Men of the Oil Patch

Working with over 600 men at a time can be intimidating at first, I recall the first time at twenty-one I went to a drilling pre-spud meeting (basically its a pre-planning meeting just prior to the kickoff of a company’s drilling rigs for the winter) and it was a nice hotel in Nisku, AB.

I walked through the hotel looking for the ‘Lancelot’ conference room that was booked. I peeked in, and there had to be over three hundred men in there, not a woman in sight. I backed out, and asked the concierge if that’s where the company was meeting. Much to my dismay, yes it was.
I took a deep breath and walked into the room, focused on where an empty chair might be at a table full of men and sat down. That was my first time experiencing the stares. Quite scary.

A drilling rig isn’t so bad, maybe 18-20 men you will work with at one time. But a camp and seismic work is much different. And the different characters of men are vast numbers.

To name a few:

“Hulk Hogan”: No idea who this guy is. But dead ringer for the Hogan. Guessing he’s in his 50s. Jacked like Arnold.

“The Guard”: I don’t know his real name, I just know he is like the invisible, gentle giant security guard. Tall and fairly good-looking and probably about 30, I always run into him in between the buildings in the dark, and he always has the most serious expression until I run into him, then he smiles quickly. We have short, genuine conversations in passing. In the strangest way I trust him. Definitely don’t get the creeper vibe from him.

And there are sooo many more. Enough to write a book about.


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