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Here's to a GREAT 2012!

January 1st, 2012 at 11:35 am

Bills for January paid already, now just to get the rest where it's budgeted to, so far off to a great start. I'm off for a couple of more days and then will have to get back to the gate.

Got great news that so far it looks like the gate I'm on will stay active into the summer months.

Hope everyone has gotten off to a great start this year! Happy New Year!

Drab and Dreary South Texas Christmas

December 24th, 2011 at 04:06 pm

It's been raining still and it sure makes it drab and dreary. Not much traffic in today and very little going out. The oil rig is three miles into the ranch and the road gets very bad when it rains. It's nothing for eighteen wheelers to get stuck sideways across the road and then they have to call another company to come pull them out. I've wondered just how much it costs each company when that happens, not even counting every company who has an employee sitting waiting to get out behind them. Sometimes it takes hours to get them out and alot of times there are two stuck in the mud at a time. I imagine the costs are astronomical. Nothing that has to do with the oilfield is cheap.

I bought some chocolate and I thought I'd make chocolate covered oranges and orange peels to give to the rig hands and vendors next week as they come in and out. The oranges were free and I will never eat them all and don't want to waste them. If anyone has suggestions on what else I can do let me know because there is no way I can use them all for this.

I did get to the grocery yesterday but I bought very little, just eggs, milk and bread because I still have food left and I'd like to use it up. I have relief coming on Thursday and I'm going on a mini vacation.

I hope everyone is having a great holiday!!

Pros and Cons of Being A Gate Guard

December 22nd, 2011 at 08:33 pm

I have been working on this lease/gate since April of this year. There are pros and cons to doing this and this job is definitely not for everyone, especially if you work by yourself such as I do most of the time, as you can end up seeing very few people for days on end. You can get cabin fever very quickly when living in a 20 ft camper trailer! However, when there is activity such as now, (I currently have a drilling rig in) you can literally see hundreds of people a day. Most people that I see are very friendly and upbeat and it's amazing how generous they are. One day I had a man take out his lunch and give me a mango and an apple. I don't know if I just looked hungry or he just felt like sharing with me, I'm definitely not underweight by any means! I accepted and thanked him and he went on his merry way. I used to always turn down any gifts offered but now I accept because it really seems to make the gift giver feel good and everyone ends up happy in the end. I worked at one gate last year that the gauger brought me breakfast every single day until the job ended. He would not accept a penny ever no matter how much I insisted. Just today I recieved a donut for breakfast from the gauger, 10 pounds of oranges from the land owners cousin, a Sonic burger, tater tots and a medium drink, and a case of Dr. Pepper from the directional driller and two Reeses peanut butter cups from one of the rig hands. One of the guys had a blow out on his truck while going to town and asked if he could borrow my truck and ended up completely filling it with fuel after only driving it thirty miles or so. That means I don't have to fill up when I go to the grocery store now as I had planned. That was a savings of $50.00, I thought that was really nice and only expected that he would pay the actual gas that he used.

Another pro, which can also at times, can be a con, is that if you work alone as I do, is that you must be at the gate 24/7 so it's possible to have many no spend days a month. Any money I spend has to be done on planned days when I can get a certified security guard to sit at the gate while I'm away. I must get everything I need in that shopping trip and pay my bills on those days. Internet is hit and miss out here in the boonies and I've never been able to pay bills online while here. Usually I have two money spending days a month, I go grocery shopping one day every two weeks or so. Every now and then I will spend a few dollars when I ask someone to bring me a soda or newspaper from town but that's pretty rare. Usually even if I do they refuse the money.
Some other pros would be that the company that I'm contracted through provides a generator and water so I never have an electric or water bill and pay no lot rent.

Some of the cons would be spending alot of time alone, being in a fairly dangerous job, (many drug runners and illegals come across these ranches) getting stuck out here with no help for days on end as is the situation I'm in now. It's been raining and the roads are really bad so my help has not been able to make it out. I've not been grocery shopping in about a month and not been to the laundry in about that long as well. I had to wash a few clothes in the bath tub and it took three days for them to dry. I had clothes hanging everywhere in this small trailer. Hopefully my help will be able to get in tomorrow and I will get to town and get my errands and laundry done.

All in all I would say there are more pros than cons but I guess it really is all in the way a person looks at it. Alot of retirees do this during the winter months and seem to enjoy it and there are people my age that enjoy it also. I wouldn't trade this job for another job in retail for anything!

Glad To See This Year End!

December 22nd, 2011 at 04:51 pm

I'm glad this year is ending and I'm looking forward to the coming year being much better all around.
This year has been both a financial disaster and a personal disaster. I was married and divorced, my shortest marriage yet the most costly and dragged out divorce I've ever experienced, never want to go through all that mess again!!

I'm still working as a gate-guard in the oil fileds and all is going very well as far as that is concerned. I've been on this gate since April and it looks like I'll be here a couple/few more months at least. I always worry that there won't be another gate for me when this job ends but there doesn't seem to be a shortage of jobs in this field. It's just first come first serve and until the snow birds (out of state retirees) leave around April the openings for gates get filled extremely fast. After that they are begging for help and can hardly keep the gates manned. So hopefully this gate can last that long, they have several jobs and wells still to be drilled so as long as they don't decide to delay them all will be good and I will have a steady income for awhile.

I'm hoping I can stick to my goals and budget this coming year and I don't make any more stupid decisions or mistakes. If I can do that I should be just fine!

New Job, Much Better Life

February 8th, 2011 at 02:05 pm

It's been a year since I've blogged, much has happened in that time, all for the better and best. Sometimes bad things that seem to happen are blessings in disguise.
I'm now out of the retail business, I've not been working in convenience stores for four months now. After nine years and working 70 hour weeks or more, the job finally took a toll on my health. I was literally working myself to death. I have unbelievably high blood pressure, and apparently at sometime prior to seeing the doctor had a mild heart attack. Sooo time to slow way down and re-assess my life.

I quit the job and took a job with my parents as a gate-guard for the oilfield. At times you might get 100-200 trucks coming in and out and you simply sign them in and sign them out when they leave the lease you are working on. Gate Guards are in demand here in South Texas and you can make anywhere from $125.00-$300.00 a day. I work for a company that pays $125.00 a day (250 a day if there is more than one rig at any given time) and they supply the generator, water and sewage tank. I only work two weeks of the month and my parents work the other two weeks. I make $1750 for the month.

The job we are on now is very slow and I probably open the gate 1-12 times a day. So I have all day to read books, work on rag rugs and surf the internet and of course take my daily walks.

One thing about doing this is you must be prepared for the time you are working because you can never leave the gate, you must be organized and plan well. If you run out of something that's tough and you try to make do.

So this is my home for two weeks of the month, it can be very cramped and is easy to get cabin fever at times, it's great when the two weeks are over and you get to go home! Of course I live in a fifth wheel anyway so am used to the tight spaces.