Getting to the Plant from the Office – What are you complaining about?

In Richmond, there was a lot of complaining when we had to move people from the field offices to the Admin Building, moving people away from the process units they work in.  We had even more complaining when we had to move the Capital Projects and Drafting Department folks to the off-site building at Marina Way.  I tell people it could be worse but they did not hear me – moving to the new locations made it more difficult / more time consuming to do their job.

Well let me tell you how much worse it could be.  In Tengiz it takes ~45 minutes to get from the office to the process units.  The average engineer and supervisor takes the bus to the process units.  It takes little less than 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop from the Designs Enginering offices, and then just over 30 minutes on the bus to the process units.  If you have a meeting scheduled at the top of the hour in the plant, you must leave about 40 minutes before, and then you are a few minutes late for the meeting.  The buses are on a schedule (leave every 30 minutes for one plant, every 60 minutes for the other) so you need to time your site visits, and pay attention to the time.  There is a canteen out at one of the plants so you can grab lunch there if you have several things to do.

You can take a taxi but need to schedule in advance.  This usually works if you have several folks needing to see something in the field or all going to the same meeting.  You sometimes can arrange for the taxi to wait for you but they are so busy that many times you get the taxi out there and then take the bus back.

One thing I have noticed is that most people sleep on the bus or taxi.  I have a natural tendency to want to talk to people that I might not normally see, engage them in some work discussion.  For those that know me, I don’t handle silence well.  But now that I have been here a while I can see for those working 12, 13, 14 hour days, a little down time on the bus is to be expected.  So I bring something to read, or shut my eyes as well.  My problem is I just start to drift off when we arrive at our destination.