As I was sitting there by myself at dinner, one of the guys came over towards me with his tray, and I thought of how badly I didn’t want anyone to sit with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the guy, he’s a real nice fella; I just want to eat in silence, then go back to my room and write for a couple of hours, seeing as Mrs. B is already asleep. Oh good, he sat with those people, the heat’s off. I guess I figure that I have to talk to them when they sit with me. I get to listen to their bitching and whining about how her husband is a lazy prick, or his wife is banging another guy when he’s gone. I don’t care! I really don’t give a shit. If I was them, I’d want to be away from people like that too. I’ve got an amazing woman waiting patiently for me to get home, and that’s all I’m giving a shit about at supper. Usually, I eat fast, and then have twenty minutes or a half hour, before she goes to sleep. Tonight, I lucked into a webcam for a broken up fifteen minutes. SCORE!!! So forgive me if I don’t make small talk while I’m eating. There’s a reason I find an empty table.
I didn’t always think or act like such an asshole. I remember always sitting with the crew at supper, and then after supper we’d go back to someone’s room for a beer or two, and shoot the shit some more. There was one camp we were in, that Aaron and I shared half of a wet sleeper. That was great; he had the stereo, I had the playstation and the jeopardy game. We had Express-vu and a beer fridge too, so some of the other guys would come over and have a few drinks, and play some cards or whatever with us. It was pretty sweet, and sure made camp life better for a couple of single guys. We even had in camp entertainment when “Randy” (remember him from this story?) and his buddy took a truck to town, got some weed and got hammered, then drove the company truck back to camp, and Randy broke his ankle. I can’t remember if they were wrestling, or what, but somehow he busted it. He then went to bed and slept through his alarm in the morning. When the foreman got him up, he said he broke it getting out of bed, and tried to go on comp. The problem was that the stupid bastard told everyone he had broke it the night before. NO COMP FOR YOU!!!
Things have changed a lot now. Most camps don’t allow booze, and the oil companies surely don’t; that added to the facts that we aren’t single anymore, and there are way too many cocky kids around, make it not so enjoyable. I can only remember once or twice that we had more than a few toddies before signing off, and we always worked the next day. Well, Calvin may have had more than a few, but we won’t hold that against him, he’s a better operator hungover, than a lot of guys are sober. Those really were the good old days for me; when you worked for however many weeks, and then got to town for a dandy little piss up. The nice thing was the camaraderie in the crew, and that made it so that you were just hanging out with your buddies, even when you were in camp. You wouldn’t think twice about going for drinks with these guys, whether you were in town, or working.
It’s sure not like that now. If there’s even a hint of booze or dope, you are finished. They don’t put up with anything anymore, unless you end up at Lennox Camp, or somewhere like that. They don’t allow it, they just don’t pry, or try to find any, as long as you aren’t being an arsehole about it. This place will boot you, even if you just try to sneak a cigarette in your room. There were a couple of “ladies” here that found out, but I’m going to ask Chin to write that one up. He knows the story, and probably a few others. He’s in the know around here. They will also kick you out for having sex with a calf moose, but like they’re ever going to catch me. I’m way too smart for that.
I just got word that we might be coming back up here after all, so Chin and I will keep our fingers crossed. They should have enough work to take us into February I hope. As much as I’m in constant fear of getting booted for a leak or drip from the truck, I’m also looking at things in a different light. I find myself getting used to putting on my PPE before jumping out of the truck, and I’m always looking out for dangerous situations and thinking things through, before I jump into something. We had a safety stand down today, because a welder got a piece of slag in his eye. Imperial shut the job down, and we got paid for about two hours to sit through a discussion about how we can protect our eyes, and how much we need them. Most people were interested, and they participated. The guy in front of me played tetris on his phone, and scoffed at every suggestion they made. That seemed weird, because he was a welder, and at the most risk of it happening to him. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that meeting cost them over $10000 in wages and lost production, just so they could try and teach us a way to protect ourselves from going blind. I think that’s pretty commendable, and I listened, even though I run little risk of an eye injury in my job. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen though, so I try to remember my safety glasses, every time I get out of the truck.
I wouldn’t mind being back in this camp again. There are definitely worse ones out there, and the food is good, so what the hell? It’s better than gambling on a better camp, because there’s only a 25% chance you’ll get one, and Imperial/Flint look after us very well. It’s pretty nice to not have to scrounge around in a pair of ripped gloves, because Kramer lost one of your new ones. You just go and ask for a new pair of gloves, and they ask you what kind you need. If you lose a cleat in the snow somewhere, they will get you a new pair. It’s pretty awesome, and I don’t see too many people taking advantage of them, by getting enough for everyone’s xmas present. They really spare no expense on safety, or the environment, so that is a really big deal for me. I’ve worked on too many jobs where grease tubes got buried in the road we were building, whatever garbage got thrown under an overlap of filter cloth, or you sprayed diesel all over your dump box, so that the clay didn’t freeze to the sides. I know that half the time, that is the same thing that happens at the dump, but it just always made me feel bad when I was a party to it, and didn’t do or say anything to stop it.
Sorry Earth, you don’t deserve what we do to you on a daily basis. On a happier note, we now have fourty subscribers. Yay, that makes me feel good. That means that fourty people get an email when something gets posted, and you can customize by category, which ones you do or don’t want. I can’t believe that that many people want to hear what we have to say, or maybe they just have no life, and will read anything, just to have something to make fun of. God, you people are cruel. Why are you so mean to me, when I haven’t done anything to you?
You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning, and let her know you think about her when you’re gone,
P.S. Becki and Amber, that song was playing at the Baltimore arena, and I held your hands during my first time public skating. I loved Amber, and was so happy that you guys were going to come tobogganing with us. Yeah, I lived in the sticks, and my best friend was a Walker hound. What of it?