Home » Gate Guarding » The Bigwigs Are Coming,The Bigwigs Are Coming!

The Bigwigs Are Coming,The Bigwigs Are Coming!

The Changing of the Guard last fall in London

Actually the Bigwigs have come and gone.

Bigwigs are very important people (VIPs) or at least they are the people some people think are very important.

The origin of the term bigwig, according to the Phrase Finder and loosely translated by me, is as follows:

Big wigs became a fashion statement when Louis XIII of France went prematurely bald. Embarrassed, he took to wearing a wig.

Apparently a lot of people wanted to look like a king (or queen) so by the middle of the century(1600’s) and especially during the reign of Louis XIV, wigs were virtually obligatory for all European nobility and ‘persons of quality’.

Wigs were really expensive and required a lot of maintenance, so they were worn only by the powerful and wealthy. Ostentation was the order of the day in Bourbon France and over time the wigs became bigger, often to the point of absurdity and requiring of scaffolding.

I don’t really get this last part, do you? Did they hang their wigs from scaffolding or did they push the scaffolding along with them when the went out and about?

Here, they watered our dusty road for two days.

That was the first indication something way out of the ordinary was about to happen. In six months of gate guarding, we’ve never had our road watered. As it turns out, it’s so dry and hot that watering the road creates about an hour of mucky mess, then it back to dusty dry again.

I don’t know if the bigwigs were off schedule, but the special water-the-road truck made its last pass just after everyone had arrived in a cloud of dust. The bigwigs included prospective investors and some of the higher-ups from the oil company.

Our CM made an early morning run to town for Pepto-Bismol. The BW’s arrived around 9 and cleared out by 1.

Heidi faithfully stood outside for four hours in her bright orange vest, eating dust.

Trevor and Big John. Big John reminds us daily: 'if anyone messes with you, I'll take care of them'.

The guys on the rig were told to shave and wear long-sleeved shirts whether they were working or not (it was around 102 with a heat index pushing upwards of 107).

The bigwigs look a little different here is southern Texas than they did back in the day in France. Here, they arrived in big trucks wearing big white cowboy hats, or so I’m told. I got up at 1:45 and missed all the whole thing. I love working nights! I was interested in hearing the reaction of the guys that night, after the dust settled. Our guys are easily impressed.

Hard work impresses them. Loyalty impresses them. They’re impressed when someone has their back. They’re impressed when we give them 2 cent candy or brownies or share our tomatoes. They’re impressed that we pray for their safety and give them cough drops for a sore throat. A smile impresses them. Money…  not so much.

Bradley and his dad, Little John who always stop and say hi and smile, even when it's 105.

Socially, we tend to elevate bigwigs: the important people in town; the famous people; the actors and authors and politicians and just plain rich people –  often to the point of absurdity and requiring of scaffolding.

In an industry of millionaires, the guys who work on the rig are a continual reminder of who a really important person is: it’s the guy who never fails to say hey , the guy who always checks to see if we need anything from the store, the guy who hops out of the truck to ‘take out the garbage’ without ever being asked. It seems we’re surrounded by bigwigs and they all wear hard hats.

7 thoughts on “The Bigwigs Are Coming,The Bigwigs Are Coming!

  1. One of the guys went to the doctor today and when he came back he said, “You girls are part of the crew now, you know.” I feel honored to be considered part of their group.

    • John – I started with zero preconceptions since I knew absolutely nothing about the industry. These guys are consistently friendly and so positive – even after a 12 hour day in the scorching heat! Amazing.

  2. Hey!!! What are my guys doing on your rig? The working crews are my “Big-Wigs”. They all deserve special treatment. And all the action around here happens on my shift (Nights) never on Andy’s!! Dammit!

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