Tuesday, December 2, 2008

big party - not for you

If you do a lot of fieldwork, you may become invisible to the other folks back at the office. Out of sight, out of mind.

I spent over a year on a particular project several hours from the office. I wasn't in charge of the field effort, but most of the work needed from 1 - 4 geologists and I ended up staying on while other folks came and went as needed. Because I was there almost the entire time (I did get pulled off the job for a week or two at a time when some other project had dire need of a geologist) I became the field leader's primary gofer when I wasn't actively watching a drill rig. The two of us spent 60 hours a week for essentially a year and a half at this field site.

At one point, things quieted down while we were ramping up for a new phase of work and the folks in the office were putting out a big report. We had a single drill rig that I was watching, and the field leader was running around trying to prep for an onslaught of people and fieldwork. We got a phone call that went something like this:

office buddy: "So, what did you guys get?"
field leader: "...?"
office buddy: "The project manager just threw this huge party to thank everybody who worked so hard on this project. We all gorged ourselves and basically took the afternoon off."
field leader: "What about us? You know, the people out here busting our asses in this miserable rain?"
office buddy: "I think I'm the only one who remembered you guys are out there."

We did shame the project manager into sending us a care package, so that was something.

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