Friday, May 1, 2009

consulting = $$$?

In college, I was under the impression that consulting paid lots of money. Well, not the sort of consulting I ended up doing. And as a consultant, sometimes your job sucks.

We were working on an incredibly frustrating job. The weather was lousy, we’d been working together way too long, and the field manager was one wrong interaction from snapping. We were training a new geologist, and he was a little overwhelmed. Then he found out how much we were paid compared to everyone else on-site.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Newbie: “Did you know the driller’s helper is paid more than we are?”
Short Geologist: “Yep.”
Newbie: “Man, I would take that job in a second. You just do whatever the driller tells you. Grab that wrench, pick up that pipe… there’s no extra BS.”
Short Geologist: “That's a low bar. Right now I'd take working at McDonald's.”
Field Manager: “C’mon, guys. There have to be worse jobs than this. Like, um…”
(in the glum silence that follows, the porta-potty chemical changer drives up and hooks up his hose. An overwhelming chemical/sewage smell wafts over the site)
Field Manager: “That’s a worse job than this one.”
Short geologist: “Maybe he’ll clean out the 2 huntsman spiders in the porta-potty while he’s at it.”
Newbie: “That’s funny. I counted 3 big spiders.”
Field Manager: “Um, Short? Hold still…”
Short Geologist: “AAAHHH!” (runs off screaming)

Ok, I'm kidding about the huntsman spider part. Avid readers will recognize that the short geologist would not get within 20 feet of a full-grown huntsman. The short geologist gets the willies sharing a porta-potty with garden-variety spiders. Unfortunately, that happens every time she gets in one.


C W Magee said...

Of course, a geo doing the exact same logging job on a coal exploration rig would be pulling down six figures. Just goes to show what the price of making the world a better place is.

Jennie said...

My Ph.D. adviser really pushed for me to go into consulting, stating that they make much more money than professors. At this time I think I'm making about the same as a first year prof.