I got a good bunch of comments on my last post.
Just to clarify, 99% of the drillers I've worked with have been fine to work with.
I'm perhaps pickier than many geologists when I'm watching a rig, but I'm generally following a long list of procedures that were designed to prevent safety issues, collect a good sample, and/or construct a well that will "behave" as well as possible over the long term. And I haven't met a driller who did every single thing I wanted the first time.
That's fine. And I will bend on certain things, and I'm amenable to suggestions. I'm not going to make the mistake of telling the driller exactly what to do, because that gets into the whole "well, then you do it" argument.
But I have had bad experiences, with drillers who won't take any direction, who are unable to keep a lid on their racist/sexist/horrifically off-color commentary (trust me, this is more than your standard salty language), and who generally make life miserable. And whom I've been completely unable to compel to behave.
In this sort of situation, appeals to a higher authority (i.e. the drilling company management) tend to work only if you're presenting an ultimatum, i.e. get me a new driller or I'm shutting this job down. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but I've never escalated things that far.