An Unexpected Amount of Snow and Hiking

We don’t always get what we want; that’s a given in life, and something that we should all really have learned by the time we’re in elementary school. But sometimes it’s not about what we want so much as what we’ve come to expect, and when what we expect turns out to be outrageously different from the reality, moods can darken very quickly.

You sacrifice quite a few things when you work as a fly-in, fly-out employee, but there are a few things that you come to expect when you’re doing the same kind of work on each new job. As a DCS commissioning technician, for example, I’ve come to expect to be working at a control console (i.e. a computer that can run the plant), in a nice, environment-controlled room that I pop into right off the bus, where I have easy access to things like a bathroom and a kettle to make hot drinks, and I’m outside the main plant so I can wear my everyday clothes and generally be pretty comfortable.

But, as you have probably established from the first paragraph of this post, I don’t always get what I expect.

The job I’m on right now has been a series of culture shocks for me over the past week. Right off the bat, my work station is not in a nice, comfortable control room; it is smack dab in the middle of the plant, in an electrical building that doesn’t have the heat hooked up yet and is surrounded by snow on all sides. Said building is also a ridiculously long walk from the lunch trailer where we take our breaks; every time I walk to or from it’s approximately 3/4 of a kilometer, meaning that I’m walking about 8 kilometers a day…not necessarily a bad thing, but unexpected when you have a desk job. The nearest bathroom is also in a wash car about 1/4 of a kilometer away, and since I’m in the field I don’t have access to a kettle while I’m working, so no hot drinks. Oh, and because I’m physically “in the field”, I have to wear full personal protective gear at all times, which means steel-toed boots, thick, fire-rated coveralls, work gloves, safety glasses, and a hard-hat. Did I mention that this is a desk job?

My new "filing paperwork" get-up.
My new “filing paperwork” get-up.

Now, it’s not like all of this isn’t manageable, and I’m getting paid well enough that I could put up with a hell of a lot worse. It’s just been a little difficult to get used to the situation being essentially the exact opposite of what I expected it to be. So while I won’t be running around screaming, “I can’t work under these conditions!”, just don’t ask me how the weather is out here for the next couple of months, okay? ^_~

How’s your week been going? 😛

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