Home » Gate Guarding » It’s a Man’s World

It’s a Man’s World

If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.    ~ Yogi Berra

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To quote the late James Brown, it’s a man’s world, at least it is in the oil/natural gas industry.

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According to Catalyst it looked something like this in 2011:

Male-Dominated Industries in Canada and the U.S.

Industry

Women’s Share in Canada, 201110

Women’s Share in U.S., 201111

Agriculture

29.5%

N/A

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting

N/A

24.7%

Construction

11.2%

9.2%

Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping

16.0%

13.7%

Forestry and Logging with Support Activities

14.8%

N/A

Mining (including oil and gas extraction)

19.0%

12.1%

Utilities

24.7%

22.2%

Women in Management in Male-Dominated Industries

Those stats are just management. By the time you get to a drilling rig, or FRAC or production or completion, the percentage of female employees is next to nil.

I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.     ~ Yogi Berra

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We have deep depth.  ~ Yogi Berra

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Gate guards, which are made up of about 55% men and 45% women, don’t count since we’re Security not Mining. There are still several men who work gates solo but only a couple of women. We’ve met  two other women teams –  a mother and daughter and two that are good friends. Needless to say, in this man’s world, men do not work in teams at a gate. Can you imagine 2 men living in an RV? They can’t even sit next to each other at the movies! 😀

If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. ~ Yogi Berra

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So yes, it’s a man’s world.

He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.             ~ Yogi Berra

In a year and a half, we’ve worked with 1 woman who was our geologist, 1 woman who was a safety trainer and maybe 2 or 3 female semi drivers.

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Other than the women in sales, we live in a man’s world, deep in the heart of very macho Texas!

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It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility. ~ Yogi Berra

Heidi and I spoke to groups of health care professionals for nearly 25 years,  90% of whom were women.  Yogi got this one right – at least partially. 😀

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It isn’t the heat (or the gender), it’s the humility, the attitude, that makes the difference between people who are good to work for and with, and those who can make the day really unpleasant.

These guys get a lot of credit. I know it was a shock when their gate guards arrived in this man’s world and we were both women! We’ve gotten used to each other over the last 7 weeks. They’ve decided we’re “family”.  It’s mostly a man’s world, but it’s our world, too. 😀

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38 thoughts on “It’s a Man’s World

  1. New to gate guarding…enjoy your posts. Freaked out tonight with thunder, lightning, strong winds (I closed one of our slides) and rain. Second big storm in a week.

    I agree with the pioneers with AC line of thinking. You never know what’s going to happen next. AND the truck drivers are like cowboys!

    Susan
    http://travelbug-susan.blogspot.com

    • Susan –
      I just checked my spam, which I only do occasionally, and found 3 of your comments there – this being one of them.
      I have no idea why unless it’s your blog address at the bottom?
      Anyway, my apologies.
      I’ll pop over and take a look at your blog tonight. 😀

      So y’all are new to this!
      Well then WELCOME!
      You’re right, you really don’t know what’s going to happen next – believe me – you’re in for a passel full of surprises!
      Thank for continuing to comment even though they weren’t all showing up.
      I’ll keep a closer eye out for you!
      Debbie

  2. Hello. The entire ten months we gate guarded, we had one female mudlogger and one female during the fracking. Not sure what her job was. We were told we could and should go with the rig, but when we called GGS about it, they told us “No” as they already had gate guards in place at the new location. We were disappointed, but it was all good.

    • Penny –
      It’s truly a man’s world here!
      Our rig is set to move again in around a week. They told us “the company” (still a little unclear if that was Marathon or GGS but I think it was GGS), said to leave us here through frac etc… but all 4 of the head Company Men said no, they were taking us with them. I think if it happens again and you want to follow – you can let GGS know and they’ll work with that.
      We’re really happy with this group and appreciative of the way they look out for us and of the job security of following a rig. It’s not such a big deal in the summer when gate guards get scarce, but we sure don’t want another stretch of waiting 2-3 weeks for an assignment while we sit in the yard in the winter. If all goes well, we hope to stay with this group pretty long term since we’re year rounders.
      It’s nice to know how they want things done and get into the rhythm of the rig. As you know, it’s different with every company and every company man! 😀
      Debbie

  3. Debbie, on American Idol last night, contestant Joshua Ledet sang this song! Really well , too! 🙂 I tried to get it to share here,but failed. 😦

    • Deb –
      I did see that! It was something wasn’t it! Because of our weird schedules, I never watch anything “live”. Since I’d recorded it, I played it for Heidi. So funny since it was just a day or so after the post! 😀
      Debbie

  4. I love how you wrote this, the pictures and the quotes. 🙂 And I did wonder if there were ever any women working the rigs. Rare, huh? Then to learn that it is even rare for there to be women gate guards. Well, we knew you were something special and a rare find all along . . .now they know too! 🙂
    love and prayers . .has the temps been bad?

