If there is one thing you need to understand about life as an oilfield worker, it’s that we are all tired…. ALL THE TIME!! I mean, there isn’t enough sleep or hot tubs in the world to compensate for how tired you are. Imagine getting the crap kicked out of you for at least 12 hours a day, 14 days straight. No weekends, no 9-5, just ass whoopings, all day. Now I admittedly have one of the more easy jobs in the oilfield and I still feel tired all of the time. I work on a 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule. So during your weeks on while you peruse around facebook and the like you keep seeing people making posts like “Oh it’s Thursday, I’m so ready for the weekend!! YOLO sauce TGIF #witmuhbitvhes #lolz #drunkenstupor #hashtag #ican’trememberhowtofunctionlikeanormalperson-sincefacebookandhashtagsbecameathing”and all you can think is “I still have 10 more days of work… 12 hour days. you get off at 5 every day when you only get to work at 8 AM. I’ve been at work for at least 2 hours when first wake up and I can’t leave for another hour. If you were standing here I would transplant your liver with a rabid house cat using a rusty spork.” I see people on facebook during the winter from back in my home state post things like “It was 27 degrees today and my wipers froze to the windshield, FML.” Every time I see that I want to yell at them “I’VE BEEN LIVING IN A VAN FOR THE LAST WEEK IN -50 DEGREES!!! I STOOD ON TOP OF A CONEX FOR AN HOUR TRYING TO SOLDER A WIRE TOGETHER! I NEARLY SHIT MYSELF JUST TO FEEL SOMETHING WARM!” Some of you may know fairly well what an “e-tech” is and does. If you ask a non-e-tech what an e-tech is, they will normally tell you that e-techs are the laziest bastards at their job and don’t do a damn thing. The beautiful thing about being an e-tech, is if you do your job during down times and while the rest of the employees are taking breaks or down for maintenance, you job gets really easy really quick. The way e-techs look at their job is this “If I’m working, it’s because your equipment is broken, and if your equipment is broken, the company isn’t making any money off of it and they do NOT like that. So if I’m not working, the bosses are overall happy”. Honestly, it’s a great gig. At any rate, lets say that the job goes hella good. Let’s say that I didn’t have a single issue to look at during my normal 24 hour shift (yes you read that right. I normally work 24 hour shifts, with paperwork on either side, so it’s really closer to 32 most of the time). By the time I get off work, I’m completely wiped out. Granted, I’m a bad@$$ motherf*#%er and can hold it together long enough to get back to mancamp, eat dinner, shower, have a chat and talk to the wife and kid before going to bed so I can wake up in a few hours to do it all over again… For 2 weeks straight. Now after all of that, when my week off come around, I’m ready to go home and see my family. Then the tables turn. When I check facebook and see people bitching about their jobs I can’t help but think “I’ve been off work for (x) days and don’t have to go back until Monday… What saps!” That time off gives me time to go do things like camping and explore the wilderness, of my bed, and sleep like a hibernating grizzly bear (see, the wilderness thing came around). Though as difficult as it is to work 32 hour shifts for two weeks straight. I do it happily. Living in a van sucks pretty bad, but I do it happily. The worst part about working in the oilfield is not seeing my family for 2 weeks straight. Don’t get me wrong. With modern technology like, texting, cellphones, skype (mostly skype), I can still SEE them from time to time, but it’s just not anywhere the same as being able to hug your wife and kid. It doesn’t keep your heart from being ripped out every time you have to be strong and walk away from the ones you love more than anything. It makes you feel like a heartless monster. It makes you feel cold and dead inside. The comradery and friends you make in the oilfield are great guys you’d take a bullet for (ok, probably not quite THAT good, but you get the point), they even become something of a surrogate family while you’re gone. But your heart knows they aren’t the ones you really want to be with. The ones you want to be with are all back home, living a life you wish you could live and can, for a third of your time. Like I said in my last oilfield worker post. This life is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to explain. So it may take a few tries to convey the real truth behind it all.
I know this is a small break from what has been my norm, but I felt like it needed to be said. I can’t be that crazy fella all the time. I feel like you all deserve for me to be real and down to earth at least SOME times. Though don’t let this post fool you. More greatness and shenanigans are on the cusp of… the proverbial horizon. I’ll see you all again next time. Cannibal out!