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Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
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mkultra22 Offline
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Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
It is 2019 and things in Midland-Odessa, Texas are moving faster than Speed-Addled Nazis invading France in 1940. As I drive down the 2-line highway on my way to work at 5AM, the speeding semis are a little too close for comfort. “Death Highways” as they are called, have a notorious reputation for killing numerous men prematurely, all too many continue to die from traffic deaths at the hands of semis and drunken, drugged or tired drivers.

The cities retain the smell of an open sewer, the best I can say about them is that they smell somewhat earthy. We all like to think that the water is safe to drink, but Flint taught us that the water is not safe to drink always. So use your head on this one.

A haze envelops the cities many days, and although it is not always there, many days there are sandstorms to block out the sun instead. Back in March, as I was working one day, it hit 100. Just another day in paradise.

The work must be good, because I see more Mexico license plates than I’ve ever seen in my life before. I have seen the paychecks before, upwards of 100k for truck drivers. Many do their time, saving money, and get out. Restaurants struggle to find workers and people in fast food can do 15-20 dollars an hour, and that goes for waiters as well. Restaurants are forced to keep raising rates because there just are not enough people to do the jobs out here. Probation officers making 60k because there are so many felons out here for work.

Rent is now $1400, which is up 15 percent on the year. Even Houston, Austin and Dallas manage lower average rents. A trip to the local HEB and you will see a bunch of men stocking up on beer and steaks. And if you stop by a convenience store on an afternoon, you will see tons of men stalking up on beer and Marlboro reds.

I am a bit of an outsider here. I came from better circumstances and went the college route. A lot of the guys here are types that barely scraped by in high school and opted to leave their hometowns for better opportunities, because they had so few options and little cash.

My involvement with the boom is peripheral at best, but I will refrain from saying more to avoid being long-winded. But, I will say that I have more perspective than most on the area about what is going on.

I hate it out here, and count each day I spend out here.

The scene on a weeknight in Midland-Odessa:

It’s 5PM and the bar is mostly empty at the MCM Elegante Hotel off Odessa’s I-20. The hotel itself is nothing to write home about and is in bad need of remodeling. Paint peels from the walls and potted plants are scattered across the hotel lobby. Leather couches full of cigarette burns grace the bar itself, giving the place the aesthetic of a seedy brothel.

The staff are the only women in the place, as 80’s music blares on the speakers. Heavy cigarette smoke covers the room while Sportscenter is shown on the LCD screens. A light beer is over 5 dollars, which is not reasonable by any means. Bulky men in ball caps and jeans filter in as things get closer to 6. A lot of them come in groups of 3, 4, or 5. Finally two fat women arrive, but now there or 40 or more men in the bar. They could be prostitutes.

Across town in classier Midland, a drilling bro is bragging about his BMW m4 in the lot and about a bad experience smoking marijuana laced with ketamine on The Hemingway’s cigar bar patio. He drones on about “Stage 2” and a diffuser he wants to buy for his piece of conspicuous consumption. Like nails on a chalkboard, there is an involuntary cringe as he tells the table stories of spending 600 dollars on a night out in the Permian. Looks like this is the richest, most baller man in the whole region.

The strip club, Rick’s, is full of men nearing midnight. The hard part about the scene is that it is difficult to blame the men for being here. Surveying the room of weary faces, you can see the loneliness and desire for some human connection that the money can’t really buy them. Fact is there are not enough women to go around for all the men, because the gender imbalance is so bad in both of these towns. Women are here from other countries to ride the wave, just like the men.

//

My advise is to import a woman because of the dynamics of the sexual market here. Any guy worth his salt knows to do this, lest he jockey for a women with the thousands of other men in the region looking for a girl.
(This post was last modified: 07-16-2019 10:43 AM by mkultra22.)
07-16-2019 10:35 AM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
You didn’t even mention Jaguars. Are you even real oilfield bro? Rename this the water transfer or Mudlogger diaries.

Edit: I’m just fucking with ya.

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(This post was last modified: 07-16-2019 01:24 PM by Cattle Rustler.)
07-16-2019 01:19 PM
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mkultra22 Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
(07-16-2019 01:19 PM)Cattle Rustler Wrote:  You didn’t even mention Jaguars. Are you even real oilfield bro? Rename this the water transfer or Mudlogger diaries.

Edit: I’m just fucking with ya.

I was at Jags the other night. Nothing special and the place smelled like fish!

Also funny because Jags and Rick's have the same owner.
(This post was last modified: 07-16-2019 03:32 PM by mkultra22.)
07-16-2019 03:24 PM
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crystalcastle Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
How's your health after working over there?
07-16-2019 05:09 PM
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mkultra22 Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
(07-16-2019 05:09 PM)crystalcastle Wrote:  How's your health after working over there?

Again as I said, my involvement is at best peripheral. Keep in mind I'm not doing massively physical stuff on the daily.

Not on any meds either thankfully.

Also, the thing that will screw you up the most is the water, as well as the heat at times.
07-16-2019 08:48 PM
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Leonard D Neubache Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
Mining booms are great for state coffers but can really destroy the areas for the locals.

One day you're living a quaint, rural lifestyle and the next your rent is up 500% and you're paying 100 bucks for a basic haircut, surrounded by people who use the area like a public toilet because they have no intention on staying in the long run and don't give a shit about the place.

The public will judge a man by what he lifts, but those close to him will judge him by what he carries.
(This post was last modified: 07-16-2019 09:17 PM by Leonard D Neubache.)
07-16-2019 09:17 PM
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mkultra22 Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
(07-16-2019 09:17 PM)Leonard D Neubache Wrote:  Mining booms are great for state coffers but can really destroy the areas for the locals.

One day you're living a quaint, rural lifestyle and the next your rent is up 500% and you're paying 100 bucks for a basic haircut, surrounded by people who use the area like a public toilet because they have no intention on staying in the long run and don't give a shit about the place.

In many ways yes. It is a well-known fact that environmental standards are being disregarded in Midland-Odessa in the interest of growth and more drilling. For example, flaring which is generally illegal after 90 days, is being allowed despite the fact that state law says it can't be done after these 90 days. In addition, there are air pollution standards, but again, they are being ignored as well by the state.

A rough breed of people are occupying the place, many with no regard for others. Huge number of drunk drivers, littering, cigarette butts everywhere. Driving is super dangerous and the roads are full of inconsiderate drivers.
07-17-2019 10:06 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
These boom towns are weird places, I’ve spent lots of time in them all over western Canada in the past decade. I actually just arrived in one yesterday, it took me about ten hours to drive here from the work shop in Vancouver, I saw a few black bears and some nice mountain scenery but other than that it was pretty isolated. I passed a lot of logging trucks on the single lane highway, I’m glad it isn’t winter because the drive would’ve taken a lot longer.

I’m on a pipeline job, working 12s and staying at
a nice hotel with a kitchenette, gym and pool so after work I hit the gym, cook some food, read/watch TV then it’s lights out. It’s the same thing everyday which is ok, I’m not out socializing but I did bring a fishing rod and an ounce of weed so if I have a day off I’ll go to a lake and chill.

Anyway, ya these places generally suck but you go there to work, not to enjoy life, get the money then GTFO.

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
07-17-2019 01:55 PM
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puckerman Offline
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RE: Datasheet: Wasted part of my life in the Midland-Odessa Oil Boom so You don't
As far as I know, the people of the Midland-Odessa area are used to this. It goes up and down.
07-18-2019 12:49 AM
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