Life can be very interesting, working on a service rig, as seen here. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

A while back, I was talking to my nephews. They are currently attending university and working toward degrees. As us older guys tend to do, we want young people to learn from our mistakes. So of course I want to prevent loved ones from having to make their own decisions. Ask any parent how well this turns out.

Part of my job as an uncle and parent is to give unsolicited advice to my nephews. Also nieces, children grandchildren, employees, friends, that stray dog and anyone who will listen. Except for my wife, I’m not insane after all. Kidding honey…

Luckily for all y’all, I am going to give out my wonderful and amazing advice absolutely free of charge, no strings attached. You can buy me a coffee if you like. I’m not too fussy; Michael’s in Estevan or McDonalds will do just fine. If you do buy me coffee, just remember, there is no warranty of any kind on said advice. When attempting to implement these words of wisdom try not to do anything that is non-reversible. (Don’t ask me how I know…)

If I had to pick the one piece of advice to impart upon anyone, it is this: Be interesting. That’s what I told my nephews Zack and Sammy. Sounds pretty simple, right? Luckily for me, and probably you reading this, we all work in the most interesting business there is. That’s right; the energy industry. I know it may seem a bit hard to believe if you have been tripping pipe all day, drilling slow hole on night shift or driving across Western Canada to a job. But it sure is.

Just sit down with a few guys that have worked in it for a little while. Fascinating stories about the work, co-workers, good bosses (and bad). They can make for some interesting conversation. I, myself, have worked with and for some amazing people. Sometimes they’re bat-shit crazy, but amazing nonetheless. But they all had diverse backgrounds and skill-sets. These guys could solve serious problems on the fly, and still keep the crew safe. Many of them can see a potential problem before it becomes one. Probably from previous experience.

  • 0037 TED_DEEP_30_
  • 0036 Prairie Lithium - Chad Glemser 30 Sec
  • 0035 TED - Whitecap
  • 0034 TED_NA Helium 2021
  • 0033 Buffalo Potash Jared Small Footprint
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0027 TED_NA Helium 2021_30
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

In this business, you get to work with people from all across the country, and often from outside of Canada. The ones from Texas and Oklahoma are the best. The twang in the voice and the slang they use is worth the price of admission right there. And man, do they know their business. If you ever have the opportunity, you can learn a lot from them.

Me (Uninformed Canadian); “Hey G.A., how do you like being from the state of Texas?”

G.A. (Old tool hand from Texas): “NO!!

“Texas isn’t a state!

“It’s Texas.”

Me: “Whoa….”

(You know you love your state when….)

He also taught me what “backscuttle” meant. It’s how you say “reverse circulate” in Texan. Who knew? I never did learn what the initials G.A. stood for, but I’m pretty sure it was short for “Go Away if you don’t love Texas.”

G.A. was a hell of an interesting man. I won’t ever forget him. But I’ve met and worked with many local guys from right around here as well. These were guys that could be extraordinarily rude, crude and sometimes damn mean. But these same guys were also at the same level of kindness and generosity when the situation required it. But our business sometimes requires a certain level of “intensity” which may be construed as meanness or anger. But working with or for those people makes for learning great mostly true stories you won’t find on your television. I hope all the young people starting out in the industry can understand this intensity and realize it helps make them better workers.

  • 0037 TED_DEEP_30_
  • 0036 Prairie Lithium - Chad Glemser 30 Sec
  • 0035 TED - Whitecap
  • 0034 TED_NA Helium 2021
  • 0033 Buffalo Potash Jared Small Footprint
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0027 TED_NA Helium 2021_30
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

If you have chosen this industry, you will continue to meet amazing and highly successful people, many of whom started out with nothing. Now these same people are presidents, vice presidents and owners of companies. Many of them have worked all over the world, in some very interesting (sometimes scary) places. If you have the opportunity, and you will, be sure to talk to these guys, learn about their experiences, and maybe try these things on your own. There is some real adventure to be had if you are so inclined. I have friends that have worked pretty much anywhere there is oil and gas to be found. They have seen and done things that will blow your mind. These fellas can tell you some extremely interesting stories about the energy industry and the people that work in it.

It’s pretty cool to have great stories to tell. Who knows, someone may even be impressed. But at the end of the road, there is only one person you truly need to impress. Take a look in the mirror, or in the case of all you young techie people, take a selfie. That’s right, it’s you. You have to be interesting to yourself. That’s what really counts. There is no point in living vicariously through the lives of others. You gotta go out and get the adventure yourself.

Once again I have wandered from the point. What I am saying is go out there and get the experience, meet and work with interesting people. Who knows? Maybe you will become one of them. There are many career paths out there that are every bit as interesting as the oil patch. (I am pretty biased.) But, if you stick it out in the energy industry, you are guaranteed to meet interesting people, do interesting work, see interesting things, and become pretty interesting yourself.

 

Brian Crossman is a partner at Independent Well Servicing in Estevan. He may think he’s pretty interesting, but the reality is that the people he has been able to meet and work with are the main reason that he is even remotely interesting. For the record, this is the most times he has ever used the word “interesting.” By a lot. But today’s energy industry is so much more than oil and gas. There is now lithium, helium, geothermal, and more coming all the time. See? Interesting.

 

  • 0037 TED_DEEP_30_
  • 0036 Prairie Lithium - Chad Glemser 30 Sec
  • 0035 TED - Whitecap
  • 0034 TED_NA Helium 2021
  • 0033 Buffalo Potash Jared Small Footprint
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0027 TED_NA Helium 2021_30
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

Alberta’s now 32 wind farms with 3,076 megawatts capacity put out just 15 megawatts at supper on Tuesday, and 3 megawatts at midnight