When It Costs $600 To Poop

I have been told, and I have realized myself, that my blog website becomes difficult to read when I have one negative blog post after another, back to back to back.  So I will tell when it costs $600 to poop.

When I became a superintendent for a construction company when I was about 29 years old, we were building communication sites in very remote areas like swamps and forests.  When it rained, even dual rear tire, four wheel drive trucks would get stuck on the way to the job site.  Many of the sites were too remote and hard to get to, to have a portable toilet company bring one out.  All of the workers were red-necks and hunters, so we all went to the bathroom in the woods without complaining.

When I came to work in the oil field in Dickinson in 2011, going to the bathroom in the bushes was not a problem for me.  I had worked in construction for many years, and I knew that you can’t take a crew truck with all of its tools and safety equipment away from a job site to drive 1/2 hour to a bathroom, and 1/2 hour back.  What if somebody needs a tool?  What if somebody gets hurt and it is a medical emergency and they need to be taken to the hospital?

I was having a discussion with my co-worker/supervisor about one month ago, and he said, “Now that is something that I didn’t know until I got to North Dakota.  I didn’t know, and I got into a lot of trouble for it.”  This is the story that he told:

It was my very first day of work, I mean my very first day on the job, literally.  I was driving this vacuum truck, and I had this kid with me.  We had to drive like one hour from New Town to get to this location that we were supposed to be at.  Not long after we arrived at this location, the kid said, “I need to use the bathroom, do you know where there is a bathroom?”  I said that I didn’t know, but that I kind of needed to use the bathroom too.

We got back in the truck, and we started driving, looking for a bathroom.  We ended up driving almost all the way back to New Town, we drove for like 45 minutes.  When we got back to the site, there was this supervisor yelling, screaming, and hollering at us.  He was yelling, “Where the hell were you!  You were supposed to be here two hours ago!”  I explained to him that we both had to use the bathroom.  What!!!!

The owner of the company called me and he said, “Look, that shit you took just cost me $600.  The truck and the two of you were being billed at $400 per hour.  You were gone for 1-1/2 hours to go use the bathroom.  Do not ever do that again.  Go shit behind a tank or something next time.”

I said, I’m not going to go shit behind a tank where some oil company man is going to come along and step in it.  The owner of the company then said, “O.K., the next time you have to use the bathroom, you call me, and I will tell you where the nearest portable toilet is.”

I couldn’t believe that story, and that the owner of the company was having to call his employees and come to an agreement and understanding with them, that you can’t have two workers and a vacuum truck pull off the job for 1-1/2 hours because somebody has to poop.

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