Pragmatic 36: Prevailing Wind Direction

8 September, 2014


Working in Engineering construction sometimes requires working away from home and this comes with its own set of challenges. Vic Hudson joins John to talk about good and the bad and the issues no-one else seems to think or talk about.

Transcript available
Welcome to pragmatic weekly discussion show concertina practical application of technology exploring real trade-offs with great ideas transponder products and services can change our lives nothing is as simple as it seems this episode is sponsored by many drinks makers of helpful names for them and visit many tricks all one for more information about apps but the chemo leached desktop curtain times and Usher Moon name angler and which didn't get your silos if you visit that URL you can use the code pragmatic 25 that's pragmatic the word and 25 the numbers in the shopping carts at 25% on any matrix product on your host John Geagea and I enjoy today my co-host Vic Hudson Heydon Vic Unger John Harry very good thank you very good arm before we get stuck into today's topic I am there is a field for brief announcement I want to make our by popular request I have now gone back and said well I'm going to add separate RSS feeds for the show that I've just four episodes sign episodes only feed as well as a follow-up only feed our MLB in both the MP3 and the AAC format so you can choose which one you want to subscribe to the existing feeds will be unchanged is still there completely unchanged and that they're all put together a nice little table and you can find a tech casts/pragmatic and that you can then choose gladly request for that and originally I said I'll be a follow-up as part of show and so on but I thought well you know what if you feel if if a few people asking for it than that the vocal are the vocal minority and then of course there's the non-vocal minority which is usually 10 times that size but are secretly quietly grinding their teeth in the background wishing that that would happen so I've decided what the heck they go so arm if attitude and waiting for go right go right ahead go for it okay arm next is once again yes we are live streaming the show so there is an icy chat room on free but if you go to the URL to you can access the stream there or you can use embedded IRC chat box to join in and is as is becoming the arm the new format of the show will I say the new formats of a different really are of we got a Q&A segment after every show so during the course of show if you do joins the lifestream you have any questions you ask you compose them during the show with' QA and will address them at the end our ideal basics about running is still currently only running for titles and title voting only I will be adding more functionality to that in coming weeks I've just been flat out with work and are evasive and skipping to and from site are quite a bit and was a sight I mean are it's about 200 miles west of the of home which is in the sticks are out out in the bushland are yes just arm just south of a town called Myles is just south of Munich half an hour's drive south-east so anyway so everyone knows the area yes to Conor Milner where but that's okay so is funny because it's actually about that the I want to talk a bit today and done and I and I appreciate that you're coming onto to participate I sort of it's been one of those things last four episodes of the show have been either software related in one form or another mouth talk about open source about arm servers are talked about software development on the injuries you know with with difference arm experts in the differential in those areas and yet that's all great and wonderful however ultimately I think that it's time that I address the growing amount of feedback about show where people of said looking I want my engineering topics and that's fine that is of course my background and I can speak to that lot more depth and are hopefully are hopefully this episode will provide those people what they been looking for so anyway without further ado so today I want to talk about our site work specifically construction site work and I will be releasing an article on tech distortion are two articles actually are the next week are that will essentially dovetail into this episode and working on this for a while so have you arm ever worked in a situation where you've been away from home for a reasonable period of time and by a mean I guess more than overnight you like 345 days to weeks three weeks something like that are a couple of days later a four-day start soccer so when you did than did you arm where were you when we were in a relationship at that point I was at beforehand when you are still footloose and fancy free art was pretty much still free at that point okay fair enough wealth the experiences I found were heavily based on my relationship status at the time was when I was younger idea I got over Canada for a long time I love my family back here but they yummy my mother and my sister is of course but army I was footloose and fancy free to do what I want when I want how I wanted but what I'm specifically referring to is the situation where in the construction engineering industry and engineering there is always been an issue with building things in remote locations and I suppose the most common people the Mr Seward this to acronyms for it there's our Dido and FIFO so am DIDS there is short for drive-in drive out and FIFO are short for fly in fly out as opposed to a first in first out buffer which is completely something different arm follows programs out there anyhow throughout was headed while you exactly universal identify five I run a red that terminology unlike it's a buffer way anyway so no fly in fly out to the idea is that the location that you try to get to his more than a few hours from your place of residence and driving in or driving out is a is an option and you could do it every day but if you go beyond that point suddenly it becomes too are too difficult to much of an ask and is suddenly easy it's better for you to go there and stay rather than to go and come back every single day so that point in time it becomes I'm now going to site for a period of time and then I'm gonna return home again so when I speak about site I'm specifically referring to going to site as in staying away from home for a period of time and I don't want to differentiate between getting proper hotel or going to a camp because honestly it amounts to a similar experience although admittedly the camp experience is different so let's say you going to a place that they like there Á my my experiences when my spirit I guess because it's the easiest to get a handle on for me is that I've done work in cities predominantly are but away from home as well as I've done work out in the sticks which is where there is as nothing is literally a pageant dirt hundreds hundred miles from anywhere of any size which means a course you have my facilities so they build a camp it's literally as I can buy tense you know well although I'm sure at some point in history award within arm is more like our budget amount or buildings or group together there is a mess hall there is usually adjust some of the better ones have a gym and you hope that that the gym equipment is not our two ratty and tatty because sometimes it is and is a modern-day mash unit you exactly a bit like that act as a really good analogy yes are although as I say with the mountable buildings rather than tense but that's the sort of environment so you've got this little mini community whose sole purpose is to construct something whatever it might be so