Gypsy, not a Mermaid.

I feel like a gypsy lately. My life is filled with wonder, uncertainty, a little worry, and a little excitement. A lot of people write (or blog) when they’re under stress or crazy times. Not this girl. But, after a long hiatus, here I am! Back in black (and white).

I have been working up North for about two months now. Camp life is…different. I have adjusted well, and I am doing fine. It’s okay. That’s the only word I feel is adequate to describe it. If I was single (and had no doggies), I would be better than okay, but for now I will remain only okay.

There are certain pros, which help counteract the cons, that make the happy medium of ‘okay’ feel like the right word.

  • Working for 8 days and having 6 days off is nice (shh, I know lots of you work 14, 21, even more days at a time, but I’m just trying to live here, mmk?)
  • Having time every day for the gym is great.
  • Not having to cook, or make my own bed, great.
  • Money: great, gotta have money.

The cons are here, too. “Move to Alberta and get rich!”, they say, but they leave out a few important facts:

  • It’s easy to spend money when you’re home for 6 days at a time. You feel entitled. You feel like you’re on vacation. Dinner out? YES! Mini trip? YES! Hotel nights? Mmmhmm.
  • Being away from the man (and the pups) – boo…boo, boo, boo.. boohoo.
  • Missing out on life
  • Sleeping alone

Overall, as I said, it’s okay. I won’t complain about having a ‘good’ job, with a stead y income and a warm office, but with the dropping oil prices, uncertainty is rabid and who knows where I will be in a month’s time. There is talk of sending me to another site, back to the city, and I’m sure many closed-door whispers of layoffs. It’s funny how someone else can decide your future behind your back, secretly, hush-hush. But don’t worry, they’ll “figure it out”. Right now, being a mermaid is sounding pretty good.

Happy New Year, beautiful people.

Leaving on a Jet Plane..

Things have been crazy at work. We lost a few contracts, and as winter approaches everyone seems to be looking around, wondering why nothing is happening. The whispers of layoffs and office changes could be heard all around the office. Last season was great, but that’s just the ‘nature of the industry’.

Yeah, okay.

Needless to say when my boss came into my office last Thursday  morning and closed the door, the whispers began to feel all too real. At the start of the conversation, it was quickly made clear that I was not being laid off (phew!), but that the ‘department would need to undergo some changes’. After a solid 20 minute conversation, I had been tentatively offered a position in Northern Alberta in order to save someone else’s job in our company (who is unable to work in the said position due to lack of education). So bascially, I leave, or she leaves. A camp job. Hmm…

For a moment, the “25-year old girl who moved to Alberta to get rich directly out of university” in me flaired up. YESSS I want to go! Duhh. I was reminded to talk it over with my husband, and that a formal offer would be made later in the day.

The next few hours flew by, and after a phone call to the husband we both agreed that the “8 days on, 6 days off” rotation I was being offered would be okay, and would likely not be a need for imminent divorce. So it was settled. Where’s my offer?

It was soon apparent that they had spoken too soon, and HR was on holiday’s until Monday. Oh coool, let’s just put my life on hold for a second (or 4 days), shall we? Friday and the weekend passed, slowly..while I thought over every possible scenario in my head and asked my husband as many questions as possible about ‘camp life’ (which he is all too familiar with).

By the time Monday rolled around I was pretty much ready to put on some wool socks and roll out.  I was given a bit more information on Monday morning, although I still wasn’t enlightened on the most important things: such as my hours of work, size of camp, gym facilities and quality of food. I was enrolled in a vast array of training courses for the next few days and scheduled for my drug and alcohol test. I can now officially say I am able to use a ladder and dig a trench safely and effectively. 😉 Silly.

Side Bar: I have been googling like crazy, trying to find information about the secret little realm I’m about to enter into. Sounds scary, fun, stupid, neat, cold, and snowy…but really overall there isn’t that much info. UNTIL NOW, my lucky friends. I am going to keep you all posted on my journey… I bet you can hardly wait!

So, I fly out on Monday at 1:00pm to Wood Buffalo, Alberta. Google that shit.. No, but seriously…you will be afraid when you see how close to the top of the world I will be. Looks cold.

So now that the flight is booked, things are starting to look a little more real. “25-year old girl who moved to Alberta to get rich directly out of university” is hiding somewhere in a corner, and Ashley is here, trying to imagine what it will really be like up there. It’s only 8 days at a time..right?

So! As of now, my main thoughts are:

  1. I still don’t know what hours I will be working..only that I will be doing 10-hour days. Fingers crossed I’m not up by 5am..
  2. Camp food — I’ve heard everything from “OMG RED SEAL TRAINED CHEFS” to “bring trail mix and protein bars…”
  3. The gym — Will it be shitty, or will it be great? Perhaps this will be the motivation I need to stop eating like a chunker?
  4. No matter how bad it is, the first cheque will make it all worth it, no?
  5. Only 11 more sleeps and I get 6 days off (That’s the spirit!! :))
  6. I’ve never done 10 hour days…  I think 10 hour office days are probably very different than 10 (or 12!) hour “working-outside-in-the-minus-50” days.. which is typical for most of the people up there . I should probably not complain, ever, no matter what.
  7. Everyone I talk to keeps warning me about the male/female ratio, and how I needed to “watch myself” and “be careful”. Yesterday I was even warned by the lady who provided one of my training courses that I should “not speak to a man unless spoke to first, as it may give off the wrong impression”. Uhh sorry, what century are we living in?
  8. Will I miss J too much? I’m scared..but I know it will be fine…as long as he misses me just as much. ❤

Four more sleeps and a few shopping trips from now and I’ll be flying up to the Great White North (literally?)…weird.

Fingers crossed.

❤ Ash