dimanche, décembre 30, 2007

Well, after my fifteen days/nights of work in a row I was off for a full forty-seven hours. Lisa, the boys and I were eating a Toney's Pizza when Pete called me from the refinery. He and the guys on his shift were in the process of shutting down the UFH (clean fuels unit from hell) and they needed someone to work as Top Operator on nights.

We have a shutdown rotation. There are several people who are ahead of me in the rotation, but they were all out on vacation, so that put the button on me. I was very upset, but I was stuck and there was nothing I could do to get out of it. The worst thing is the I will work for almost the whole time that the boys had off from school for their Christmas break. I have arranged for Morgan and Danny to pop fireworks with the boys, since I will be working on New Year's Eve.

This morning Gary invited Bird and me to come by his place for a sip of Booker's Bourbon. Gary and Bird were already sitting at the table when I arrived. Gary poured me a drink and we spent about and hour talking. Then the party broke up and I headed home for bed. I slept until around 2:30 PM.

It's now time to start getting ready for work.

jeudi, décembre 27, 2007

Yesterday evening I finished my fifteen day of working through the Christmas holidays. The area of the refinery in which I work had to shutdown one of our "Reformer" units to fix some problems it was having. This caused a good number of us operators to work overtime through the holidays.

I did manage to be off work for 24 hours last Friday when I finished working graveyard shift at 6 AM and switched to day shift. I started my day shift at 6 AM Saturday morning. The boys and I took advantage of that widow of time off to go see a movie. We picked up MK's son and went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Saturday evening we had Lisa's family over for a Christmas party. Lisa got it all together without any help from me, because I was at the refinery. All went well and everyone seemed to have a good time. Lisa made a crawfish bisque, and everyone else brought food and/or dessert.

Sunday, Lisa fixed a meal for her brother Troy and his sons, Eric and Shawn. Shawn flew in from Okinawa, where he is serving in the Air Force.

Our family opened Christmas gifts early. I had to work Christmas day, when this has happened in the past, we as a family, would open gifts on Christmas Eve. We could not do this our daughter Morgan had plans to be with her fiancee and is family for their family Christmas that evening. Therefore, we opened gifts on Monday, December 23.

The hardest thing for me during all this was getting enough sleep. I was never able to get my body clock properly adjusted back to sleeping at night. I did take an Ambien one night, but we had something going on just about every evening which kept me up late. I would sleep a couple of hours and then wake up and not be able to sleep. One night I got to sleep about 11:30, woke up at 2:30 AM and was unable to fall back to sleep. After 3 hours sleep I was up until I left the house for the refinery at 5:15 AM.

Our clean fuels unit (Unit from Hell or UFH) acted up everyday so we never achieved the quite laid back time at work that we like when working holidays. I'm glad it is over.

This morning I caught up with with sleep. I took an Ambien last night. I did wake once during the night. I was able to fall back to sleep, and did not wake again until 10:00 AM. Nice!


lundi, décembre 24, 2007

Thia will be a short post. I am in my bed watching Future Weapons on the military channel. I got home from work a little after 6PM and will be getting up about 4:30 AM. My sleep pattern is still messed up from my long set of nights and I've not slept since flip flopping to days. So tonight I took an ambien and am waiting to fall asleep.

I plan to write more tomorrow (Christmas Day)

jeudi, décembre 20, 2007

I’m writing this entry while at work and I'll email it home and post it on the blog after I get back there in the morning.
This is my eighth night on graveyard shift (6pm to 6am) and I will have to come back again tomorrow night to work my last one. I'll work off Friday morning. I will likely sleep until somewhere between noon and 2 pm and then I'll walk around in a near vegetative state for a while. I hope to get my head together in time to do something with the boys. They're out of school, but I've been working with no time off and I don’t function well around the house when I am working the nightshift this much.

After a full 24 hours off work, I will start again, but this time I'll be on the daylight shift. My body is now used to sleeping during the day and being awake at night and that is not good for a quick turnaround to days. In order for me to get some sleep, so I can function at work on Saturday, I'll be looking to my doctor and a little pill known as Ambian (sp ?).

There is very little for me to write about. I've been getting up, vegging around the house for a few hours and coming to work. When I get home, I let the dog out, feed the cats and get ready for bed and watch the news for a few minutes. I’m not getting much reading, or anything else productive done around the house when I am on graveyards.

Starting Saturday, I'll work my regular daylight shift. My last full day off was Dec. 11 and my next real day off will be Dec. 27. On my days off I'll have to get some fireworks. The boys and I will go to the country and blast away with the fireworks early, because I start nightshift again on New Years Eve.

That's life as a shift worker at an oil refinery.

Coram Deo,

vendredi, décembre 14, 2007

I worked last night. I just got home and I'm waiting for Lisa to wake up so I can go to bed without disturbing the last few minutes of her sleep. Her alarm should be going of in a couple of minutes.

On the way home this morning I was listening to KRVS (Radio Acadie) and Pete Bergeron's morning program (Bonjour Louisiane) which is in French. I was excited to here Jo-el Sonnier's version of Jolie Blonde. I have always liked Jo-el version.

Well, Lisa is now up and I am off to bed.

Coram Deo,

vendredi, décembre 07, 2007

Sunday was a normal day. We attended worship services at Bethel (PCA), after church Lisa and Morgan attended a baby shower and boys and I stayed at home.

Monday I was on jury duty. I took plenty to read, and it was a good thing I did. We sat in the jury pool room until noon. At that time they called 36 names to return after lunch, everyone else was dismissed for the day.

I ate gumbo at MaryAnn's for lunch and then returned to jury duty. The 36 of us were escorted into court. Twenty-one of us were placed in "the box" to be questioned by the lawyers. We were questioned until almost 6 PM. At that time they dismissed 10 people, and the rest of us were told to return on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday we were back in the box at 9 AM. the 10 people dismissed on Monday evening were replaced and we were again questioned by the lawyers. They picked the jury while we were at lunch. I did not get picked and had to return to the jury pool and remained there until 3PM when we were dismissed from jury duty.

Wednesday and Thursday I worked days. As is normal, we were very busy for much of the day. My job, top operator, is very busy from 7AM until about 10:30. It then usually slows down until around 1PM. Then the top is busy until about 4PM. When things are going well the top operator stays very busy dealing with supervisors, contractors, maintainance personel, engineers, and other operators. If things in the unit are not going well, then it is really wild.

Today, I was at Rescue Team training. I've been a member of the refinery rescue team for about 13 years. We are trained in "high angle (rope)" and "confined space" rescue.