far in my my recent experience literally as in one over the last two weeks I've actually been our living outs at site and I'm going back again for another two weeks is one of the reasons the showtimes been a bit erratic in the last few weeks is because I've been to and from site and is this so particular plan is AR is a gas compression facility and is our it's noble in coal seam gas and is a because of by virtue of work as its mining weather where the camp is is is essentially where the minerals are in at least two this this issue we literally have to construct a little township in order to support the people are building and all the people they are there for one reason same reason as you build this thing and it creates a very interesting dynamic when you're what previous prior to this I works of work in different projects most of the mines away from home when towns although one was in northern New South Wales and the Townsville are for those not familiar with the geography of Queensland is a one half hours on a plane north of Brisbane are in Townsville is actually the second largest city outside of south-east Queensland so the majority of the population that is going out of Queensland is located in the south-east corner seesaw draw a dotted line around Sunshine Coast and out west to Toowoomba than all the way down the coast to the Gold Coast and with Brisbane in the middle the sort of a circle I call the south-east corner well councils amounts I think is around 90,000 people at last count so was not an outback town by any means but at the same time it certainly is the big city so much I see how people are mother and an annual return live in the our it's 1/3 but a 9 mi▓ town and there is 14,000 people well located around the community you fair enough you arm my immediate area I live found in and around the Caboolture area and that the witches north of Brisbane and that area is around about 35,000 people are but were are an outlying area of Brisbane technically were not Brisbane where our own township locality whatever but you IIIII gets frustrating because your townships locality states there here whatever the point is that some 90,000 people is nothing to sneeze at so inner muscle weights knows a good size grout yet is it is absolutely and and able to different complexion on things because you don't you don't have you got plenty of accommodation so arm were up there they're coming is working for rented a house and are it was called the company name house right and out are you you did you go go back to my link invigorated that was its new not try and remember whatever company name house setting out our animal nerve the cyber group of people got to be about nine or 10 people they rented a second house which fortunately was right next door so and is just normal suburban houses but that's where we would stay and it was a little bit like a can but for the other part of the time I was staying at hotels and motels whatever was available time there anyway but different experience because you could walk out the door and we could jump in a car drive and get takeaway for dinner you you had easy access to the Internet the camp where I'm at its 3G arm service only on your mobile if you want Internet and you and the reception is is very crowded because in an Oscar same idea so it's Dane it's hideously slow and difficult anyway all right so that some the details of my background anyway so I've done what wastewater treatment plants water treatment plants pipelines and most recently a gas compression our facilities what I'm currently looking at and is all these are site-based locations and the whole idea or concept the sales pitch a fly in fly out is you can have your cake and eat it too which is we will pay you good money and you can go out there for the week you can do your job and come home to your loving family and enjoy all the comforts of the big city in whatever else and I simply found that to be complete BS certainly I'm sorry that I like Ms Satan honestly that is the sales pitch and there is a reason that people that the people get paid more money to go way out west and died as a sigh I keep on going about way out west with a rainbow full arm hand when I was out there the rain fell same on our body anyway so way out west yet aid they pay you extra and its i.e. I used to refer to as the pain in the asked location pay so because you're in a pain in the neck sorry three or more in line with this book has been with our annoying location pay for that's really watered down now but anyway so the problem is that it's there that they pay you because they know that you're in a horrible location and they and that you're not going to necessarily enjoy the experience and that's why you're paid more because I have to attract you out from the city from the bright lights sure compensation just for the inconvenience exactly exactly and that and that's and that's nice and the money is nice but then after a while you start to realise there is not such a great deal so all right here are some of the problems and I realise that a lot of this has to do with relationships and honestly I guess it's a bit touchy-feely but you know what is a sort of thing that the reason want to talk about this is because not only is has this been a very big refresher for me are as in our two inanimate it's been now I live I sat the mess hall and I was having my dinner minding my own business as you do what am I my business eavesdropping of course other conversations) I generally thing to do that pay well talking loudly so I've seen the mess hall and are having my my dinner and I was overhearing another table and there were a bunch of fellow was a mixture of mechanical guy Sparky's & outgoing roundtable because one guy had so younger will young guy IATA had no idea how old he was just younger guy I suspect mid 20s early 20s are had announced that he does that he'd set a date he was getting married to Mike Gallegos of Nicaea service applicants have a nice thing and is arm it's about point that one of the older guys on the table decided to pour some more on that project to be perfectly honest arm by then saying that every ground no kidding right and so he psych are yet well married three times hands the next guy slices are yet divorced last year year divorced other guy arm note never married arm other guy said hey I'm too young, get married but you go around the table and there was a consistent story which was it was a relationship disaster you know some of these guys had been in the industry and I say the industry the construction industry remote construction industry for the better part of their careers and it got me thinking well okay I went through something similar when I was working in Townsville and with my with my marriage and I think that is something that people don't warn you about and maybe maybe it's something made many people it occurs to you made a Kirsty in the back of your head but then you see the dollar signs the big the big $^ in front of your face and I can know what I need the money so what do you do do you go for it do you not I don't know what the final advices I guess I'll get to that that when I was in Townsville I was on a couple different projects where I was there for a week I'd come over the weekends I go back following week sometimes I would have a weeks break and other times I was the relief person so are for example during horseshoe Bay are implant which was based on our Magnetic Island and Magnetic Island is not exactly is beautiful place don't don't you do not misunderstand but it is island lifestyle that is to say everything shuts at 5 o'clock nothing is open