Wednesday, December 3, 2008

drilling sounds nice...

At heart, I am sort of a wimp.

In my environmental consulting career, I've proven to be reliable, able to think my way through tricky situations, and capable of working independently. So I advanced into field management situations, and then project management situations. And I like being capable and learning new stuff. But in reality, I completely stress out when I'm outside my comfort zone. I think I hide it pretty well, and I'm publicly up for whatever is thrown at me, but sometimes I wonder if it's worth it.

I know someone who's a terrific scientist, well-respected in a couple of fields, and who got himself a drill rig and now he's a driller. And I think, wouldn't that be nice? To simply go from job to job, be outside, and not have all this responsibility?

I'm not talking about conventional rigs. I am really too small to hoist the casing that conventional drillers can pick up practically one-handed. I am also not especially mechanically inclined. But direct push technology (DPT) rigs can be handled by anybody, and the only female driller I know does run a DPT rig.

Ok, so maybe I'd get bored, or exhausted, or start to talk back to clients who don't have a clue what they're doing, tell me to do the wrong thing, and are out there with me all day so I can't escape them (yes, I do recognize some of myself in this, especially when I was first working). But the real reason I haven't run off to join a drilling company is that I like doing science - figuring out what's actually happening underground. God help me, I even like writing reports. So I'll stay in consulting, but I'll always sort of envy the drillers.

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