Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Musings yet Again

Buckle up, I'm feeling introspective; so here comes some more musings.

My friend and fellow gate guard's recent blog dealt with the subject of change; he has changed guard companies and is dealing with all that that encompasses. He was instrumental in getting us to make the leap into gate guarding and his blog and forum have been instrumental in our adjusting to life in the patch. If you are reticent about accepting aid and advice from people this may not be the job for you. The learning curve can be steep and the adjustment in lifestyle formidable.

I am sitting here, relaxed in my recliner, enjoying satellite TV. It is a drastic change from a typical drilling or fracking job. It is also world's away from the typical gate guarding gig we have endured for the last few years. Back to my friends blog and forum-simple suggestions have reaped huge rewards. Things like be "on point" when answering the bell/alarm; don't keep folks waiting, ingratiate yourself with the folks you are working with; get to know the basic procedures and goings on and get to know the key personnel. If your smart you'll extend that on up the ladder and get to know the field superintendent and other "movers and shakers" that pass through your gate. Try to be as presentable as possible; practice good hygiene and look professional. There are a ton of little things that make up the big picture. We feel as if we don't do anything special to engender the respect and admiration the exploration and drilling companies have for us. All you have to do is show a little initiative and do your job well and you will stand out. Some may wonder the point of this. I can tell you that that crossed my mind more than once. One rocky pad (if there was even one) after another, endless traffic and the accompanying dust, a monotonous, never ending routine, mud and more dust, picking up and moving like a nomad-you get the idea. Occasionally there would be a light at the end of the tunnel; a veritable oasis of a location. Some trees for shade, a relatively flat and level pad, close to town and manageable traffic. And then Shangri La came along and we ended up where we are today. Based on past experience, we know it will eventually end and we'll be back in the daily "grind". Meantime we are both savoring the experience.

I knocked out my morning routine fairly quickly this morning. One of the ways I deal with the doldrums as a gate guard is by having  a system I follow. I have chores that I divide up and accomplish in the morning and evening. It's a way of keeping me occupied with the added benefit of keeping things shipshape and organized on and around the pad and house. It's still a wonderment to me and a source of frustration that there always remains stuff to do.

Although we are on the gate of a lifetime, we know when it's time for a break. Some folks seem to be able to do the gate guarding thing ad infinitum. We are not like that. If we even get a day or two between gates we are out of the patch pronto. We like to go into town, unwind and shake off the dust. The first week of December we plan to hit the road for 10-14 days and take a little break. And NO!, you can't have our little slice of paradise. We have found someone to "gate sit" while we're gone and plan to return to the same roost.

One of the side benefits of gate guarding is the ability to get caught up on finances and, hopefully, set a little money aside. If you get nothing more than that out of it you are still ahead in my mind. Here's hoping you are not only able to do that, but that you also find your own Shangri La of a workplace.

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