on a weekend arm that there is a completely different pace that lifestyle and it's great for the first few weeks but then after that you like okay no Internet no TV are no them to do nothing and this is years ago go back when mobile phone reception was patchy as well on our out there there were parts of this the site itself are was a dead spot there was literally you learn is the area there was a mound next to the entrance gate work is still on the mound you would get one bar of signal you could make a phone call so you did 100 seat it is up on the mound and the like that now you can never have a private phone call unless you owe it without was like lunch by rivers during the error was working and he psych ducked out in the as it was it was rough right so at that time are it was on and off and my wife that we had our third child and so we had AER 85 for so knowing I was a 53 and a well technically zero year old to one year old during that period roughly and she was handling all of this myself and it was really causing a lot of stress because you ordinarily either how about you guys like IB that Helga normally but I was away for a week at a time and is in a it would start our day one would be okay you know it would be arm yeah and our kids being kids with John okay no day to it would become okay this is really not going well arm there is this thing you said you can do before you left in it and do it is really annoying and cementing the man think I do the man the man saying whatever that might be in a insert now whether it's the mowing or fixing a hole in the wall or whatever negatives you know insert Mandy ask here, thank arm and then hear about that the next few days arm and how it's progressively getting harder and harder take and is to the point at which you now the house is a mess and I don't care and it got really really really bad towards the end and put a lot of strain on my marriage to the point at which it was one of the key reasons why I left that company it was the only way out because the contracts continue to be are on the next big project we got there was a was what I wanted one project would lead to the next so you do you do a good job at EA gives you a good reputation then people tend to keep using you so that was what was happening was snowballed and win-win every project up there of course there's a lot of instructor spending in the area due to population growth at the time and CEO but the point was that it was another two years at least of more work up there and side just decided that my marriage meant more to me than the jobsite change companies things were back to normal so I went back out when I've now been out west again I've been revisiting this all over again so the relationships piece I cannot arm you know I cannot overstate it enough I can't stress enough that it is a huge deal you think them and how solid and tight you think your relationship is you think that it can handle it some relationships can you maybe maybe there are some people can get on you when they're apart it's okay I may be that it may be young kids thing go by when the kids are older with more self-sufficient arm I don't know but certainly arm in my situation a lot of situations that I've come across and you know it does not seem to be a is a relationship killer and as an expression of the date that they they sailed, so this is a young man's game the aortic and construction of a young man's game and is meant to be a gender young as announcement to be a gender thing you know like it could be a young woman's game I suppose it just means game footloose and fancy free right you can come and go as you please out no attachments and guys just you historically have been in that scenario relating alert when when when you look at that money at think it's really easy probably to underestimate the impact that it's gonna have absolutely and the thing is that this little bit more serious and it sobered arm the truth is that the money people will chase the money and think that that's all that matters all at the main thing that matters although go out there and I think I need the money I'm doing this for my family okay and that's BS I'm sorry but generally that's BS there may be a handful of cases where you have no other choice is the only way that you can make money to survive to support your family if that's the case I suppose the Nats that's okay but you know what most the time I've seen and my experiences there are always other options it's just that this is an easier option there are only one of the other ideas it's kicked around our sayings that kicked around in in mining industry in particular is that it's easy to get into the mining industry and is to get out of it because once you get into it and you get used to having an extra money it's hard to go back to a city job that you 1520% less or more yellow in some cases I mouse I was the one student was working out down the coal mine and marrow dragline operator at that point was on hundred and 20 grand a year and that was pioneer was 20 years ago but yet that all that back then and even then even out a lot of my back then that was and that was a huge amount of money and the graduate salary for all an engineer at that point the average median starting salary was 40,000 and is like this guy is driving a dragline and is getting three times that figure and driving a dragline did require a degree is required young some training so it was hazard pay course because in a you pick up this give a big boulder. The overburden Hill rolls down the side of the health theoretically and wax in this either dragline could kill you of course statistically that's actually my cabin maybe once or twice in the hundred and 50 years of using dragline's so is it big risky far more likely that you're going to get run over you know crossing the street but yet irrespective that's a lot of money and people are drawn by that money so and then they have trouble getting out because it's like like a noun out here and I seen some this is heartbreaking some of it because the people you're stuck in a cycle and that leads the long at all about is very gettable but heavy back to yellow before we get heavy let's talk about spots of this episode which is not not have it all their fantastic and that is they are many tricks the matrix are a great software development company whose apps do as their name suggests many tricks and their apps include but like email each desktop curtain times think I should move name angler and which I've been using move and name Anglo on the mini's naming of the years but I've used moon recently IDR as part of this I started to either trying it out and I loved it so I'm young I'm on the moon convert anyway so that the summonses of average these apps so I'd write what would it go touch on four of them so let's talk was about which you think is which about which is a supercharger for command plus, plus tan apps which are and which is great for our it's very popular X Windows is like myself so you got through four document seven once anyone out and then which is beautifully simple pop-up quickly let you pick exactly the one you're looking for name angler if you got a bunch of files need to rename quickly efficiently in big numbers the name angler can extract the metadata from the files you to rename the files search and replace as well as creating stage renaming sequences and if you mess it all up units revert back to where you started to have another go moon which I talked about this briefly it makes it easy to move any of your windows to whatever positions you want halves cause edges fractions and screen anywhere and then you