Job · March 16, 2023

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs – Oil rig workers exposed to make job safer: Footage – Health News Tommy Crean saw a man die while working on a Gulf oil rig and went right back to work. Then the oil company decided that in order to make the workplace safer, the roughs should share their feelings.

Tommy Crean with his horse Lady at home in Meaux, La. Crean spent 26 years working on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. While working on the Ursa project, he was part of a program designed to get workers to open up emotionally to each other. Edmund D. Fountain hide caption

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

Tommy Crean with his horse Lady at home in Meaux, La. Crean spent 26 years working on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. While working on the Ursa project, he was part of a program designed to get workers to open up emotionally to each other.

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The men who worked on the oil rigs lived by certain rules. They were tough. They worked in any conditions. They didn’t ask questions. That’s been the case for as long as 60-year-old Tommy Crean, who started working on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico at age 15, can remember.

Back then, it wasn’t uncommon to see someone die on an oil rig. Crean remembers the death of one man who had just finished his shift. He was standing by a huge pipe that workers had twisted into the ground and held in place with a handle. The man kicked the handle and the tension in the tube was released. It grabbed the man’s ankle as it thrashed around.

“In about three seconds, it spun him around 80 times,” Crean says. There was a pole a few feet from the man, and “his head hit that pole like a rotten tomato.”

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

They were given 15 minutes to grieve after watching their friend and colleague die, but that was it. “I think the hole cost a lot of money,” he says. “We have to go to work.”

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Although the men faced the risk of death every day, Crean says they never showed any vulnerability. This made the work even more dangerous, because the men did not ask for help, did not admit if they were not up to a certain job.

But in the 1990s, oil companies began exploring in much deeper waters — more than 3,000 feet below the gulf’s surface. This meant completely new challenges in terms of logistics and technology.

In 1997, Shell began construction on the Ursa deepwater platform, a $1.45 billion behemoth that would stand 48 stories tall and, when completed, be the world’s deepest offshore well. Rick Fox, head of assets at Ursa, says that pulling off something this massive was a struggle beyond anything they had ever attempted. He says something needs to change if Ursa was built and operated safely.

“We had to look at the organization and see if we could do something better,” says Fox. “And who knew what it would reveal?”

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Then Fox got a call from a woman named Claire Nuer. She was a management consultant, holocaust survivor, and devotee of California’s New Age circles. She had heard about the seemingly insurmountable project, and she said she could help. When Fox started talking about technical issues like drilling schedules, she stopped him. She said he wasn’t dealing with his real problem: his fear. She said the Fox needed changes for Ursa to work and in how men dealt with their feelings.

It wasn’t easy. These men were raised to be guided by the facilities, both at work and at home. Fox raised her son Roger with it, though it interfered with their relationship. Roger remembers the first time he heard the term “Phillips screwdriver” when his father asked him to get one.

“I wasn’t going to say, ‘Hey, Dad… I don’t know what you’re talking about,'” says Roger Fox. “So I went to the store to look for something, I had no idea what it was and I felt stuck because I didn’t want to be vulnerable.”

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

Shell’s Ursa rig, located 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, was the largest in the world when it was completed in 1999. Phil Carter/Courtesy of Shell hide caption

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“We’re guarded. We’re scared. We’re so angry at each other because we can’t really see each other,” says Fox’s son Roger now.

Nuer believed that management problems have much more to do with internal problems than with the things usually taught in business school. In her opinion, by creating an environment where people support each other, they could make a big contribution. For people to make such significant changes, it helped to involve not only their colleagues, but also their family members.

Fox was moved by Nuer and convinced his son Roger to attend one of her seminars with her in California. There is a recording from that time where Roger tells his father that he has no tolerance for weakness. “Yeah, that would be me,” Fox replies. “Roger, you know, I take this very seriously. It’s ruined a lot of our good times together.”

Fox says the session worked. This changed his relationship with his son. He thought that if Nuer could overcome 18 years of family tension, then she might be just what he needed for the Ursa project.

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Over the next year and a half, while the Ursa was being built, Fox had more than a hundred oil rig workers come to Shell’s headquarters in New Orleans. A company of Nuer and other groups arrived and made the men go through a series of exercises to open them up.

George Horn was one of those men. He was incapable of sharing. “This has nothing to do with the oil field. What is it for?” he says. Many men felt the same way. One exercise asked them to draw their family and personal timelines and stand in front of the group and talk about it.

“They started telling the story of their lives, and some of them aren’t really happy,” Horn says.

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

The men told stories of failed relationships and alcoholic parents. They talked about how they were hungry as children. “It felt vulnerable. You put your personal life out there for everyone to hear and for everyone to see,” says Horne.

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Once one man did it, others followed. They dug deeper and deeper. Tommy Crean, who had a tough reputation, broke down and cried in front of the group as he spoke about his son’s terminal illness. “I cried like a baby,” he says. “And no one has ever come up to me and said, ‘Oh, you big crier.’ “

The sessions were long and intense. The men did the exercises from 6 in the morning to 11 in the evening. Mark Gatlin, one of the workers, says one of Ursa’s leaders completely shut down during the session.

“I think through exhaustion or a constant, you know, diving emotion kind of thing. He completely forgot — he just woke up and said, ‘Where am I?’ ” Gatlin says. The man forgot his name, who he was—everything. They sent him to a doctor and he recovered.

Some men had to come face to face and ask questions like, “If there was one thing you could change about me, what would it be?” Gatlin says he’s heard some pretty rude responses: “I’ve had people tell me I’m not listening. I’ve had some people tell me, ‘You talk too much.’ I would say, “Tell me more.” “

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Gatlin says he began to understand things about himself that he had never noticed before. The men learned about each other and themselves. Later, they learned about the safe operation of an oil platform. Harvard Business School Professor Robin Ellis and Stanford Professor Debra Meyerson began studying Fox and Nuer’s experiment.

, Ely and Meyerson write that the men had changed. By allowing themselves to become vulnerable to each other, they had changed “their understanding of who they were and could be as men.”

Ely says that as men become more open with their feelings, other communication has started to flow more freely. “Part of being safe in that environment is being able to admit mistakes and be open to learning — to say, ‘I need help, I can’t pick this thing up by myself, I don’t know how to read it.’

How To Get A Job On The Oil Rigs

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