Friday, August 23, 2013

Big Picture Driving


I pride myself on parking.  Specifically on back-in parking.

And being a person of the oilfield variety, for safety reasons, back-in parking is suggested and most often, required.

AND I am fortunate to have a rear-view camera installed on my truck, which makes back-in parking ALMOST painless.

I’m in the DFW area this week, and have been to many customer offices and parking garages.

Yesterday, I’m in a pretty tight multi-level garage, and people are coming around the corner at high rates of speeds.  Those two facts, observed by yours truly, led me to do the right thing.

(At least, I thought it was the right thing.)

I carefully backed into my parking space.  Plenty of space around me for the other vehicles’ ingress and egress, I gathered my belongings and went into the customer’s office.

A couple of hours later, I’m back at my vehicle.

And gasp! Shock! WHAT?

There is a piece of paper on my windshield.

My coworkers are laughing.  I'm not.

My first thought?  A ticket.  But for what?

Not a ticket.


And because their rule is for safety purposes, I can't even throw down the "big picture driving" rule.


It's never boring around here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bass Pro - The Multi-Dimensional Store

We had to make an ammo run to Bass Pro.

Which meant we had to check out the guns.  We HAD to, people.

And I looked up and saw this.  Which made me look again.

I'm all, "COOL!  Bass Pro is selling Bibles!"

And then, I realized...the books are for this.  I LOVE it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

College Seafood

Are all my posts referencing food?  That's what it seems like.  

Well, when I travel, I eat out.  And I see stuff.

Like this.

On the cover of the Pappadeaux menu last week.  Does this remind anyone of college days?

Funny, I thought Ramen Noodles came in little packets, used to be 10/$1.00 or something like that.

No more, people.  No more.

It's never boring around here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro...or Curses, Foiled Again

Last night, I had a client dinner date at Lonesome Dove Bistro.

Well, I had one scheduled, anyway.

My client’s wife fell ill, and we had to cancel, which I did through Open Table.  (Reservations and cancellations are super easy through that site!)

I ran errands, threw down  a little thirty minute shopping trip(girl in the city, you know) and then came back to the hotel to work on a presentation for another client.

And then, I clicked on The Lonesome Dove site to look at the menu.

Holy doves will coo.

That's it.  I'm going to go, even if I have to trip some unsuspecting soul on the street and take them with me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Changes in Temperature - Hormonal or No?

I dread one sporting clay shoot per year.  And I leave tomorrow to go shoot in it.  It's the DFW American Association of Drilling Engineers sporting clay shoot at the beautiful Dallas Gun Club.  Shooting?  FUN.  Usually.  

But's August.  There are a lot of trees.  And no breeze.  

And I am a hormonal woman.  Just saying.

This comment on a business email sent earlier today to a Pennsylvania client, and penned by moi, sums it all up.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Winner Winner Crab Claw Dinner!

Thursday night, after our National AADE Board meeting, we hosted a dinner at Bistecca, the steak house on the top floor of the Meadows Casino in Washington, PA.  

I had arranged my transportation so I would not have the liberty of gambling, or also staying too late losing money after the event.

Immediately after the meeting, though, we went to go buy our shotgun shells to get ready for the shoot the following day, so we lost track of our group.

When we made it back to the restaurant, we still had 30 minutes to burn.  About half of our group was out on the deck, imbibing.  The other half was in the cigar bar, imbibing.  Of the two, I chose the outside option - I can’t hang with cigar smoke, even residual.  And, I rarely drink.

My friend Tommy had dropped me off, and parked his truck.  Somehow, we missed each other. He called me and told me he was in the cigar bar, and that his wife and son should be walking in any minute.  I had not seen them in a year, so I went downstairs to meet them, and ran right into them.   We exchanged hugs, and Debbie went to the cigar bar to meet Tommy.  Daniel wanted to gamble, so I told him I would go with him for 15 minutes, on my terms only.  He agreed.  

He had no money, so I popped $500 out of the ATM, gave him $200, and off we went to the high limit slots.  

Daniel and I sat together on a bank of 4 machines, and plugged in our money.  Within 4 pulls, Daniel popped a $600 pot.  He started giggling, which inspired me to do the same.  Giggle, I mean.  

