Tag: North Dakota

Run Off – Losing a Job on the Oil Field

No one gets fired from the oil field, except for a failed drug test. If you show up and work, as far as dispatch cares, you can keep your job. No one will call you into the office and give you a talking to for bad behavior or laziness. They don’t give a shit how bad you are. Dispatch put the bodies in the field and the field can take care of itself. And the field does. Because in the oil patch, on a job location, sixty miles from the office, a different set of rules apply, and they are about as kind and as fair as nature’s. If men don’t believe you can do a good job, if they think for any reason that your ignorance, laziness, or ineptitude will put them or anyone around them in danger, or even if they just don’t like your face – just for the fun of it – they will run you off. They will do everything in their power to make your life such a living hell that you will go home one day and you will not come back. They will replace you with someone else and good fucking riddance. We do not want you, we do not need you. You are a worm, you always were and you always will be. So, go home and worm, you fucking worm.

The Good Hand
Michael Patrick Smith

See also: Safety Tips from the North Dakota Oil Field

Safety Tips from the North Dakota Oil Field

Mobile housing units, tanks, trailers, and chunks of the rig litter location. It is unusual for a rig move, but the company in control of drilling operations moved some of its own material before hiring us to complete the job. We stroll around the pieces, investigating the tools. The Wildebeest points at things that could kill me.
“See that cable there?”
“Yeah,” I say.
“That snaps. It’ll swing back and whack you clean in half.”
“Oh.”
“Fucking kill you.”
“Right.”
A few steps later, “See that bucket of grease there?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Better not get that on you. Hell, no. Breathe that shit for too long . . .”
“Yeah?”
“Fucking kill ya.”
He points at what looks like a winch. “That’s called ‘the dead man,’” he says. “They use it to lower a tool. It goes miles into the ground. To make sure the drill string is going straight down. I once saw a guy get pulled through there. When they carted him out, he was this big around.” He makes a circle with his hands the size of a football.
“Fucking killed him,”
I say. “Oooaahhhhyyyeeaaaahh.”

The Good Hand
Michael Patrick F. Smith