Friday, December 12, 2014

competitor advice

I gave a driller a ride to another site that his company was working at so he could borrow a particular tool. When we arrived, I introduced myself to the geologist, who worked for a firm that directly competes with mine, and we started chatting as the drillers rummaged around their rig. He seemed to be a complete newbie and unsure of himself, a position that I remember well and empathize with.

He needed to install a monitoring well at the top of rock or at a target depth, whichever was first, and he was trying to figure out if he'd hit bedrock yet. So where had I hit bedrock?

Well, I was on top of a bare bedrock knob, so we'd simply stuck the drill rig where it was supposed to go and started bedrock drilling. He was in a valley several miles away, and I didn't have the foggiest idea of the  bedrock depth at his location.

He was pretty disappointed at this. But then he had another idea. What did my bedrock look like?

"Well, bedrock can be pretty variable in this area [it's composed of a bunch of different units smushed together]. But we encountered X rock, composed of mostly mineral A and some mineral B, and in a few places, this really distinct mineral C..." then I realized his eyes had glazed over.

He picked up a nondescript chunk of rock that did not look like what I had encountered. "So, did it look like this? Could this be bedrock? We drilled in about 3 inches."

In case you were wondering, we were working in boulder central. Three inches of rock drilling tells you nothing about where the parent rock actually is. At this point, I realized I was perilously close to suggesting that he take some action (drill deeper) that would have an impact on his firm's investigation, so I hemmed and hawed and suggested he follow whatever his home office/specification/work plan suggested. Luckily, my driller came back with what he needed and we skeddadled.

My instinct is to be as helpful as possible, but I also don't want to annoy either my organization or a competitor by inserting myself in someone else's work. What would you have done?

No comments: