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Any other ex or current oil industry workers?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by deckofficer, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. deckofficer

    deckofficer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Northern & Southern California
    When member jstepy was on the verge of taking delivery of his P85D he started a thread in Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery with a thread that he titled "PLEASE DON'T HATE ME! - I work for BIG oil but..."

    Even though buried in a Model S sub forum, I was a bit surprised at how many here either works or did work in the oil industry.

    Here is my back story, are there others?

    Ironically it was my working in the oil industry that sparked my interest in EVs 15 years ago. In the 1990's I jumped ship from container ships to dynamically positioned offshore oil exploration drilling rigs. I worked for Noble Drilling at the time of early deep water drilling when this industry had a dire need for USCG Unlimited Tonnage deck officers and engineers because for the first time their rigs were classified as vessels and by international laws require manning by licensed mariners.

    Talk about taking a job with a lot of animosity from your new co-workers. I had no idea that there was such a mind set among these folks. For every position from roustabout to driller and rig manager, you paid your dues. Needless to say, even though they needed me and my license, they sure weren't inviting to anyone that didn't pay these dues by starting as a roustabout.

    Keeping my eyes open during this employment, it didn't take long for me to see how this industry works, treats people and ecology, and their action with governments. After 5 years I went back to ships and at the same time starting to experiment and build EVs.

    So it was the oil industry that woke me to electric transportation. You would never find a visionary like Elon in this industry as the powers to be have no social conscience, greed is their mantra.

    Off soapbox now, but I have some experience with Big Oil, and didn't like it.
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Central Valley
    I think your personal experience with Big Oil is representative of many cultures within a lot of industries and bureaucracies. It is sort of a tribal mentality that the group becomes insular and distrusting of anyone who has not come up through the ranks. This then becomes the "us vs. them" mindset.

    Many of these individuals have had limited life experiences outside their trade. Their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and close friends are all within the group. They do not socialize with people from different lifestyles or educational backgrounds. It is all they know, and they have no truck with alternative ideas or modern thinking. They view every suggestion or question as a personal affront. They fear change unless they can see personal gain.

    I have had a couple of career moves where I was hired to organize the accounting department at growing companies and implement internal controls, policies, procedures for all the sub-systems in order to do all the mundane tasks of running the administrative side of a business. The "long-time trusted" bookkeeper with her assistants viewed me as a threat to their jobs even though I made it patently clear that their jobs were not in jeopardy--I was just trying to make their jobs easier and more efficient. Checks and balances that I implemented were perceived to be a bold statement of personal distrust. No amount of explanation or persuasion ever convinced these people that internal controls and procedures in place for review and approval, separation of duties, etc. were designed to make sure that no one person would have absolute control over the assets of the business--in effect taking that enormous load of trusting in one person and spreading it out among all of us.
     
  3. deckofficer

    deckofficer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Northern & Southern California
    cpa,

    Even though you stated to that bookkeeper that you weren't a threat to her job, she is going to feel otherwise. In my case, with zero experience in drilling and exploration, I wasn't a threat to anyone's job but instead was a guarantee of their job. The drill rig couldn't even be on station, let alone working without license holders on board. The animosity was purely punitive to an outsider that didn't pay their dues, work up through the ranks to a compensation level on par with their most senior and experienced, the rig manager. For me this was a mid life career change. I went back to school in my mid 40's to California Maritime Academy, graduated 3rd in my class and was courted by many recruiters. Unlike the other graduates in my class that were 25 years my junior, time for advancement was a higher priority for me. The oil exploration companies were in a bind not having from their own ranks any licensed personal that would allow their foray into deep water exploration. My choice at graduation was commercial shipping and assignment as a 3rd mate via MM&P (Masters, Mates, and Pilots) or offshore self propelled deep water drill rigs. To be able to upgrade my license from 3rd mate to 2nd required 1 year of seatime and further tests, and repeat for the 2nd to 1st mate, and again for Master. Going through the union this would take 10 years at least to reach Master because of both the union hall placements don't keep you constantly working and seatime is based on the (2) 4 hour work shifts each day. The oil industry was able to accelerate this because of their need and lack of staffing. Work shifts were 12 hours per day, so the time frame to Master would be much less than on ships. Problem was Noble Drilling and others didn't educate their personnel as to the key role the maritime employees would be playing for this new deep water work. I have thick skin so lasted just shy of 5 years, so wasn't vested before being "run off" the rig, a common practice.

    I'm still a bit bitter, but boy do I feel better with what the future will be with the mass adoption of electric cars. Karma, in my book.
     

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