can even save and recall your favourite window arrangements with special order arrange feature when you connect or disconnect an external display when you arrive at work when you arrive at home or when you leave Dawson Usher can access any video store and iTunes aperture iPhoto any connector hard drive on your Mac allowing you to easily group sought tag and organise them into one place if you still parents of a Mac there is no need to convert anything to iTunes format to watch it so if you got video collection scattered across different programs and drives in us can help straight all-out analysis for of their great apps are still five more checkout as well all those apps have free trials that you can download from many tricks all one and contrite about before you buy them they're available I also from the respective pages on the site or through the Mac App Store however if you visit that URL before 15 September yes they extended it just for pragmatic listeners you can take advantage of the special discount off all of their helpful apps exclusively for us simply use pragmatic 25 at pragmatic the word and to find the numbers in the discount code box and a shopping cart receive 25% off this offer is only available pragmatic lessons for a limited time so please take advantage of it while you can thank you once again to many tricks for sponsoring a show okay this is where it gets heavy Vic arm got all about suicide who at this every year it's a tough topic it's difficult topic but the truth is that statistics mineralised Amazon statistics I get that in fact I used to be a statistician in one of my previous jobs however the reality is that although I do not know did not know this particular individual personally are though this the word gets around that an employee of one of the subcontractors and monocytes you know commit suicide you a few months ago and now I deny them are however this sort of thing that would get around and is in Australia at least I can't speak the rest the world in Australia flying Flyer workers have twice the national average our suicide rate are the problem of course is that the workforces but only men and I men have a high suicide rate in the lease in this country anyway so you end up with you know quite a compounding is in the majority of the game being my men on-site young men usually bow hard no maybe 50% of the exact young demographic I'm sure changes in project project but it got me thinking about why that would happen why would it be you know such a difficult thing to why would you want take your life after working in a situation like this and I think a lot of a lot of people's look and discovery that are difficult to generalise but there was a collateral source of reasons and honestly most of them come back to a feeling of being trapped or of having diminished or built or eliminated worth of contribution I would think isolation and loneliness to probably absolutely absolutely right so from the point of view of people get tracked out that I want to explore three of those because that's something that I have witnessed firsthand and to some extent although nowhere near as much as other people and I don't want to say that I've spent more time out on-site than than anyone else that is not true are because the longest swing I've ever done was so seven days and nine and there are signs that ever did 28 days on nine days off until those days off to is not as off spent travelling so we really only gets seven days off now that's rough and if ever that's bad thing about offshore oil platforms it costs a lot of money to get people on and off those platforms helicopters go out you know and they come back you know once a month maybe once every two or three months you know that in emergency situations that that's different but in terms of regulation of rotation three and six my darlings are commonplace and that's hard and I've never done anything like that so all I'm doing is looking at this I some people I've met and some of my feelings on the subject I suppose the truth is that I've met people out there that spent time out there and sign handles disposable income younger people so they say okay I'm gonna buy the latest castle by top-of-the-line fully specked out hundred thousand dollars car you know and you go to the car park and you will be driving in your big four-wheel-drive because that's the mine issue and his deceiver young Sparky's and is a row of while in this country anyway HSV Holden Commodores you know Oldman Aro Ute Saulnier Ford expensive you know cars but you very very much Aussie kind of cars but still you don't see the bigger the maximum BMW that's more about in Australia is more of a arm on the middle-age older sort of demographic for those but the younger younger guys I go further HSV use and that the high-powered V8's and that sort of thing hundred thousand to $20,000 car is brand spanking new middle of a cold neo-coal everywhere you know Dusty dirty and is his beautiful brand-new car is not a month or two old but the thing is you know they still have so much money so what they do they have no family there is nothing to do so they go and they drink you know that they do that's all they do after hours like I came in our to work a few times and they're a bunch of them and they were still they were still drunk from the night before this is the middle of the week and now the ED was getting to them they have had all this money and had nothing to do that sorting and I do and I see is that if you have a family and you do the whole rotation thing so why course I either the cycle swing without explaining what that means our rotation as they they the terminologies of your swing so you know that I say okay I've got some 21 days my swing so go and the time that amount honest on-site as measured by the number swings at youth you've done so IK is the third swing in full swing with you for you for swing in a row I was a swing as I a two week onto week offers a 3 to 3 and one and another often abbreviate three and 12 and two that sort of thing so arm anyway so the other thing is a course you are under financial stress so you go and take a job are flying Flyer and is when you're out there you do this because a family needs the money see you got married you got a few kids gathering in the money pay the mortgage and things are looking good in the money point of view but because you separated from your partner will start to fall off the relationship and suddenly they often leave or you know there's other issues and suddenly it feels like or you doing out there is your being a paycheck providing a paycheck for them as you disconnect down you know and that's how I felt I felt very very disconnected from from my family when I been away and it's terrible and I can see how that would drive people to that sort of an end I can II can I can see that I think that it's it's easier is not talked about why not I don't know why not should be anyway definitely about a one thing I FaceTime house arm I FaceTime with my kids every night sometimes multiple times arm yes the 3G connection was dodgy but you know what just seeing their face as well as hearing the voice made a huge difference is never you that never seems present/course you never will be and again I use that terminologies blessings in hours like the idea arm pretty nevertheless it's better than nothing absolutely but yet that's the great thing is that wet wet when you can see them and you can sort of a non-and the lag is not too bad these days I remember trying a video chatting years ago our back door 10 years ago was terrible these hundred and 2120 pixel hundred 6506 pixel tiny little