Daniel: I’m going to go cash out.  Let’s leave.
Janie:  You cash out, but you have to play that machine at least 4 more pulls.
Daniel:  Why?
Janie:  You never leave a machine while it’s hot.  We need to test it with at least 3-4 pulls.  Then we can leave.
Daniel:  Okay.  I’m going to go cash out.  Stay here.
Janie:  (when he came back)  Okay, put some money back in there.  
Daniel:  Okay.  

Three pulls later?  The munchkin wins $1200.  He starts laughing so hard, I laughed right along with him until I cried.  He had to sit there and wait on a payout (and a 1099).

I moved over to the other side of the same machine bank, and put in my money.

Three pulls later, I won $600, and played it up to:

And no 1099!!

We gambled less than our alloted 15 minutes, walked away winners.  And Daniel paid me back my stake.

Now, people, if you're going to gamble, that’s the way to play.  

In. Out. And QUIT.  Go do something really productive, like hang with friends.  And eat amazing crab claw appetizers.  Man...were they good!!!  As far as I'm concerned, Bistecca gets 5 stars for food, presentation, and service.  If you're ever in the area, go there!

And Daniel, his parents, and I giggled for the rest of the night!'s never boring around here!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Work Business, Shooting Business

It's hard enough for a desert girly to shoot where there are trees.  Compound it with hard driving rain, in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania?  And then try to add vendor business?

Not a good combination.  I'm glad Franklin has a good sense of humor.  And pardon my picture - can you tell I'm DRENCHED?

That's my shooting buddy Daniel in the background.  I always shoot with he, his dad Tommy, and John when I'm at the Appalachian Blast.  Fun stuff!

PS - Guys can look good no matter the weather.  Not. Fair. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Life in the Petroplex Just Got Funnier

Our town, Midland, Texas, has grown so much that the entire populace is groaning about all sorts of issues.  From the very basics of no groceries on the shelves to high rent and bad restaurant service, every business in the area is stretched.  And let's not even talk about horrible traffic and bad driving.

This is also the case for our neighboring town, Odessa, Texas.

One smart soul is making us all laugh about our issues, though.

A new Facebook Midland Meme page cropped up on August 4, 2013 and has already amassed some almost 20,000 likes in 7 days. AMAZING.

I have laughed so hard at some of the memes, I have cried.  The mysterious meme creator has definitely captured some of the facts about our fair city, as well as (insert evil laugh) those of Odessa, Texas.  Below is some of his/her work.

And POW! SMACK! Robin, you dork, you deserved this one.
True.  You go into a restaurant, see empty tables and wait 30 minutes due to lack of waitstaff.  
 Don't even ask me about the water.  We spend untold dollars on potassium for our water softener, regularly use our RO unit, AND buy bottle water.

One of the very best things about working in Midland, Texas is our tuned down work attire.  The young man on the right definitely epitomizes the attire of the majority of the young professionals here.  He looks great, and he's not gonna melt in the excessive heat.  And that's a good thing, right?

We went to the grocery store and got out within an hour.  Thought that was pretty good, considering the checkout lines were 5 baskets deep.  I saw a potential for a  fight to break out in a couple of the aisles, though, just due to cart traffic congestion and bad shopping manners.   
Oh, wait. Crap.
 That was me.

I hope this page grows and grows! Not a day goes by that I'm not hit in the face by some funky reality due to our overpopulation, and this page will help me keep everything in perspective AND laughing.  I am proud to be employed in the oil industry that birthed this situation...and proud of the creator of Midland Memes.

Bravo, Midland Memes.  Bravo!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Work and Fun In The OilPatch of the Marcellus Shale

Just returned from a great trip to the wonderful P of A...I love that state!

My new boss flew us up in his jet, we were super busy with appointments and sales calls, which I LOVE! Thursday afternoon,  I attended the National Board meeting for the American Association of Drilling Engineers.

This meeting was, wonderfully, followed the next day by the AADE Appalachian “Blast”, the Appalachian AADE’s sporting clay tourney benefiting the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.  We did have a blast.  The tourney was held at Hunting Hills Gun Range in Hunting Hills, Pennsylvania.  Beautiful.

It was the first time I ever shot sporting clays in hard, pouring rain.  Vendors manned stations, and cooked all sorts of good food: bacon-wrapped quail, jambalaya, bacon-wrapped scallops, pulled pork deep fried egg rolls, and much more.  I have mentioned that the drilling group likes to eat, haven't I?  Well, we do!

