Friday, 25 July 2008

Best Laid Plans

Last I wrote, I was not sure about Actinia or Tamil Nadu. Just a few minutes till end of my working day on 16th July .. I received a work email containing my plane ticket for Diu. Diu is an island in Gujarat state and it’s the stopover from where I would board the chopper to Actinia. Thank God I don’t really have to pack anything special for the rig.. just some baggy tops and baggy pants.. enough personal items to last me 40days and I am good to go. So, I went home, got my stuff ready, I was going to have a long lie in till late morning the following day since my plane for Diu does not leave till 1pm. That was when I got a call from my “cell manager” at around 11pm. (Cell manager is the person who is in charge of the job when we are on the rig) The conversation goes something like this:

CM: “Tola.. were you sleeping already”
Me: “No.. I was just about to sleep”
CM:”Ahh.. very good.. Tola.. I need you to go to the office tomorrow morning before going to the airport. We need some supplies for the job we are going for”
(Right now.. am thinking.. WTF!! I have to wake up at 6am to get the 7am bus to the office.. get all the supplies approved by my manager who does not get to the office till 9am.. then I need to make arrangements to leave from the office to the airport.. all this while.. I am slugging my rig bag around wit me…tchiew! This babe no go kill me.. I don tire already and I never even reach rig..)
Me: “Sure.. no problem.. what are the things we need..”
CM: “We need some gloves.. 5 packets..boot CD’s for the MCMP machine.. Kopr Kote.. Geolograph Pulley.. (she sha listed a whole load of things for me)

By now.. I was already frowning.. I will be packing excess luggage before I leave Mumbai.. But just for the sake of peace and because I know from experience that all these things are truly essential for us to run the job.. I quickly closed my eyes and slept enough to get to the office on the 7am bus. I managed to get all the items approved and packaged in the extra rig bag I was carrying. Mr Santosh organized a car to take me to the airport but first, we would have to stop at another clients office to drop some stuff. The place was at “ Eleven High” (Just imagine this being said with thick Indian accent). Who the fuck calls a place eleven high? Tchiew. We sha reached this eleven high of a place and dropped the stuff off. By now, it was already 11am and there was some serious traffic with one hour to go till the airport. I sha managed to make it to the airport on time. Only to get to the baggage scan for them to find the two tubs of Kopr Kote in my check-luggage. Now they started asking me for “material manifest” they didn’t want to check in the stuff cos they were afraid that the thing would be flammable and my flight leaves in 45 mins. Abge make una drop this shit. I really don’t think my manager will be happy with me missing two flights in the space of two months. I gave them the kopr kote for them to confisticate or use to butter their bread for breakfast. Which ever one they want to do.

One hour and a double landing later, I was in Diu airport. This airport was amazing not because of the physical appearance but for the fact that when the plane was landing, I was actually thinking we were going to land on the sea.There is a beach right in front of the airport and it’s the first thing you see of Diu. There was a client rep waiting for us. He quickly informed us there was only room for one on the chopper. The CM was going and I would be spending a night in Diu. No problems.. I quickly ran out of the airport with my everly present camera to take some pictures of the beach. I even made some friends who were very happy to see a black person with weird hair running around the beach with a camera.. Lol..

The hotel where I spent the night wasn’t bad at all.. I can’t even pronounce the name of the hotel but its supposed to be one of the best hotels around and it cost lest than 60 USD for the night. By the following day, I’d made it onto the chopper and hence my breakout job began.

Day one was uneventful, our tools were yet to arrive, we had to do some minor Rig-up but no big deal. Then by the second day when we got the tools, we had to prepare the tools, program, load batteries and every sort of shit associated with preparing the tools. Being the least senior of the crew, I was left with all the shitty jobs. You know when you have a very junior person in the office and that person was left to do shit work-indian style? Now that’s what I’m talking about. My shift is supposed to be like 12hrs but I ended up doing 14-15hrs shifts.. I was always bone tired.. I only had enough time to sleep, eat and bathe.

So we are about to hit the target for the first section of the well. We have drilld about 1200m of the well and I am hearing there will be a week’s break before we have to start drilling the second section. Just this morning around 11am when I was about to finish my shift, the company rep called to say that someone from our company would have to go back to Diu and wait as standby. The rig only has a capacity for 100 people and they need more space. Being the least senior person in the crew.. I was asked to get ready for the chopper in 3hrs. I didn’t really want to leave because I needed to be here for when the tools were brought back to the surface. There are certain things I need to do/see in order to accomplish the competencies I need for my promotion. But who gives a damn about all that shit? Apparently not my manager! When its time to discuss business, nobody takes your development into consideration.. I quickly showered.. ate.. got ready.. even did my helicopter briefing. That was when this ABAMI (abnormal) weather decided to start being a bitch. Heavy rains started all of a sudden, less than 10ft visibility. Shuwo! This is a very serious matter o! It seems like the gods of BHA-laydown are indeed on my side. (BHA-Laydown is what we say when our tools are coming back to the surface of the hole) Tomorrow being a Saturday, the heli-base in Diu is closed and the next chopper will not be coming out till Sunday. The radio officer is still insisting that there will be a chopper.. until the announcement came.. the chopper had to turn around on its way here due to bad weather.. I quickly went to unpack my stuff..

Next thing I know.. I’m in my bed and the radio operator is making an announcement for my name.. He’s telling me not to unpack my bags because the chopper may still be coming out later this evening.. did I offend someone? Its been almost 18hrs already and I still haven’t had any sleep.. So.. I told him that I will keep my bags ready, and I will have some sleep.. if the chopper is coming.. they send someone to come and wake me up.. Finish..

About 30 minutes later, my name is allover the intercom. “Tolantino.. Please contact the radio room” Say wetin happen again o! These people no go gree me rest? I don tire for all dem misinterpretation/misinformation. If I don’t leave this rig today, I will be working from 12 midnight till 12 noon tomorrow.. and its already 4pm and I still haven’t slept! Tchiew! I am totally irritated at this point. So I contacted the radio room only to hear that the chopper has now been cancelled and the next chopper will be on Sunday (two days from now) By that time, our tools will be on surface, and I would have achieved all the competencies I need for my promotion. I am not pissed off that I am staying.. I am only pissed off because I could have been sleeping for the past 4.5hrs and now I only have 7.5hrs before my shift starts.. But either way.. I am just very thankful.. things have a way of working out for the best.. So, all I need to do is publish this post on this mega-slow internet connection, eat some dinner/lunch and get some sleep. Yea, I also need to now re-unpack my bags.. tchiew!


pink gloves said...

Darling pele. I feel u on the sleep bit. I can imagine, that irritates the crap out of me too.

Sounds like DUi is a vacation spot.
See ehen i need to tour India with u oh. lol.

aloted said...

pele o...u sound tired & pissed in ur post and i totally feel u... sleep time should not be disturbed at all!!

anyway so where r u now o? ajala

Naapali said...

you lead a life that is not ordinary.