March 4, 2013

Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs: She Thinks I am a Piano Player in a Whorehouse Book Review and Why it Relates to Me

“The characters you meet in the oil field are unbelievable- from full-on rocket scientists with multiple ivy league degrees and a keen interest in painting miniature 16th century military figurines on the their bunks, to billy-bob the brain dead ex-con whose misspelled jailhouse tatts, fart jokes and new truck back home are all he can talk about.  Put a combination of twenty guys like that in a random backwater bar in some god forsaken corner of the world miles from anywhere remotely civilized, throw in a civil war, a donkey, some festering prostitutes and anything could happen.  And I think that’s why it’s so addictive- not the drilling, not the job, definitely not the food, but the people and the situations you meet them in…”
-Paul Carter, after taking a break from the rigs to spend 3 months working in the bustling city of Sydney for an advertising firm.  

If I were to write a book about my work-life balance, it would very much resemble Paul Carter's Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs: She Thinks I am a Piano Player in a Whorehouse.  Much similar to my own experiences working in mines across the world, Carter's travel and work memoir depicts the bizarre life of an expatriate oil driller.  From shootouts in Nigeria to emergency evacuations from Borneo, Carter’s stories summon the wild and adventurous but he concedes that what make the experiences worthwhile are the characters he shares them with.  Whether it be mining or oil and gas, the people required to make a functioning operation often mix like salad in a shoe store.  And I must agree that it makes going to work in the morning worth it.  I get to hear stories every day from wild pig hunters, motocross rally racers, 24 hour mountain bike racers, good ole fashioned pub goers, spear fisherman, former NASA project managers, sailors, hippies who handle explosives and go to burning man festivals, national recognized pistol shooting experts, Bali birthday partiers, and guys who fly to Thailand on break to be with their wives.  And ultra marathon running homeless dudes who live in the back of Hyundai’s.  Yes, you get it all here.  The book is worth a quick read just for the stories and sense of adventure these reckless oil drillers live for.  


Speaking of crazy miners.  15 miners were fired for performing this version of the Harlem Shake at an underground gold mine in Western Australia.  

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