The View

Somebody stole the new phone I still wasn’t done drooling over (barely 2 weeks after I bought it) the first day that I got to this rig, and we managed to bend the pins inside one of our tools in the process of loading batteries and we are still not ready for the job that, thankfully, keeps getting pushed back due to issues that have nothing to do with us, but right now I don’t want to talk about that. I also don’t want to talk about how it takes about ten tries to flush the “efficient” toilets that I have to share with 7 other people or how the temperature in the accommodation is kept just a wee bit too warm for comfortable sleep. No, right now I want to talk about The View.

The View is what you get standing on a helipad just after midnight with the wind so strong you feel like you could blow away if you stretched your arms wide enough. The View is a gibbous moon reflected in the choppy sea and 3 other brightly lit rigs competing for your attention against the horizon. The View is feeling that barely perceptible bit of heave that the compensator lets slip through. The View is wondering if that oddly shaped assortment of lights off the coastline to your left is yet another rig or a surprisingly large town in the middle of the otherwise quite rural countryside*.

The oil industry does not tend to attract idealists. There are few humanitarians or do-gooders in there; plenty of people who are doing something they feel is necessary, something that’s “gotta be done”, perhaps, but at the end of the day, most oil field workers are mercenaries**. The money is what gets you mucking about in the grease in a dangerous environment, miles away from your friends and family and “civilization”, often for weeks at a time. But of course in the college recruitment speeches that bit tends to get played down (I assume because everyone already knows about it), and what they try and pitch to you is The Experience***. The Experience is what’s supposed to motivate you. The Experience is supposed to Build Character, Teach Life Lessons and Make You into a Better**** person. This is a different version of the same thing that the investment banks tell you, and it is mostly just a different version of crap. Most people will always do this for the money.

But. There are moments. The View might not compensate for the rest of it. But it is a rather unique fringe benefit.

*Checked in the morning, and it is just another rig, as expected.

** A (very non-Marxist, interestingly) friend of mine used “prostitutes”.

***also The Travel, but that part is actually kind of true.

**** I gather that this is supposed to refer to competency rather than ethics.

PS: No photo because well, as mentioned, The View isn’t just the view, but also because, again as mentioned, somebody stole my brand new camera phone.

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5 thoughts on “The View

  1. Very interesting! Great to read well-written stuff on lifestyles that are so strikingly different from the ordinary. Marxists be damned! Keep it up!

    • Haha, thanks. The very non-Marxist friend does the same job and was with me on the rig. It had been almost a month and he was getting kind of pissed 🙂 .

  2. Unsurprisingly I can draw a lot of parallels.

    ====
    The oil industry does not tend to attract idealists. There are few humanitarians or do-gooders in there; plenty of people who are doing something they feel is necessary, something that’s “gotta be done”, perhaps, but at the end of the day, most oil field workers are mercenaries**.
    ====
    I am tempted to conclude that this applies to all industries – hell, if it is true for the most self-righteous, highly glorified one (which is mine), it must be true for the others.

    ====
    The money is what gets you mucking about in the grease in a dangerous environment, miles away from your friends and family and “civilization”, often for weeks at a time.
    ====
    Again, tempted to conclude this is universally true. The money is what keeps engineers in California 8000 miles away from parents, working 12-14 hour workdays on far-from-intellectually-stimulating-stuff, returning home past dinner (even those who have a spouse and kids to come home to).

    ====
    But of course in the college recruitment speeches that bit tends to get played down (I assume because everyone already knows about it), and what they try and pitch to you is The Experience***. The Experience is what’s supposed to motivate you. The Experience is supposed to Build Character, Teach Life Lessons and Make You into a Better**** person. This is a different version of the same thing that the investment banks tell you, and it is mostly just a different version of crap. Most people will always do this for the money.
    ====
    You forgot a lot of things 🙂
    “working with smart people”, “solving the world’s problems”, “building a better tomorrow”.. blah blah.

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