Patch Life - It’s not for everyone and it’s like nothing you’ve ever done before.
The oil and gas industry is one of the most unique and rewarding industries in Canada. There are very few places in the world where opportunity exists the way it does in this industry. People come from all over Canada, and all walks of life to have a chance to better themselves and their families. Some make it, and some don’t. Patch life has big rewards, but that’s not to say they’re easily achieved.
The people that live and work in the oil patch are tough. Through 40 below or 40 above, they work long hours, and long shifts – some up to 24 days straight in extremely remote environments. They drive in the worst conditions on the planet. Through snow, ice, and mud, in the dark or in the fog, they can drive up to 2 hours or more to get to the job site. Driving is the most dangerous part of everyone’s job in the oil patch - Period. Those that choose this industry as a career need to be competent, confident drivers that, if conditions get too bad, aren’t afraid to say that it’s not safe to continue, and either postpone or cancel their trip. Safety is always the number one priority in all aspects of the job.
Contrary to popular belief, drugs and alcohol don’t mix with life in the patch. These substances impair people’s judgement and cognitive abilities. Combine that with heavy equipment, pinch points, chemicals, and other jobsite hazards, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. This is why energy companies and service companies alike are cracking down on drugs and alcohol while on shift. So whether you’re in camp, or on the jobsite, if you are caught with, or are currently impaired by these substances, you will be sent home – permanently. Pre-employment drug testing is common practice in the industry. Camps are security controlled, and many of them have drug sniffing dogs to find and remove those that don’t follow the rules.
Your work ethic will be the deciding factor on how successful you are in the industry. There will be times when you’re tired of working, and at your breaking point. If you’re the type that isn’t afraid to call it quits, then this isn’t the industry for you. When there’s a job to do, we do it. We might not be happy about it, but the job needs to get done. We push ourselves every day for a chance to have a better life. Whether you’re in the industry to pay off student debts, or choosing it as a career, you need to be prepared to push through the hard times to be successful.