Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And so it begins...

My first job!!! I got a call yesterday at 5:15 that I had a 6pm yard time (I was informed later that no matter what they tell you your yard time is, you have an hour from their call so I overachieved by being there on time). I showed up and waited around for everyone to get there and do their pre-trip prep. I was assigned to Kevin, a young operator who apparently keeps getting the interns. We drove to the site in the 18 wheeler that brought the dry cement. I've been loading these trucks with the bulk plant so it was nice to have that pinch of familiarity. Kevin walked me through his pre-trip checklist, making me idle up the truck, and start the compressors to check for leaks in our tanks. Kevin is pretty knowledgeable and he was good at explaining things. Also on our ride was Shawn, the engineer, Jay the other operator and music guru (played music trivia via CB radio and he knows it all!) and the other green hat guy who's name I think was Daniel. (By the way, in case I forgot to mention this earlier, green hats are literal and they signify the new people. It makes us easy to look out for. Once you are hired on by the company and/or go to your first school you graduate to a white hard hat like everyone else.)

We drove out to the site and did a surface job which is just what it sounds like--we cemented casing for a shallow well. Sometimes it's just the first part of the well and it will go deeper after the cement sets but in our area most everything is shallow and horizontal so I think this may be it for this well. Because this was a very small rig (basically a rig truck and air drilling which I didn't know existed) this was an easier, shorter job. Rig up took about 10 minutes and the cementing took about half an hour. We arrived on site at 9:30 or so but they hadn't finished drilling and so we waited for them to finish and set the casing which took until 1:30. Hurry up and wait. We napped in the truck (as best we could...the front seat is not as comfortable as you might think and I slept in that morning so I only caught maybe 2 hours) until they finished. We worked until right about 5 am which is as early as we are allowed to drive. Our convenient finish time meant we got on the road without napping first. Kevin slept well in the bed in our cab so he was fine to drive, I, however was essentially catatonic and passed out not long into our drive. They made fun of me. "Puppy, here fell asleep" and "How's red doin' back there" over the CB least that's what I heard of it through my coma.

The job went as planned and I got to help the other green hat guy connect hose and tear down iron (the pipes that carry cement). I also played the nurse role and fetched them the tools they needed ("Scalpel!" "Wrench!" "Hammer!") I got plenty dirty carrying and lifting hoses and other such things. I think I did ok. At least I wasn't in anyone's way.

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