The shoot was really fun, even with all the rain!  I shot at 9 am, and by 6 p.m. when we arrived at our friends’ house, I was still soaking wet.  

I learn something on every trip.  Here are my discoveries from this one:

  • If you’re traveling in a private jet, it pays to have superb pilots.  Especially when they’re trying to land between two huge thunderstorms, and the tower gives them clearance on a runway where another plane is trying to take off.  Thanks, y’all - good eye!  You’re amazing!
  • If you have to travel on business, having good friends in the area makes your trip super sweet.  My friends John and Suzan are amazing.  It was so fun to hang with them, and I learned to play the domino game “Shoot The Moon”.  I didn’t do too badly at it, either! Love y'all. And tell Patches the kitty that the Wonderdogs went ballistic because she had been in my suitcase, haha!
  • I got to see my good friends Tommy, Deb, and Daniel.  I think of them, and start to giggle.  We had some really funny stuff happen.  Another story, another day!  Love you guys.
  • If you decide to buy ammo in Pennsylvania, especially if you’re buying for multiple people, plan ahead and locate your ammo dealer in that area.  Because you might have to buy multiple boxes instead of flats of ammo...and that’s IF they have any in stock.
  • If you're going to a shooting tourney and there's a good chance of rain, take (1) another change of clothes and (2) don't bother to fix your hair. Just wear a ball cap. You'll come out ahead and get 30 minutes extra sleep.
  • I only shot a 70/100.  I need to practice more.  Of course, I could always blame it on the trees.
  • If you’re traveling with your shotgun, be sure to take cleaning cloths, a cleaning snake, gun oil, etc.  I was woefully unprepared to properly clean my gun and protect it post shoot.  Hey, don’t be hating...I’m a desert chick.  It doesn’t rain out here, people. I clean my gun when I get home.  (Not this time!)
  • Corporate jets are the Way.To.Travel.  Yesterday morning, wheels up at 8:30 a.m. EST, home by 10:30 am CST.  Smooth, beautiful flight, great was awesome.  Did I mention I didn’t even have to pack my shotgun in a travel case?  Suhweeeeet.  Thanks, Bossman!

I love is so very beautiful.  And I LOVE the people, especially my compadres in the Oilfield. I cannot wait to go back.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want!

One of the coolest things that ever happened to me...our entire Pathways Class 308 wrote on each person's card...and we didn't get to see it until the end of the weekend.

You never know how people see you, really.  This was soooo encouraging.  The back of the card was just as powerful.

Love is all you need.  Have you loved on anyone today?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Somedoggy's Sporting New Gear - (The Little Heifer)

Sometimes, my Wonderdog Zanna borders on being a b****.  

Well, not in the literal sense of the word, because we had her fixed.  But, yeah.  

Zanna is one bossy little heifer.  She ALWAYS thinks she’s at Burger King, and she’s gotta have it her way.  If she wants something, needs something, or you know, just think you need to be m.o.v.i.n.g...she's in your face.

Zack?  He’s one laid back dude.  He’d just as soon snuggle up against someone - anyone - and just receive the love.  He’s happy.
Zack.  Mr. Laid Back.  (Unless he's hunting.)
Zanna is another story altogether.

She’s had a pretty rough day today.  We’re fighting skin allergies on her behalf, and her prescription Atopica has virtually stopped working.  She's been miserable. So we’ve been searching other remedies.

We gave her an Aveeno bath, and that seemed to help.  Put Eczema lotion on her, and that seemed to help.  We gave her a Benadryl, and that seemed to help.

She napped for a little bit and chilled out.  (Probably the Benedryl.) But when she woke up, she barked at me.
Zanna.  She looks sweet.  It's a joke.  I swear.  
I was doing something (constructive, I’m sure) and put her off for no more than a minute.  Then, I heard her chewing something.  I could tell by the sound it was an illegally obtained item.  Contraband.

It sounded hard and plastic-y.

I told you she was a little heifer.

She had gone into the bathroom, grabbed both her and Zack’s collars (which ThatManILove had not put back on post dog-showers) and had them in her mouth.

Zack’s is leather, so she ditched it for hers and promptly sheared it into two pieces. In less than one minute.
The prior collar.  How does she chew something in an almost straight line?


