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Story Of The Roughneck
The Last 20 Years
I titled this hub Story Of The Roughneck because in my opinion and many others the roughneck is probably the most important person in the oilpatch.
This is my first hub on the oilpatch. I will try and keep these hubs away from the technical side as much as I can and keep the hubs funny and interesting. At some point I may have to use some technical terms but for the most part will try and stay away.
This month is my 20th anniversary working in the oilpatch. I have always wanted to chronicle what I learned but really never found the outlet for it. Well I am glad to say I now believe I have found the outlet I was looking for with HubPages.
Im not even going to give a history of the oilpatch but rather just try and hub from my last 20 years.
My favorite saying of all time in the oilpatch is "Every rig needs a roughneck."
How I Got My Start On Drilling Rigs
20 years ago this month I started on a drilling rig very similiar to the one in the picture. I got my start because of desire. I was in a dead end job making dead end money and saw a very bleak picture of the future.
My wife new I wasnt happy and one day she told me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Little did either one of us know how much that statement would change our lives.
I live in Alberta, Canada and as many of you know the oil and gas industry drives this province. Working on the rigs is a way of life out here. So I decided I wanted to work on a drilling rig.
I got a contact through someone I was working with and gave him a call. He told me that unfortunately all the rigs were full. Well I wasnt taking no for an answer and I called this guy four times a day everyday for a week. Finally, I think because he was sick of me he gave me a job. I quit my deadend job that very moment and headed to the rig that afternoon.
So here I was, 20 some years old. Dressed in jeans, tshirt, hard hat and a pair of rubber boots. I was officially a righand. My title was leasehand. (In a future hub I will define all the main titles on a rig.)
My First Day On The Drilling Rig
My first day on the drilling rig I thought I was going to give it up to the grim reaper. I couldnt believe what I had gotten myself into.
It was one of the hottest days of the summer, everything was hot, oily and muddy. Nothing that you lifted was light and to make matters worse I had people all around me screaming orders at me. I quickly realized the oil patch was a different world.
I put my head down, feeling like a beat dog. I was almost certain that I had made a mistake and wondered if I would be able to get my dead end job back. I finished out the day and had no clue what the next would bring. The Tool Push (boss) asked me if I would be back in the morning. I told him yes but honestly I had my doubts.
I got home that evening and went straight to the shower. At the supper table my wife could see the distress in my face. I told her about everything. Her being my soul support throughout my life told me she would stand by me no matter what my decision was. I knew right there I couldnt give up just yet.
First Month On The Drilling Rig Was Hell
I couldnt believe a body could with stand so much torture. Let me explain something. On a drilling rig you work 12 hours a day. It doesnt matter what the weather is doing. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, lightning, heat, it just doesnt matter you work in it all. You work everyday until someone tells you that you can have a day off. My first hitch was 30 days long and there was no quitting after that.
My first 30 day hitch I lost 40 pounds, every bone in my body ached but I knew I was here to stay. I loved the new world I had found. All I did at first was keep my head down, ass up and did everything that was asked of me. I learned quickly that on a rig there is a pecking order and it is taken very seriously. So when I was told that I got paid from the neck down I became clear on my stance on the pecking order.
The guys started to accept me because they could see that I was doing what it took to be one of the team. Let me tell you a well oiled rig crew isnt only a team but they are a family. Some days you rely on each other just to stay alive.
The final reason I knew I wouldnt be going anywhere was that first paycheck. Holy crap I couldnt believe how much money I was making. That made up for a lot of the bumps and bruises.
The Long Road Of My Career In The Oil Patch
So where will this hub go from here? Well as you can imagine in 20 years I have a lot of stories. Some are trials, some are tribulations. Some are sad and some are happy.
I dont believe in 20 years I could write everything. I am however hopeing to give everyone a better understanding of what the oil patch is about.
I know we are in the day of the green environment and I know I will see many people judging me on my career choice. I guess that is up to you but I can guarantee you there is nothing that can sway me from my love for the oilpatch.
I just want this to be an outlet for my stories and descriptions but if need be I am willing to defend my career to the fullest. A true righand never backs down from a fight.
One last thing. Some of the stories in hear may be a little controversial so I will never be using real names out of respect for my oilpatch family.
Oil Patch Clothing With An Attitude
Take a look at the Hub below to find out about some of the best clothes you will ever wear.