Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Anyway, this means that I notice missing teeth.
Recently, I've been working with a number of drillers with conspicuously missing teeth. Occasionally, it's because of tobacco use/bad oral hygiene (eew). But it's mostly older drillers who have clearly knocked out one (or two, or most of the front row) and never got them fixed. I've joked about drillers with missing teeth in the past, but it's a standard occupational hazard (along with missing fingers).
At various times, I've discussed my relatively low pay/impression that drillers and their helpers have an easier job than me. That's just me being cranky. In reality, drilling is a tough, dangerous job that exacts a heavy toll on the folks who spend their career on a drill rig. Almost every driller who has been running a rig for more than a few years has had some spectacular near misses if not injuries. Broken teeth, missing fingers, and exceptional scars are just a visible symptom for the many drillers are worn out long before official retirement age.