Brian Crossman. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

Hey everybody! It’s time to start jumping up and down like idiots! The patch is busy and everyone is hiring! Outstanding! Let’s go make the big money on “The Rigs!” (That’s how I remember hearing it nearly four decades ago) It is true; there is “big money” to be made in the energy industry. But guess what? If you are able-bodied, you can make good money in pretty much any industry. You may have to move to a different part of the province or the country, but there is high-paying work available. And if you have a pulse and the ability to string a few words together, you’ll get an interview. If you show up, hell, you’ll probably get the job. But maybe you should be proactive and prepare yourself just a little bit.

Well my friends, old Bri is here to help. I’ve compiled a list of what it takes (in my opinion) to not only get and keep that job, but succeed wildly at your shiny new career. Feel free to correct me on any of these steps. I won’t change them, but you can take pride in telling me I’m wrong. It’s a big club, and they are always taking new members.

Wake up

Sounds easy. Set the alarm. Wake the F— up. Just like when we were kids. Except back then it was our parents dragging us out and yelling at us until we were out the door for school. Unless you were a farm kid. Then you had chores to do between the wake up and school parts. I’ve noticed over the years that some young people really struggle with this wake up early concept. An example of this occurred not many months ago at our shop. (I have replaced the fella’s name with FNG, for any privacy concerns)

Brian: “Hey FNG, I need you down at the shop at seven o’clock in the morning. You can sweep the shop and help the mechanics out.”

FNG: “Sounds great!”

Brian: (Next morning at 7:15) “Has anybody seen FNG yet?”

Everybody; “Nope.”

Brian: “FFS.”

(30 minutes later when FNG strolls on in)

Brian: “You’re late, did you have car troubles?”

FNG: “No dude, just slept in a bit, know what I’m saying?”

Brian: “My name isn’t dude, and I don’t know what you’re saying.”

FNG: (giggles) “Sorry, I didn’t think it was a big deal, I’m just helping in the shop, know what I’m saying?”

Brian: “Again, I don’t know what you’re saying. And yeah, it’s kind of a big deal to me, and your paycheque.”

FNG: “Sorry, know what I’m saying?”

Brian: (Giving up on “know what I’m saying?”) “I’m gonna help you out. Remember these words.”

“IF YOU’RE EARLY, YOU’RE ON TIME.” “IF YOU’RE ON TIME, YOU’RE LATE.” “IF YOU’RE LATE, YOU WERE NEVER F—ING HERE.”

FNG: “That’s really cool, I’ll try to remember that.”

Brian: “Please do. Put your PPE on and get in the shop.”

Now, I’d love to tell you that I helped turn this guy’s life around and he is now an excellent roughneck and a model employee. Yep, sure would. I’m assuming FNG is employed at a business where being late is rewarded. Remember kids; rule number one is wake the f— up.

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Expect the job to be hard

A colleague of mine told me the other day, that a young man handed a resume to him and said; “I would like a job, but I don’t want too work hard.” (No lie, I really wish I was making this up) Needless to say, that resume was filed in the “NAFC” (not a F—ing chance) file. Starting a new job should be hard. It’s supposed to be. That’s why we call it work, and not “super-happy-fun-time.” Don’t be afraid of a challenge at your new job. “Embrace the Suck.” Your new employer will be impressed. I guarantee it.

Have a positive attitude

I cannot emphasize this enough. Show up; be happy to be where you are. You are an employee at a great company. Be thankful for the opportunity to learn new skills, and get paid to do it. You’re going to have bad days for sure, but do what you can to keep those to a minimum. Chief Tecumseh said, “Give thanks for the food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies within yourself.”

He was a very smart man, and his advice is as true today as it was then.

