• Steve and Melissa Burnett

Old School Boss


Another Monday yee haw. Kinda reminds me of the old dog new tricks. I had to get Melissa to show me how to get into the blog post again. So I got her to write down the instructions. Now if I can just get one of my neo ducks to stay in line so I can remember where I put the instructions. Ugh getting old sucks.


I get a lot of questions on where my caricatures come from. Most of them are a composition of people I have met and worked with in blue collar adventures in my lifetime. However JP is not one of those. JP was actually the production foreman my father worked for while he was with Cities Service/Citgo/Oxy. JP was a hard-nosed do it "my way or the highway" boss. He did not take anything from anybody and loved dishing it out. This leadership style is effective to a point. The chain of command never gets muddy and communications seldom had any gray area in it. In my blue collar adventures over the years I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of leaders and seen a lot of leadership styles. I have discovered over the years that this style of leadership will only get so some much work done. The most effort from the workers this style will ever get is about 80%. It is not conducive to a good work environment. The workers do not feel they are appreciated/respected. I even went through a leadership training/seminar in Galveston, (when I was working offshore for Pennzoil) that was supposed to streamline the decision making and include the field hands in the decision making process. While it was a good theory and I thought it really had a lot of potential to bring a new level of respect to the field employees by recognizing us as the process experts we were, it did not materialize. It all come down to the leadership seen it as giving up power and making the decision making process muddied. The leaders refused to give up any power and still demanded the top down "my way or the highway". And a little research will tell you how that paid off for Pennzoil in the mid 90's.


Anyway back to JP. He is a hard nosed "My way or the Highway" kinda Boss. A real hard-nosed old school Boss. I also get comments about his tie. Nobody wears a tie on a rig, I have heard, and I know this is true. The tie is symbolic of his standing with the company. He is not only the hard nosed Boss but he also represents the "Corporate Leadership" of the company. A level of the company which the field hand can never touch nor be a part of. If you notice too JP never wears work boots, nor safety glasses. I have noticed over they years that the, "My Way or the Highway" Bosses, do not have to conform to the field level safety standards the field hands have to.


And Snowflake, I do not have to tell you where he comes from. Anybody that is working in a blue collar job these days not only recognize him, but you work with him everyday.


My drilling rigs always say Sundown on them. That is a shout out to my home town, Go Roughnecks.


I will wrap this up with my oilfield prayer. May your boots be dry, your coffee fresh and your gloves new for all else we can overcome. Amen.


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