Thank God I had extras.

Friday, August 2, 2013

LinkedIn Request of Stupidity

I have quite a few connections on LinkedIn.  So many, that I've started culling the ones I really don't know, or the ones who are trying to connect to me to play the game "6 Degrees from Kevin Bacon."  And if you're a recruiter?  You. Are. Out.

Okay, I'm being facetious, but many people have contacted you on Linkedin, to get you to write a letter of introduction for them to another person you do know that is a Linkedin connection?

I bet I get 20 a month.

If I did that all the time, I wouldn't have time to do MY oilfield job!

We all need help to make connections, no doubt.  But do it in person, people!  The way I did!  Before the LinkedIn app!  (Okay, enough exclamation points.)

In most all of the "connect me to Kevin Bacon" requests, all it would take is for that requestor to (1) email the person he wants to meet or (2) stop by the office, repeatedly if necessary, until the door opens.  People really really really do like the personal touch.

And then, there are the people, who in real life, have either transgressed a boundary (doesn't happen often!), or flat-out done something so stupid you never ever wanna be seen around them, much less have a connection. 

This is what happened with this recent wanna-be oilfield request for connection.  And I screen shot it, and sent it to my brother, who happened to be around for this particular transgression of which I speak.  Or, of which I'm not speaking.   Dear Brother Scott advises me to report it to LinkedIn as spam.  Well, heck, I don't have to tell you that.  Look for yourself.

Needless to brother always makes me laugh.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Value of Mentoring - In and Out of the Oilfield

Last night, we had dinner with a former coworker.  It’s always a pleasure to hang with oilfield people...especially those that have been all over the world, excelled, and love doing what they do.

My friend is from Louisiana, and he has always included me in his business wherein we had mutual customer relationships, all over the nation.  We don’t see each other often, but when we do, we have a great time. It might be in this corner of the oil patch, or that corner in the northeast, or in California, but we have a great time.

Tonight, the topic around our dinner table focused on women in the oilfield.  We talked about him about hiring women as salespeople;  though it seems my friend has hired plenty of women salespersons, he seemed somewhat worried about the how “old guys” in the patch would treat them.

I was shocked at his worry.

As a new employee, either you have integrity and character, or you don’t.  It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, you have to hold the lines and walk with professionalism.  I realize there are blocks to ascertaining such in a person,  some imagined and some real.  I realize there are certain questions you cannot ask a new employee, but there should be methods of verifying via letters of reference, etc.  I mean, someone, somewhere, has to have a measure of knowledge about your potential employee.  It’s your job to check them out before you present that offer.  And then?  Mentor, mentor, mentor.

I believe that new salespeople need mentoring, no matter the industry.  You cannot impute knowledge, value, or negotiation.  Ditto about proper conduct.  These are learned skills. And in the oilfield, even more so.  It's a tough world out here in the patch.

Seasoned, successful people should be the ones to mentor.  A company shouldn’t  just randomly assign mentors.  It’s a matching process.  Factors need to be considered such as personalities, selling style, and individuality.  I also believe a person can have more than one mentor.  There should be some commonality and “clicking” between a new employee and their mentor - it’s got to be a good fit.  A good sign of a great mentoring relationship will be mutual respect.   Another could be shared values.  A good mentoring relationship would be give and take on both sides - so, rewarding to both mentor and mentoree.

A mentoree can have a formal mentor, and an informal mentor.

A mentor will help you gain trust.  A mentor can help define roles and responsibilities, establish short and long term goals and help the mentee meet them.  A mentor will help the mentee identify and solve problems, and be more creative doing so, while learning in a safe and supportive environment.  In short, a mentor can help an inexperienced employee develop and progress and succeed in their environment.

It’s a win-win deal for the employer, the mentor, and the mentee.

But, I digress.   There remains a huge percentage of men vs. women in the energy industry. That gap is starting to narrow somewhat, and I’m glad to see it.  No matter the gender, I love it when new people enter this industry and grow to love it, themselves.   I have been in the oil and gas industry for almost 30 years.  I love this industry, and I tell everyone, though I’m 3rd generation oil and gas, this industry chose me.  I'm so very thankful it did.

I love the people, the technology, and the sense of family.  And I love that what I do helps people live well. 

May it be so for all of the newbies out there. 

May it be so.