Expect to be criticized

Sorry to tell you this, but sooner than later you will be told you’re doing something the wrong way. (A regular occurrence for yours truly) Try to remember, criticism is a form of instruction. Not the best form of instruction, mind you, but instruction just the same. Don’t take it personally, take it and learn from it. Get better at the task. Remember, lots of people teach using criticism, and it’s a good way to learn. Don’t be a snowflake and melt. Be a piece of steel and use the criticism to forge you into something stronger.

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  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0024 Southern Bolt Katrina Southern Folk Rock Intro
  • 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
  • 0016 Estevan Meter Services
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0015 Latus Viro PO Ad 01
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
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Try

This should go without saying, but….. TRY. Try your best. You may not get it right the first time. Or second, third and fourth. (Don’t ask me how I know…) Turn try into do. Jump in. Don’t just stand there, help out. If nobody is giving direction, ask for a task. If they don’t have anything right then, show some initiative. Remember the old oilfield adage, “IF YOU HAVE TIME TO LEAN, YOU HAVE TIME TO CLEAN.” Grab a scrub brush, a rag or a broom. Get ‘er done.

Be Safe

Don’t forget this part. It should probably be number one, but here it is. If the company doesn’t tell you about the right to refuse unsafe work during the orientation, get up and leave. Go work for the guys that take safety seriously. But remember this; YOU are responsible for yourself. Keep your head up; listen to what the experienced guys tell you. They know, and trust me; they don’t want to see you get hurt. Or worse. Follow their lead and do as they ask, and you’ll be just fine. And you’ll able to count to ten without taking a boot off. (Don’t put your fingers where you wouldn’t put you’re……..uh… reading glasses….) A wise boss once said, “My job is to get you home rich. Getting home safe is on you.”

No Drama Lama

An old friend of mine recently reminded me of this. If he could pick the second-best trait of a good rig crew (the first one being doing the job safely), it would be no drama. Y’all know what I’m talking about here, ‘cause you see it in every facet of your life. It’s at home, on the news, and in your relationships. It belongs in the movies. But not at work. Especially if you’re the new guy. Leave the damn drama at home. When you see it starting up at the rig, just say to yourself, “I’m the no-drama-lama.” Kinda rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it? My granddaughter even has it on a tee-shirt.

  • 0025 Kendalls
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  • 0024 Southern Bolt Katrina Southern Folk Rock Intro
  • 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
  • 0016 Estevan Meter Services
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
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  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
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  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
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Have Fun

Most of us spend more of your waking hours at work than anywhere else. You will spend more time with your “work family” than your real family. So why be miserable? Laugh a bit, make fun of yourself. Tell a joke once in a while. Don’t berate or offend, but have fun. It’s important to your mental well-being. Take some joy in learning a new skill. When I learned to “throw pipe” in the derrick, I was pretty jacked up. Now there will be days where the “fun-meter” is way down near zero. But you can work past it. Don’t be the guy that brings everyone down, be the guy that raises everyone’s spirits, especially on the worst days.

Have a Positive Attitude

I know what ya’ll are thinking, “Is Brian getting forgetful?” “He already mentioned this.” Well, you are right on both counts. But this one is so important it bears repeating. Show up and be happy to be part of the team. If you come in the door with a great attitude, you will stand head and shoulders above the people with a poor attitude. Managers notice this. As a bonus, you will just feel better about life in general.

 

Well, there you have it. Not too complicated. Wake up, show up, try your best, be positive and of course, be safe. And have fun. And keep the drama on the Yellowstone Ranch. Life is too short to be walking around pissed off and sad all the time. Now go out there and get the best job, do your best work, and live your best life.

 

Brian Crossman is a partner at Independent Well Servicing in Estevan. Stop by the shop sometime and with a positive attitude, who knows? You may be working in the energy industry!

 

  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0024 Southern Bolt Katrina Southern Folk Rock Intro
  • 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
  • 0016 Estevan Meter Services
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0015 Latus Viro PO Ad 01
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002
  • 0001

 

Brian Zinchuk: My daughter is going into mechanics. You go girl!

Jim Warren: Rough patch for rewewables