You know you’ve been ‘on site’ for weeks (years) when…….

You know you’ve been ‘on site’ for weeks (years) when…….

Really cool post by (Drewie) Dionne Drew – Client Relationship Manager. Senior Safety Coach. Leadership/Safety Performance Consultant.

Cat HatsFirst published HERE on LinkedIn

Change of pace for me here, keeping it light-hearted, though on re reading this post….perhaps not.

I found myself at a hole in the wall one day with a line of people behind me getting very restless. Shuffling their feet, on the brink of saying something to galvanise me into action, to get me moving so they could have their turn.

I could feel their stares drilling into the back of my neck as I searched endlessly for my lost item that I could not leave without. I had my money, I had my card, I had my receipt, yet my feet were stuck solid and would not move as I pivoted around looking high and low for my lost item. Where the bloody hell was it. I knew I couldn’t leave without it no matter what these people behind me thought.

It struck me that day that perhaps I needed a break from working away. I had been doing 4 weeks on and 1 week off for a few years at that time.

Do you know what my lost item was?

My Hard Hat!

Yep there I was on break in the real world, but habit kicked in, guess I was a tad disorientated that day. As I think about it now I shall share a few more examples.

You know you have been on site/s for a long time when:

  • You are amazed that the world managed without you as you fly over the big smoke on your return.
  • Getting in your car and turning the radio on is very exciting.
  • You reach for the flashing light switch on your car at the airport.
  • You enjoy the fact you can reverse in silence.
  • A passenger is mumbling to you and you reply ‘say again’.
  • You finally hear them and reply ‘copy that’.
  • You are so in love with the designated driver who picked you up with an esky on board, no matter what time of day it is.
  • The road home seems so very interesting, so much action all around.
  • You are smiling like a goat eating thistles all the way home.
  • You are just happy to ‘be’. (back in the world)
  • Exciting plans are made. (that usually don’t all happen but there are a squillion of them pouring out of you)
  • KFC never tasted so good.
  • You will stay up all night for sure. (that usually doesn’t happen either)
  • Your ‘castle’ comes into view and it looks like a mansion.
  • Those who didn’t come to the airport are so very happy to see you, especially the dog. (this doesn’t seem to last)
  • Your first night in your own bed, on your own loo, seems like such a privilege.
  • You have another shower yet cannot seem to get out of work mode on the inside.
  • 4 days into your 7 days off: you finally feel like you are home (in your head)
  • 5 days in: you find your mind thinking about having to go back. So you nip that in the butt immediately.
  • 6 days in: you hear the comment ‘when are you getting on a bloody plane’.

Wouldn’t be dead for quids, what a life we lead.

Beats peak hour traffic hands down I say.

This post demanded that I write it. I have no idea why yet I feel better now.

Consider yourselves very lucky if you can relate to this and you have people to miss and who miss you. FIFO stands for … no not that one..

For Incredible Families Only

I am proud to be in your family.

Stay safe and keep smilin’




‘Fly in Fly out Life’ Mentor: supporting on-site teams + Women in ‘boots’ Mentor. at Hard Hat Mentor

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Drewie has worked her way up through the ranks on remote FIFO sites all over Australia and one project in Canada to date. With a career spanning 30 years, she estimates, a culminated 5 years 'off' trying the 'other life’ here and there in the hospitality and fitness industries. Her first day on a remote site was her milestone 18th birthday and she also celebrated her 21st living in a donga and blowing the candles out on the cake at the wetty. Apparently if her upcoming 50th ends up being the same scenario, that would be ok too. “Though my family may have other ideas about that”. She is currently and shall continue working with Clive Lloyd's team at GYST Consulting where Values Based Safety - using 'The Care Factor' approach to Culture development and Authentic Leadership are front and centre. The big news is that 'Hard Hat Mentor', Drewies’ own consultancy, is now in an exciting development phase where all energy and focus shall be channelled into two causes very close to her heart. The first will be supporting on-site leadership/teams/work crews and individuals to thrive in the, at times, very challenging FIFO work and lifestyle. The second is to be a mentor to the gutsy 'Women in Boots' who may need a hand now and then in a male dominated arena with its own unique set of bumps in the road to navigate. Drewie says, “One cannot spend so very long working remotely on gruelling rosters without picking up some wisdom along the way, albeit at times seemingly from osmosis alone! There are many hard won lessons we learn in such a unique environment, mine are demanding to be shared now, very loudly, they refuse to be ignored, so my new journey begins.' Drewie has also taken her first steps to study ‘The Social Psychology of Risk’ formally and has a new skip in her step due to all the knowledge to be gained and shared in the future.

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