pixelated you could barely make out that it was a person and it was like I do know one frame a minute they came in at one frame a minute there was terrible it sounded like it was the lag was horrible but now lease more like a slideshow exactly looking at a slideshow anyway it was arm it was bitter it was a lot made a lot easier with FaceTime is no question every night I would talk to my kids and my wife of course arm multiple times every day and it helped helped a lot but being back out there again I had flashbacks to our to Townsville and everything that on all the stress that caused that time and that sign it's been hard because a lot of bats and I was six years ago seven years ago the feelings of this this still there in no so it's a sort of thing that I have to be very careful managing okay so the last route the last reason that I that I could come up with and this is to do with being trapped is the imprisonment because if you think about it there's a lot of us as if this is a feeling of that isolation that you that you mentioned that isolation you know you may as well be in a prison because you can't leave like for example when your offshore oil platform your hundred miles away or more from what you do swim to the shore knockout know it's like that said I had enough of this go and hide on the other side of platform for five minutes because that's about as far as I can go arm or if amount a remote site why, at the moment you it's half an hour drive to the nearest town and it's a 4 1/2 hour drive home that's not too bad in the grand scheme of things because if you've got a vehicle you can do that the coming I currently work for however says no you you need to fly because driving is dangerous so the 80 fly in fly out then youth you've essentially got two flights a day that you can catch or one-sided date opinion the day the week so they don't identically and the flights on the weekends so you are not an issue to what you do you're stuck there until the next flight now when I was working in Townsville was worse than that because neo-the company I was working for was not owned was not AER a mining company Monica and Liz tend to have a little bit more disposable cash because well it's a lucrative business to be in our boats when you're working for in the public sector doing water and wastewater treatment plants were pipelines money is far more tight so when you go you go for keeps you go for a longer period of time you have the economy airfares and economy if as you don't change them because if you do a cost a fortune and that all affects the bottom-line profit of the project so every person realises this and I say okay well I will go to the economy flight when your flight booked for its before flight out Friday afternoon at this time if you met and that's it you can't get out the earlier stuck there till there you play this up like I went to some, horrible hardship because honestly i.e. it wasn't like that exactly you know for me and there are people out there that have gone through a lot worse than I can absolutely understand how it can feel like imprisonment because you're stuck there and you like well unstuck downswing for another 20 days before my flight home in Stuckey I can't leave them and how much I want I can't look around is surrounded by bushland is surrounded by ocean is surrounded by desert there is nothing you know there were that this sounds to me very much like one of those situations where those of us that are on the outside tend to look at people you're just a whiner it's just work you'll be fine just whatever and it is something that you probably just really don't completely understand even begin to train and Christianity are actually in the in the position absolutely right and and this is this the thing is I've heard all her the holding and the favourite when I hear a throwaway line as man up a site while you sure okay arm shot to my family amount as well arm while around there affected to a kids yet helpful advice from old person over here man up anyway it's just yet because really well with the way I'm sure he he she she had man up night doesn't work so here's the thing people look at a building in downtown and I think they see a building that I see the scaffolding I see the site sheds they don't see the high visibility work where are the this the skid leads the hardhats that you know still Booze they see that all they see is the finish building main asset when is under construction but they said they don't see it you know what passes construction again right but once finish C the building and is even worse when its way through my work and is fly in fly out people don't see that all I see is a lightbulb turning on don't see all the people that have built these machines the these coalmines is gas compression plants the they don't see any of that it's all out of sight out of mind they don't see the people that build and they don't know what goes into building them another cost of building and I do is mean dollar cost I mean human cost of building the stuff all they see is the lightweight licorice yet exactly they don't see that and I'm not saying I don't sign not saying that that is that is failing in its it's just the fact the see what but when I see when I see these things I can't help but think of all the people that have put in you sacrifice all of these things you and and fair enough that that I got paid for it no one twisted their arm and said you shall go out there now this is a free country while I say free it's mostly free in certain aspects but you know what no one is holding a gun that they had known's twist and there are more shoving them outside its of its choice but what bugs me is to people understand the trade-offs of that choice and I don't think that they do when I got into engineering I didn't understand any of this no one ever explained any of it to me and playing with the staff is cool they get me wrong walking around these plants playing around these PLCs programming and testing them making these things work integrating them you watching the pump station fire up and start the open pumping out 800 L a second of yellow and dosing systems working for people's drinking water and ice. It's a very very satisfying awareness remote workers a bunch of extra things that we talked about on this episode the people don't think about they don't know about it until they go out and I find out the hard way and maybe that's the reason I want to do this talk about is because no one talks about and there is a downside and is a risk and it's not all about is all about the money it shouldn't ever be all about the money that especially in this case some if you are younger engineer or if you are looking to get involved you even offer 90 point excited as a lot of people in software and an education listen to this art doesn't show that young there are always opportunities for my work in army there is this option easy for doctors focused our base they need doctors out there when people get sick and get sick out there so you know all these different our disciplines will consider remote work but do they know of understand all the risks trade-offs ends and so on to the first half of this of this episode and I also want to talk a little bit about arm about some of the realities of working particularly are on these sites just quickly beyond that to some of the more basic stuff because I want and on such a heavy note basically arm one of the things that having swings on site is that the complication adds is that people you can't have one person as age as a role so they can't be a 11 site superintendent or one site lead electrician that