Going Through Phases (Oil Field Camp Life)
Happy phase three day! Another day in the life of an oil field worker. Whats “phase three” you may ask? Let me explain. We have certain weather phase conditions at work. Phase one means slight hindered visibility with some wind. Still workable conditions but it’s usually limited to pad work only and speed limits reduced to 35mph (down from the max of 45mph). Phase two usually more intense with poor visibility, high winds, and speed limit reduced to 25 and all vehicle must travel via convoy. If a phase two is called during a job, we drop what we do and head back to the main office (KCS pad). A phase three is when the shit starts to hit the fan. 30mph winds, hardly any visibility. All jobs are seized and we bunker down indoors. Today we got lucky and it was a phase two almost three before we even left camp. So here we are, entertaining ourselves for the next twelve hours. I’m watching a pool tournament begin right before my eyes. Roland is giving George some competition. Some of the other guys are playing basket ball and hopefully safely. It wouldn’t be good if someone got hurt during a phase day heh. Joe, our foreman is hanging out with us. It’s nice to have a chill day like this. 90% of the crew is working over Christmas. We all miss our families but we are all here for the same reason. I figured I could use this opportunity and give you a look at a world most of you don’t ever think about and some didn’t even know existed. It’s a tough job mainly because we spend so much time away from home. The majority of us work 6 months out of the year with an average work schedule of two weeks on two weeks off. I for one work a three week on three week off schedule, aka “hitch”. We each have different ways of starting a count down. Some check off calender days and some calculate down to the exact hour until we leave (I’m one of those people). Most don’t think about it because thinking about it only prolongs a hitch. There is no alcohol here at work so we resort to coffee, poweraide, juice, assorted snack foods, most of which can be found in the photos below know as the “spike room”.
They serve two meals a day, breakfast and dinner. Both meals consist of pretty much anything you can think of. They have a daily menu that changes up every week. Steak, fish, Italian, Asian, Mexican, and everything in between. My personal favorite is Mexican night as well as the chicken strips. Day is made when it’s chicken strip night. (photo below is our dining hall)
For others, the gym is where they spend their down time. We have various machines for all kinds of things that I know nothing about. If you’re a runner or a weight lifter, we got it. Some guys really let themselves go with all the free food we get, so for them, the gym is their home! (haha)
If you’re into movies, we have that covered as well. The movie theater plays a movie at 7:30am and 7:30pm. They have two movies which they play for about a month at a time before changing it up. The movie tonight was “Ghost Protocol”.
We have several big screen t.vs through out camp. Pool tables and ping pong tables. We can check out Xbox’s and various games, movies, books, whatever. (photo below is Wayne kicking some ass at a game of pool)
I wish I could show you what it looks like outside right now but it’s a complete wall of snow, wind and ice blowing nonstop. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will be up here, taking care of Americas lifeline.