    • Hello Deb!
      By far, the majority of gate guards are married couples. Many are retired and do this part time to supplement their income.
      There aren’t a whole lot of us that are year rounders – I wish I could get the numbers on that, it would be interesting.
      And that is largely because it’s pretty miserable down here in the summer.

      It’s been hovering around 91 for a week, but I think it’s just supposed to be in the upper 80’s for the next several days.
      Last summer (our first here) was one of the worst in Texas history. In our particular location(s) we had 64 straight days of 100+ temps.
      We were hot, but you can’t really complain when you get to return inside to an air conditioned RV.
      It was brutal for the rig crew. I don’t know how they take the heat.
      They’re a pretty tough bunch.
      No question about what song I have in my head tonight, is there! 😉
      Debbie

        • Jill –
          Snow I wouldn’t mind (seriously) but tonight it’s been constant lightning and a little hail, a lot of wind and a barrel of rain. What a muddy mess getting out to the gate and the lights keep blowing over!
          You guys left just in time! Feel sorry for the guys on the rig. Sounds like it’s going to be like this all week!
          Debbie

  5. SIng it Sister! (loved the James Brown thank you) You two are breaking barriers. You Go Girls! I LOVE that you broke the numbers down for us. for some reason (probably because I pretend in my mind that Mel and I are gate guards in an RV…. with a DOG of course…) I thought more women were gate guards. Way to GO!

    Now here is possible small world thing (again….) a friend of mine is geologist for an oil company. SHE works in Texas. could it be???

    her name is Sarah,,,

    YOU make me smile ALL the time.

    Love to you you Barrier Breaker you,

    Jen

    • Jen –
      It’s so funny, it never occurred to me that we would be crashing any ceilings – which kind of shows you how much I knew about Texas and about gate guarding when we started.

      It’s not a particularly physical job so I didn’t see any reason why two women couldn’t do it just as well as a husband/wife team.
      We check the oil in the generator every 3 days (which our boss tells us some of the men refuse to do).
      I stay up all night and never, never sleep on the job, which many of the men (and women) do.
      We’re entirely self sufficient and never ask for anything from the oil company or Gate Guard Services. It seems like a perfectly fine job for women, unless they aren’t willing to work. 😀
      There are a lot of woman RVers – just not doing what we do.

      No, our geologist’s name was Emily.
      She was so nice.
      She wasn’t crazy about the job. She’d just graduated from college and it was a good way to pay off her student loans, but being on a rig, in safety meetings twice a day etc… with 15-20 men, being the only woman and being so young, made her uncomfortable. I don’t know if she’s still doing it or not, but I rather suspect not.

      I’m really such a boring, mundane person that Barrier Breaker makes me laugh!
      Love to you, too!
      Debbie

      • Hello ladies, i’m up for RVing!!! Barrier breaking … that too. Dog, of course! Love to you guys!!!

      • It is TOO easy for young women today to think that the ‘women’s movement’ is a waste of time. women still earn less than men for equal work and women still have to work harder to break through in most al careers.

        You two are trial blazers! I LOVE that about you two.
        YOU are so NOT boring or mundane. You are anything but.

        XXXOOO Jen

        • Jen –
          We’re not blazing any trials tonight, we’re just hanging onto our hats.
          Well actually, Heidi’s sleeping and I’ve given up on hats and hoods – too windy.
          We’re under our 4th tornado watch/severe thunderstorm warning.
          The lights keep blowing over in the mud.

          I’ve given up on dry clothes. Just decided to enjoy the cool feeling of drenched pants! 😉
          In real life, I really am pretty boring. Just ask Heidi. 😀
          love you for thinking otherwise though,
          Debbie

      • Ok Debbie, i can’t figure out where the reply button is on your site … it looks like i’m answering my own questions. Talking to myself again.

        ON PIONEERING WITH A/C. I can do that! Rugged, oh baby, i know a friend of my who prefers a certain kind of FASHION boots that would work just fine in the Guard Gate Business. XO

    • Vicky –
      We’re such Moms – we get worried about them etc…
      Both of our head Company Men have said:”You’re family now.” and both seemed to sincerely mean it.
      I thought it was sweet.

      We’re older than both of them.
      Well, we’re older than everyone here I guess.:D

      I’m so glad you’ve been having a chance to enjoy your grandchildren!
      For some reason, that reminds me – we have a rig hand who looks like he’s maybe 30. I’m never sure about age here since so many of the guys look older than they are – rough life. His wife had a baby last week. I congratulated him and asked if this was his first?
      No – his 8th! Maybe he’s older than he looks! 😉
      Debbie

  6. I can’t even begin to tell you close to “home plate” this post was.But i think you probably know. Love you both……. Z

    • Hi Zoe!
      Actually, I thought about you quite a bit when I was writing this post. I knew you would be able to more than identify with the feeling of being in a ‘man’s world’.
      Love to you, from H and H and me!
      Debbie

    • Hello Bobbie!
      We’ve always baked for the guys.
      And we always try to have something for our FS (Junior, in our case). He’s so good to us, we try to keep something special on hand to give him every time he gives us diesel or checks the generator.
      You’re so right, men love to be fed!
      I think Heidi’s planning on making homemade bread next. 😀
      Debbie

  7. OK, i got so distracted by Yogi, i need to go back and ready the contact of your post. However, i get the drift that when it comes to Oil Pumping and dredging, digging, transporting it’s a Man’s World. I love the statement about men not sitting next to each other at a movie. What on EARTH??? Yeah, i could see them in an RV: TWO excellent rat killers 😉 LOVE YOU, mel

    • Mel –
      As Bob pointed out, I did get a little carried away with Yogi quotes. He was certainly an interesting talker!