doesn't work because that person is only there for two weeks then they gone for two weeks or you in in the current roster that we got from that most people in the project I'm on but on a roster of previous project eos 28 on nine days off so she has you had a three-week overlap so you'd have the responsibility would be shared between two people and then the other person would cover the other person when they were off swing if it makes sense that so that the creates a problem because you have this problem of handover will change over and on the current project on they have Wednesday is one quote change over day change over days where people come in and say right he is everything that happened in the last two weeks and a running catch a plane in socio-later by your problem now don't you know I'm gone ha ha scenic swing maybe and is that creates a massive problem because when you one person working on a project imagine you're doing your programming away right and you've got another program it's helping you and you handover your code where it's at the end of two weeks on site ego over you you disappear to exam back and hope that they've moved forward how much of that time do you reckon they can spend coming up to speed with every thing you've done it can take days that you know is a problem is a big problem because that's lost time lost efficiency and that's money lost money so what are you right to change it was a big problem but is not just that as well is a safety problem at the end of your swing because when you're the any swing what you think about things are going home that's all you thinking about you lose focus exactly and that's when accidents happen you know and as a result of this they have to just knuckle down safety like you would not believe they are so safety focused on the other on the sites that I been on don't get me wrong I think that's fantastic but the reason that I think that they need to do it is because of this change over this rotation the fly in fly out mentality you if you don't buckle down and it was really hard people will make mistakes people will get hurt and people will die and and and this is what happens on some these construction sites people get killed and if you look at some statistics is not surprising the majority to step the tallies will happen on the fringe side of the swing idea to start in or you're just about to finish them so during that that that that happy. In the middle yellow you're on the neuron the boy on the game yet you do a good job as if you're out there permanently if you lived there and was a fine fly out those problems do not apply minded as a different problem is the Monday and Friday syndrome which is kind of a similar concept but never mind so it's an issue okay so there's the rotating workforces thing are there is the loss of efficiency in terms of actually working on the sites or nothing people don't realise is that you have to wear a personal protective equipment now I honestly have talked about this previously outside 13 safety safety everywhere so if yours did the sort of thing then please have a listener that is viewable beside touch on the specific to big decide on why, though I think were just quickly bringing up so first of all our it is the gas compression plant so that that that that it's got hydrocarbons and was wanting a hydrocarbons do when you lie to match right down your film bang exactly bank scenes leaves a nice crater on the ground not good so you be very very careful so and these particular sites have exclusion zones such that if there is a leak than ambient air will essentially reduce the concentration of the hydrocarbons to the point at which they will not they will not ignite so that critical point at which are they say a cable he is the fenceline once you cross that fenceline you are now within the plant and a whole new set of rules applies the problem of course is that you two way radios are in a unique communication right so those two methods are clear patient how to communicate any two-way radio to a razor barium batteries technically while they're an ignition source because they can get too hot they can fail breakdown they can cause a spark and that's bad so they have special accredited two-way radios that are with a courtly X-rated so in other words they have got additional layers of protection to prevent any sparking arcing and so-and-so for values older technology batteries meaning they won't have lithium ion batteries in them because lithium ion batteries are far more volatile there and these will be attested regularly but they are not gonna let your iPhone on-site then I can let your android smart phone any modern phone has a lithium battery and balalaika laptop on anything with a battery no cameras nothing is box at the gate and you have to put your staff in that box that if you're trusting if you like me and I trust people well you one to put in your bag back at the back on a site shared fair because it is box and there is no $20,000 worth and I'm not joking $20,000 worth of electronics equipment mind your small guide if anyone did flog it she could probably find them before they left site but even so you know I'm not taken a chance thank you very much with my with my iPhone 5 S on far too attached to a surgically attached in some cases aspirin on a healthy thing ever a problem with people not taking that serious and trying to sneak the devices in yes it is a problem the site I'm working on the moment is in the warmup phase law while the track early transition phase such that it is only a new rule so they going to be relaxed about it for a little while it still in the commissioning which is the only reason I'm out there is because in witnessing commissioning our yes, a witness I'm a looker not a doer in this case it is unusual for me is happening more as I'm getting further along in my career is that I used to be the doer now on the observer and is okay I get to be the cranky old guy say you're there when that ground something like that and I don't act to talk like that but although I see maybe you should know my wife okay so people do slimmer and are there will be a grace period but wants grace period expires people are on notice that they will be dismissed from site and if there is multiple infractions across multiple sites that will be dismissed from the company because they have to be taking this stuff seriously it's the sort of thing that the guy that comes on the site with a damaged phone walks and there doesn't know the rules and doesn't think the rules apply to them or doesn't care about the rules and all the dominoes orders line up that day where there is a very small leak in one seal somewhere the walk pass area boom and then only one that'll pay that price exactly you can't take chances like that you just can't so it's a very different environment from the Nina Lefevre worked in before and you have to take it seriously so those that are bodiless safety committee be gone and I had Entre had previously don't let too much safety glasses and when you got a high-pressure gas leak or arm previously are when I was in the sternal powerstation a high-pressure steam then you know that can obviously cause significant eye damage almost instantly a meal it will happen faster than you can blink you that the reflex to blink is not quick enough to stop that from damaging Orion even then your eyelid may not be strong enough to keep that air pressure out from penetrating your eyeball destroying your eyes so having safety rated non-shatter our safety glasses is absolutely crucial and what sucks for me as a course I have terrible eyesight so I need I need to have