Blog ~ Rex, Rex, Rex we Must Work on Your Telephone Etiquette

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Rex, Rex, Rex we Must Work on Your Telephone Etiquette

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posted by Jay on September 14th, 2009 at 8:31 PM

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There was this driller in Elk City, Oklahoma named Rex that always answered the intercom or telephone with a growled, “What!!!!!”, and very loud. Rex was a real sweetie pie in real life but he acted like an idiot on the phone. It made no difference who called the rig floor, he answered the same way. The old saying about putting your brain in gear before opening your mouth can be very useful . Like my old friend Judge said, “I just want to be friends.” A little bit of telephone etiquette or just plan manners shouldn’t be out of the question because you work in the oil field. In Saudi Arabia back in the 70’s I was having a visit in the Toolpusher’s office when a guy came through the door using some terrible language. I mean this guy could cuss. He cussed what is known as a blue streak. He had words for stuff that I had never thought of before. I couldn’t help myself. I had to ask him where he was from and what his name was. “ Rooster”, he replied, “and I’m from O*#@!ingdessa”. It was at that moment that I decided that Odessa must be the Nasty Mouth Capital of the Oil Patch. I was young and impressionable at that time but I have now decided that Odessa is just where that particular idiot was from. I have heard lots of foul language worldwide. It seems that when you learn a new language, it’s the bad words you learn first. I guess you need them sooner than later. In many languages about the worse that you can get is to be called a pig or a donkey, maybe even that you have no brains. English and Spanish are just about the only languages where your Momma’s honor ends up in the big middle of things. It’s not only language, it is also just plain manners. Take your hat off in a restaurant unless you are carrying a gun. In the old days if you had a hat on inside the restaurant, you were armed. No policeman ever took the hat off because they were ready to go. It was an honor to be able to wear your hat. It was respect for authority. It seems that has also gone out the door of late. One of the Smith VP’s ask me one time what was the hardest thing to learn or change coming from the field to dealing with management. Field language doesn’t work in the offices around the world. You can’t speak to an Arab Drilling Manager the same as you can to your derrick hand. The way I explained it to him was somewhat more colorful but he got the point. I promise that your kids wouldn’t be proud of some of the crap that roughnecks are putting on web-sites like YouTube and others. This type language is just not acceptable or necessary. If you are going to go up in this business you had better get this kind of stuff out of your act. Believe it or not please and thank you go a long ways in showing just how a guy was raised. Nothing that is good comes easy. I quit smoking after attempting unsuccessfully hundreds of times. It also takes a conscious effort to change your thoughts and language. Good Luck.

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