      It just cracks me up to go to a movie and see a group of guys (defined as two or more) come in and sit in every other seat! Seriously fellas, gets some courage! 😀
      We live in a world SO worried about what people might think, don’t we? Sad…

      If it takes a man to kill a snake, we have more than enough guys around. However, half of them seem to be more worried about snake than we are so we may have to resort to the long handled hoe! 😉
      Debbie

      • Snakes. Shot gun comes to mind!!! Jen is a marks woman. That works for me. I don’t want to have to be so close to a snake to use a hoe! Yikes!!

        • Mel –
          That is the thing about the hoe – the handle needs to be about 15 feet for me to feel safe! 😉
          Technically, we aren’t suppose to have guns but most of the gate guards that I know do.
          We have a CO2 BB pistol, but I don’t think it would have a lot of impact on a rattlesnake. Plus, it would require being an awfully accurate shot in the midst of terror! 😀
          Debbie

      • OK, up here — regarding the hoe! 15 feet. OK, you’d have to be really skilled to whack a snake with that kind of LONG leverage. Anyway, i couldn’t use a high-powered gun either. A BB gun would probably aggravate the beast. I’m not sure i wouldn’t wear body armour down there. However it’s too hot for that. Brave ladies you and Heidi!

  8. Love the post Debbie but I think you’ve exhausted all of my future Yogi Bera quotes. It’s back to Erma Bombeck.

    • Bob –
      He just seemed to fit so well in a man’s world that I couldn’t stop myself! 😉
      Use them anyway. I’ll laugh again when I read them in your posts!
      Debbie

  9. HI Debbie
    My sister and I were just talking about this subject of men – she works in the Auto Industry – part time answering phones and setting up appointments for car repair and the other half of her day – straightening out Car Titles – what a mess
    Her job changed as the economy has really hit the auto industry
    She has not “done” title work for over ten years
    The “guys” were used to another woman who worked with them
    After six months my sister is finally being accepted by the “guys” and they aren’t so grouchy about the new changes
    We came to the conclusion that men do not like change – they may be tough on the outside but inside they like an nice orderly world with no change
    Oh well, it still is a man’s world and women try to make the “guys” comfortable
    Ultimately its just time and waiting for the guys to get used to the change
    Hope you and Heidi are happy where you are “at” – the key to a good life
    God Bless
    susie

    • Susie –
      Heidi and I have both liked this job (gate guarding) from the start. I’m not entirely sure why. 😉
      We worked for a year with one company and knew our guys really well.
      When they stacked (pulled their rigs out of Texas) we subbed for a couple of months and then had time off for repairs. We’d heard from several in the business that this would be a great rig to follow. So we stayed unemployed for an extra 3 weeks until their Winter Texan gate guards went home.
      It was a gamble as we hated going so long (almost 6 weeks total) without a paycheck.
      We will have been with these guys for 2 months on Wednesday.
      They were nice, if somewhat taken off guard, from the beginning.
      They’re even nicer now.
      I’m anticipating that we’ll stay with them indefinitely (which means for the next 5 or 6 years) if they continue drilling in areas where we feel comfortable.
      We’ve drawn a line in the caliche regarding how far south and west we’ll go.
      We feel more than blessed to have been assigned to this rig.
      To be honest, they weren’t the only ones who didn’t like change.
      We liked our old company and missed the men we’d come to know and prayed for there and their way of doing things.
      We committing to staying with this rig through one hole and then we thought we might move on.
      I’m so grateful that we didn’t.
      I don’t think we could find a better situation.
      The key to a Good Life – yes ma’am! 😉
      Debbie

      • It means a lot to all of us when we find the right home, right job and the right people to work with –
        I’m glad you and Heidi made the sacrifice (money wise) to stick to God’s leading and hook up with the right crew
        Glad things are working out – even with some slight upheavals – life is so much more enjoyable when we let God do His work in our lives
        God Bless you and Heidi
        susie

        • Susie –
          So true!
          Heidi baked bread for the Company Men today. When she took it to their trailer (office), our main boss said that the Company wanted them to leave us here when they finish this hole and assign them new gate guards (they’ll move in 2-3 weeks about 40 miles). He said he told “them” that that just wasn’t happening. They’re taking us with them. 😀
          Hope so. I’m not sure who holds the trump card.
          We’ll see.
          Regardless, we’re grateful and counting our blessings!
          Debbie

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