custom glasses made orator for divers in winter fit I was not a problem but in summer they horrible because they tried all the perspiration they fog up our because what happened was at a wrap around your face and literally are touch the sides of your face arm and they have to completely encapsulate your eyes and eye sockets in order to be useful affected area yet to be fact exactly so honestly arm at this point in time are I have been wearing for divers but it's winter over here so that's good but I'm going to have to get some prescription safety glasses at some point and some other expensive unfortunately that's the cost of doing business minute is good now they have that because 10 years ago 15 years ago that was not even option there were no such things if you want to do that the obstacles were contact lenses and West End safety glasses of course our course adequately got the usual suspects hearing protection you are like arm the plugs in somewhat of a previously hardhat steel Boots of course to stop the toes getting crushed in casing falls on them you and of course the usual PPE so long sleeve shirt long pants made out of cotton flame retardant materials are high visibly stripes again already talk about this on episode down 13 so go back on this matter. If you're interested so you can have all of these things if we can set foot on the sites you have the induction pate where everything is where the exits are and insights where you've got dangerous chemicals you have to be aware of the wind direction so when you but typically on in most locations you will have two prevailing wind patterns you'll have morning and evening not always receive the storm activity about but it's it's critically important that you understand the prevailing wind direction and on sites like this because of course I hydrocarbons and when you've got nitrogen on-site nitrogen in large concentrations wall will diss will disburse displace oxygen and as a result you can actually suffocate so we need to be aware of is the direction the wind is blowing because it is an evacuation you need to get out of that site outside the fenced area and you need to sit in also sit/stand mingle whatever in one of the evacuation areas and those evacuated by evacuation areas need to be up wind of wherever are the plant is at depending on wind direction so for this that there is usually three but I'm not sure whether in your lives to have been on one place only at two evacuation locations and there have to be multiple windsocks that are up in the Winsock shader prevailing wind direction so of course all this good stuff changes day by day so what they have on the site and is very common in the construction industry cynical pre-start and a pre-start is that the meeting that people have before work actually begins so you show up on site at stupid o'clock and I do mean stupid o'clock and don't ask me why I actually did a bit of research into this and I still after 20 years have no idea why everyone starts at six in the morning in the construction industry someone knows please tell me I want to know why it's just the way it's done so typically construction industry are if you're working locally your work 63 Sussex a.m. to 3 PM but if you're working out a remote site because you've got nowhere else to go great go off at 3 PM and I'll sit back at the camp why well as a worker five or six or seven whatever right because these rule yes and the rules stipulate you can't be there more than I think it's 14 hours straight so songs within those rules and people work 12 to 14 hour days when the reality swings because there's nothing else to do but work arm anyway so the point you get site at what 530 in the morning at this site on working at our last last few weeks and next week next two weeks so is 5:30 AM start and the pre-start meeting at 630 so gives you an hour just under an hour to get your get organised then you ever negotiated the pre-start in the pre-start meetings are will you go through the list of activities for the day sarong walks around section by section and says right we can be working in this part of the plant today is what will be undertaking several snows locating and we maintain this bit that areas cordoned off you can't go over there and so on and I run through the list of all the things you do that day and say okay well you don't do this don't do that and so on and so forth ago cool lovely and it's a great opportunity as well for people to go to bring up issues and of course talk about prevailing wind direction and weather conditions are nice and the stuff and what the other funny things that they started doing in recent years they didn't used to do safety exercises air that we work art yet we have a aware restorative ship meeting that we can stand up and then they are always end it with stretches you but did okay so arm not drawing attention to our collective ages but in the past is the epicentre things is a more recent thing are this is the first place I've ever worked into their account so from my point of view also the first and I've been the last major construction job was working on-site that time of day was only four years ago prior to this one fax you wear where I attended a pre-start and know there were no stretches so I think it's a great idea don't get me wrong but it is pain image in your mind of 40 or 50 you know surly looking blokes sizes at 630 in the morning is not as it is not pretty do not take a photograph or video please anyway is terrible anyway the minor so yeah I am honestly arm think that the pre-starts are conceptually a great idea the problem I have is that some people squander that first hour they get the site they go make a coffee stick around the coffee machine at the water cooler catch up on emails they don't spend the time to actually plan out what they're doing for the day and I went to that while the priest asked last week that stuck in my mind and it's like so what's up for group blah and that their answer was well we think we might look at that but we haven't caught up with such and such they were not sure is like okay we've discarded for the purpose of by contributing to next time either do you work beforehand or shut up it was a point in point of the pre-start unless of course you are going the priest after the warmup exercises you mean assuming you actually get more out of it you should probably think it through first so I find that it is it that that it works well so long as people can and do that crap but some people don't and that makes it less effective anyway arm so you and honestly I don't have to much more as I want to add our I guess if I wanted to do sort of wrap it up on anyone knows I guess I have to say that the source of little things that you aren't told that you learn when you go to the sorts of sites and working in the industry you get exposed to some really awesome equipment and it's a lot of fun making the stuff work troubleshooting it it is it is fine and I enjoyed Amelia's wind still doing little things you don't tell you about how it affects your relationships about how are all the different ins and outs of things you have to wear an animal summer P. PP is terribly hot young heat stress is a big problem now people you like the Ted Heath heat fatigue and Ansonia keep keep your iron and as all these extra layers of safety and and you can be mindful of all these things as not so that they teach you don't teach it at university and I tell you any of you know and don't you don't learn it seems any other way than by going out there and learning so if anyone has listen to this episode in and they now have a better idea hopefully of