Henry Bassey. Published Nov, 2021.
What is it like to be a young entry-level worker in the oil and gas industry? Any opportunity for career advancement, particularly for those who opt to work full-time rather than attend college? Vincent LaRue was kind enough to share his amazing story with us.
Vincent was a bright-eyed rookie lad who dropped out of high school to try his luck in the oil and energy industry. How Vincent persevered and rose against the harsh reality of work he faced from being inexperienced, self-taught, and having to battle constant ridicule and taunting from his senior colleagues to becoming the most sought-after Senior Drilling Operations with the potentials of earning almost $200k a year is a story you wouldn’t want to miss!
I broke out in the oilfield at the bottom of the bottom. I was a worm. A Ginzel. I had ten bucks in my pocket and a borrowed truck that hardly ran. I was a hundred and a thirty-five-pound kid that not only had zero experience; I hadn’t even seen an oil rig until the day I showed up for work. Man, I mean to tell ya; I was green.
I brought with me a pair of boots and all the heart I could muster.
It was a humid 108 °F day and my job was to pick up 100lb sacks of barite, walk them a good 15 feet, cut them open, and dump them down a hopper.
Four hours and twenty tons later, I had had enough. I thought there was no way I could make it another eight hours. I was exhausted and almost certainly had a mild case of heatstroke at this point. But I didn’t quit. I didn't give up. I grabbed a drink of water and went back to it. I was determined to dump all the material they had on that location. I was hell-bent on showing the toughest men I had ever seen how tough I was!
Besides, I couldn't have quit if I wanted to. I didn't know who to tell. Nobody even talked to me for the first few weeks.
I didn’t stop that day or the next (even though I desperately wanted to). I kept showing up. I kept working hard. I even started showing up a couple of hours early and worked on my own time so I could learn the positions above me. Even though I had become friends with most of the guys on the rig, they still laughed at me for this. I was known as "Vince that dumb kid who works for free".
A year later, one of the derrickmen quit or got run off or whatever. They needed somebody to take his spot. And who was the only guy that knew how to work the derrick? That's right, me.
I went from “Vince the dumb kid that works for free" to "Vince the shrewdest [fella] on the rig". I've spent most of my oilfield career with this attitude.
I've forced myself to hack my way through engineering book after engineering book. I constantly ask questions. I am constantly improving using whatever resources available - emails to the Harold Vance Department at Texas A&M, phone calls to petroleum engineers. Heck, even Quora!
I’m self-taught and I now have a decade of experience in completion, production, workover, and drilling operations. And I'm a fairly knowledgeable guy.
So where did it get me?
I make a comfortable living and I only work half the year. I get paid to hang out with my best friends all day. I get to solve problems most people don't even know exist. Most of my bosses and a handful of engineers will come to me for advice. I can’t even tell you how happy that makes me.
I could, of course, take several different positions anywhere in the world and make 200k + a year, but I’m happy where I am and I’ve got options.
I guess what I’m saying is; all roads lead to the same spot, eventually. Work hard and you'll get there. Just don’t forget to enjoy the journey. That’s half the fun.
Vincent’s story no doubt embodies the “Never Give Up” attitude, trait, and core values of Manup Services. We believe you can never remain an underdog when you put in the hard work. This is the type of principle we strive to instill in all our workers, and consequently, empower the companies who partner with us.
Manup is poised on beaming the searchlight on and giving unparalleled exposure to passionate workers who are ready to get the hard work done and connect them with companies who need their services.
Manup Services is working hard to spread economic prosperity to our professionals by leaving more money in their pockets. Join us today by signing up as a worker or hiring workers from our platform and let’s take care of your job and manpower needs.
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