What Surprised Me in Tengiz

Rotational work significantly affects the productivity of the organization.  I knew I was going to be coordinating my position with my back-to-back but I did not appreciate the complexity of everyone on rotational assignments.  Everyone in my group rotates – the Lead Engineers, first level Engineers, Translators and Admin Assistants.  All of our peers in Facilities Engineering rotate, all of our Operations customers rotate, all the Maintenance folks rotate.  And the rotations are not synchronized except in a few select cases (Operations Site Manager overlaps with the three Operations Superintendents is the only snych’d rotation I am aware of).  Therefore, there is a huge amount of hand-off between positions and invariably information does not get communicated, and further follow-up is required.  People do not get upset about this – realize it is in the nature of rotational work.  I found that I spent a lot of time documenting what was done / decisions made; at times I thought I would prefer getting more work done and not have to spend so much time documenting it.  And then you need to leave it in a place where your back-to-back can find it.  We use email PST folders – still getting used to it.

When you go home you really do leave the job behind.  After I finished my turnover I realized all the details of my position would be handled.  In the past I would work really hard before I went off for vacation, typically working late the last few nights to ensure nothing fell through a crack while I was gone.  Invariably I was tired when vacation first started.  I also worked late the few days before turnover but once home I truly did not worry about the job – my oldest son observed that I was relaxed while home – more so than previous vacations.