what it's like working in a flat flyer fly in fly drive and drive out situation in different kinds of of the sorts of sites may then that can help inform them if they ever want to pursue a career in that is a course I've just convinced everyone is a really really bad idea because it's also quite possible that all achieved senior so we we will be signing up for off-line flyer job at any point Vic are probably not okay but I probably wouldn't have before either or Lego ally OA like being old you believe me so I so I it wasn't more about this you reach me on Twitter at John Geagea and check out my writing to if you lots any feedback please use the feedback from the website that we also find so nice episode on the pod casts pragmatic you can follow pragmatic show on Twitter to see show announcements and other related materials like when we going life for example are I'd like to thank my young co-star Vic Hudson was the best way to get the building and certificate are they can follow me on Twitter at the Goodson number one do you make any apps perchance I do make some apps them most of their Mori media project stage and have been released yet but I do have one in the store, the pilot it's a personal finance manager fantastic cool lovely I also like to thank many tricks are sponsoring the show today if you're looking for some Mac software that can do many tricks remember to specifically visit this URL many tricks all one for more information about their amazingly useful apps is a discount code pragmatic 25 that's pragmatic the word and to find the numbers to 25% off the total price of your hurry it's only for a limited time thanks again for listening everybody and to stick around for the Q&A after the show thanksgiving the yeah okay so interesting point from RR N_in a chat room regarding being an introvert and an excellent visit that year and the being an introvert's are I think you're right actually that that would make it a lot easier on I'm I am an introvert it may sound odd I've got pod casts I talk and thousands of people listen to me talk every week which is still crazy to me that whatever arm it's I am generally in any interval I do keep myself to myself are airways extroverts I can see that causing issues so one RN_in a chat room suggests extroverts cause a lot of social friction are because away enough new people I can I can sort of I can see how that would be an issue and is yet and are and his are his or her background RN_are they worse what a civilian job in a conflict zone was the way they described it in a chat room so yes similar similar kinds of pressures I am I imagine so being being introverted I think definitely would do would be a benefit but honestly from my from my point of view it's our it's still rough in the relationship perspective irrespective of whether an introvert or extrovert extrovert but I guess it would impact on the people around you so yeah and are blue_points out yes that's true gal being able to give AER a presentation is different from being interactive that's true I suppose it is a different social arm's different skills that I supposed well and it's even easier for us as podcast is buying a microphone because you don't you know you're not interacting with our media get your cherub that you and your in general you're not interacting with large groups of people for random strange people in so is it smaller than it is a one-way relationship for the most part it is you talking out and you don't have to to deal with template cool down a right to counselling right and I arm you being out being honest and up in front of crowds and you haven't really had to be problems with first 10 seconds but then after some fine and and picturing the audience naked thing what the hell is that all about this so I and I don't usually get nervous podcasting but public speaking that's probably what I was no merit fifth so that why you're been apprehensive about doing a life thing you wish to live now other people to so that year for listening to you right now I can understand you ideas are going or not is not helping as our night I think I'm okay with this sabbatical into it because I have never tried it before but I think I'm okay with think for me the worst part is this people looking back at me I am fine and yet you as a reaction remember in school happened to do presentations and public speaking and getting up in front of people and an people staring back at me with and what they're thinking that is I remember thinking what you want from the outset neither this thing and I are that when I'm doing when I'm presenting your rum yellow all lecturing/teaching whatever come doing inside I do I do a lot of training in my job and are a lot of tutorials and that sort of thing are has been the law by the presentation stuff that I do I see the audience and nodding off I'll old also stop talking and just wait and see how long it takes for the people are drifting off and Dar just to see how limitation snap out of it every now and then I'll just say some really really loud like a Hasegawa who still awake that something like that because you know if you're if honest down there and talk your dam a lesson and it's gotten harder in recent years because of course smart phones you know it's like people looked out the dam phones and are not looking at you and it's a little bit demoralising especially when people they went when that when you're putting on putting a lot of effort to a presentation they sharpen you and you don't actually you get much of a response for them it's so care and the blue_a chat room Mrs Pinar typing I will open rum prattling on our say saying that's talking to one person and looking at them in the eye are sort of it's a method of connecting with the my guess is the way I describe that is that once you connect with that person like you're talking with them you tend to are you tend to maintain their intent to maintain their attention I think longer because they know you and which point they may decide yeah yet on whatever it is I break eye contact when I want but I think once you maintain eye contact with strangers for example you doing presentation to they feel more connected more obligated to continue that I contacted continue paying attention because I kill his desire me yes it was engagement are you exactly as it was funny I watched I went to arm because you know when you're in a relationship you often do things that you wouldn't otherwise ordinarily do such as go to the boy from Oz which was a mere musical arm with the other the version I went to a boy was a few that the other did a tour and one was with Hugh Jackman who was of course Wolverine as well as the miscellaneous other roles displayed anyway and Dar are a one point during the performance out early on he said dumb you he was fortunate that he had AER a mental early on his career on stage that Sam taught him how to connect with every member of the audience and he did something that was quite extraordinary he looked around as there must've been no hundred thousand people in this day a lot of people in this massive auditorium and his gaze just like moved all around the entire audience been such a way that it looks like he was looking right at you for a few moments and how the hell we achieve that and actually took in the whole audience in a period of what I do know arm like 32nd 60 seconds was just incredible is weird can believe it but he pulled off and worked and EAI felt that that that weird connection so masses were creepy but anyway´┐Ż
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Vic Hudson

Vic Hudson

Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.