I just got back last night from a 3-day stint in North Dakota… it was for work– I would never go there voluntarily!

I spent the entire time praying my fingers and nose wouldn’t freeze and fall off. The high yesterday was -1 degrees if that gives you any indication of just how freaking cold it was!

However, it was one of the most informative trips I have ever taken! I got to see first-hand what it is that my company does and what each person does. I had a vague (and inaccurate) idea in my head, so it was good to see everyone in action and get explanations of what each person was doing and why.

My company does fracing, which is necessary to produce oil and natural gas from the ground. I’ve spent the last three years at a company who pays companies like mine to do their drilling and completion (aka fracing), so being on the service side of everything has been very educational. I got to see first-hand what my friend, and ex-coworker, did when he was sent to Texas for months on end a few years ago.

The other great thing about my trip was being able to put faces to names of people I work with. At my old company, I worked with (and interacted via email or the phone on a weekly, if not daily, basis) our superintendent in Utah who I never met– not once! To this day, I have no idea what he looks like. But with this trip, I got to meet every single person I’ll be interacting with. It’s amazing how knowing what someone looks like helps you connect with them more.

I also got to tour a drilling rig while we were out there. The guy took us on an extensive tour (including showing us their break room… yeah, I don’t know why either…) but then we got to stand on the platform where they were tripping— I felt smug about being the only person in our group who knew what the hell he was talking about and knew what they were doing and why.

Writing out drilling reports was the first thing I did when I started helping the engineering department (more specifically, the drilling engineer) way back when. So, of everything I saw and did, seeing the drilling reports come to life was probably the most exciting thing I saw. In all fairness, fracing doesn’t give drilling much competition– besides touring the drilling rig and trying not to freeze to death– I spent my days in the frac van watching a giant monitor with a bunch of squiggly lines, the tubes and lines already placed at the wellhead so there was nothing to watch outside. So watching guys grab 40’+ lengths of tubing and placing them in a machine to be drilled miles into the earth was waaaay more interesting!

I’m loving my job and  have learned more in the last 3 weeks then I could have ever imagined! I have the drilling and completion engineers to thank for my initial education. I’m also getting a more education from the completion engineer, even though I don’t work with him any more– I have about a dozen emails from him with things to read about fracing and the process of completing a well.

I’m feeling so light and happy about my life and work right now. I know part of it is based on the fact that I’m no longer unemployed, but the fact that I was offered a job at a place that respects and values their employees so much is such a strange phenomenon to me, that I didn’t realize just how unhappy I was. I only hope my friends at my old job can find work at different companies that make them just as happy as I am (because my old company is a soul-sucking vacuum of egos and assholes).

Life is so good right now, I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store for me!

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