Under Dressed

I threw myself onto the floor between my desk and the wall. “Please don’t make me go!” I cried out to my co worker. My manager had just called to tell me I am going back to the rig which I was kicked off of a few months ago. Déjà vu, I’m also running the same service as the previous time. All the things I’d rather do come to mind. As most are rather graphic, I’ll spare you, dearest readers.


This morning, I go to the heliport, armed with two dozen chocolate truffles and a turkey sandwich to calm my nerves. My trusty operator and I check in for the flight. Each of our bags is well over the allowed weight. Typically, this is not a problem, and the guy at the counter will let it slide…. not today.

“Your bag is too heavy.” He said with the utmost unsympathetic focus.

“Okay…” The poker-faced staring contest begins.

He raises, “What will you to do?”

Nothing, I think to myself. “Do you want me to unpack right here and you tell me what to leave?”  A rather taunting dare.

“The limit is 30 pounds.” Ol’ PokerFace is not budging this morning.

It should be mentioned that my bag(s) is 45 lbs. I carry two laptops with associated accessories and cables (both for work), steel toed boots, hard hat, 2 t-shirts, a handful of dirty undergarments to be washed once I get to the rig, 2 coveralls, an unknown and mysterious quantity of socks, a handful of toiletries, and one jump rope. “I can’t leave anything behind.” I say, wishing I had chosen another time to wear my bright red “Comedy Barn” t shirt. After years of experience, I finally succumb to the sad reality- people let you get away with things when you dress nicely and wash your face. I dust off residual turkey sandwich crumbs from the rooster on my t shirt and try to flash a cheeky grin. Femininity eludes me this morning.

hot mess cat

We were relegated to the second chopper of the day, arriving to the rig around 2 pm. I get here to a crew who has been on board for a day. I bust out my chocolates and get ready for whatever will transpire over the next few days.

3 thoughts on “Over Weight and Under Dressed

  1. Turkey may calm your nerves, but it could also make you sleepy. And, becoming sleepy too soon could make you feel edgy about losing time for work during the day. Don’t become edgy from losing work time to turkey. Get…well, I don’t think cable or dish TV would help in this case:P

    I’d be careful posting reports of baggage folks letting overweight bags slide. Ya never know who might start pressing to get the same perk.

    I imagine the boots probably sum up the excess weight themselves. There’s no way to have boots where you need them? Or, use a different PC/laptop/tablet on site?

    The clothes are probably no huge weight but harder to come by without going shopping wherever you go.

    Is this some off-shore oil rig job with technical aspects? How does the airport fit in? The same rules for planes apply to helicopters?

    • Haha thank you for the detailed comment, writingbolt!

      This is some off-shore oil rig job with technical aspects. The scene is played out in a heliport, and similar rules apply like an airport. However, weight restrictions are very serious. As a third party service company, we fly to different rigs all the time with no set schedule. So it’s not possible to just have things where you need them.

      • Understood. And, that’s rough. But, you would think there would be some procedure in place to make this work fluidly rather than have to quibble or argue over such short flights on a regular–or irregular but common–basis. Just as there are emergency procedures for a plane crash, why can’t getting to work on an offshore rig have some sensible system that spares you and those in your line of work the hassle?

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