Friday, 23 August 2013

Lloyd Cole never sang about this! But Mike Patton did!!

Did I step on an old gypsy lady's foot or something on the way out to this job?
That is the only rational (rational?!) explanation for the catalogue of disasters that has befallen this job.

I had already resigned myself to a 'lost weekend'.  After all, I should never have scheduled a weekend of activity with friends AND family - I've only myself to blame really!  But I was given an 'out' yesterday afternoon when the test we had been waiting for became available earlier than expected.
'Are you alright to work late?' enquired a concerned OIM.
'No problems!' I lied.
I had no intention of telling him about the previous two and a half days I'd just spent watching the Discovery Channel while waiting on the repair.  His thanks were as effusive as I'd expected and I felt relatively no guilt.  But the Gods of work are a fickle bunch and they had a delicious revenge lying in wait for me...

We made our preparations and had tea, I even got a permit on board the RG5 with relative ease.  Then we rigged onto the system and had our pre-test safety meeting (toolbox talk).
That's when the gap-toothed old crone's curse kicked in (she must have been gap-toothed, surely?!).
I got the radio call every leak test supervisor dreads,
'Can you come up to the pump unit please?'
Naturally, as this was the last test before home and we had the chance to avoid a 'lost weekend' by getting on Friday's last chopper, things went 'Tits up' (technical term).

Yup, our Nitrogen converter, which had been running far too smoothly thus far on the trip, decided that it was now the time to prove we are merely playthings for a very cruel bunch of Gods.  I wouldn't say it developed a problem as for that to have happened it would have had to start in the first place. 
It never really feels like a proper breakdown if it doesn't start first. Can it even be classed as a 'breakdown' in the truest sense of the word (answers on a postcard please!)?

So, in short, two days of TV watching was followed by five hours of good news, bad news, worse news.  And a 'lost weekend' to rival any other!


Now some of you will have already worked out what constitutes a 'lost weekend' but for the stragglers here's the real definition...

This is something all leak testers and indeed all ad-hoc personnel in the offshore industry will have encountered from time to time.  It is when your scope of work is completed just too late to be able to get home on the Friday chopper meaning you can't get off until Monday at the earliest.  It is a constant source of wonder for me that on almost every job I go on, at some point this will happen.

Seriously, this has happened to me on three out of my last four trips.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a free weekend of watching football or whatever rubbish happens to be on the telly (except Sky News, God! I hate Sky News) but I'd just rather be doing it in my own home...

Ah well, what time does the bond open?

Neil Hannon Rocks!!