12 January 2009

Are you all North American?

Why yes, I am.

Today was the first actual day of work. I woke up at 5:08 am (that's 4:08am your time) to get ready for my 5:50 bus. I had to get up slightly earlier because I didn't know where the bus stop was. So I walked down the street looking for dorks just standing around. I found a group. Success.

The actual drive would have taken slightly over one hour, but the bus' movement ebbed and flowed in the traffic. By my estimate, it took 1h30m. Not that I care, I was sleeping on the bus.

When I first landed, I had no idea where I was supposed to go. There were no instructions or anything, so I went into the security desk and waited to ask the person.
"So you're a new hire? Go into the Consul."
"Where's the Consul?"
"Over there. Just follow the chains on the left and you'll see it."

So I go out and follow the instruction. The chain fence stopped about halfway. I didn't know where to go so I went ahead and asked someone.

"Excuse me for a second. I'm a new hire and I'm supposed to go to the Consul. Can you direct me to where that is?"

You have to understand that it is below -25 degrees out this hour in the morning. The guy didn't want to help me. He just wanted to go to the bus to go home.
" The what?"

"The Consul. Do you know where that is?"

"I've never heard of it."
"Well do you know where I should go as a new hire?"
"Probably over there to THAT building over there."

He runs off, and I went the direction he said.
I walked inside the building. Strangely quiet. I found a lady and said I was a new hire and I didn't know where to go. She has never heard of the Consul building. To her credit, she tried to help me get to where I'm supposed to, but she never actually found out. She just called for my 'leader', but he wasn't there. I was directed to go back into the main building. I instead went back to security.

I made her give me better instructions.
"You know that building at the vehicle gate? You go there."
"Thanks, that would have been a better description."

Again, I head out into the cold. I found the building she was describing. I saw a bunch of scruffy looking fellows and asked them if this where the new hires go. He said yes. Finally. The Consul.

Once I got inside, I met a bunch of other scruffy looking people. I tried to confirm with them. "Is this where the new hires go?"
They nodded.

A couple of seconds later, a guy walks in. "Are you all North Americans?"
I nodded.
"Anyone here a new hire?"
I said yes, along with another guy. The rest of the people were transfers.
"Oh you two are going to be staying for long." Queue laughter.

Something didn't seem right.

The instructor guy left the room after getting our names. He left to get a van. I stood there, listening to the people talk. They are seasoned veterans at... trucking? I don't think I'm supposed to be here. So, after about fifteen minutes of weighing the possibility of being in the wrong place, I stepped out. I saw the instructor.
"Excuse me, are Engineering new hires supposed to go through this too?"
"Engineering? You work for North American, right?"
"North American?"
"The company. Our company."
"No, Syncrude."
"You're in the wrong place, buddy."

To the security office I go.

"Hey again. I don't think I was supposed to go there."
"Oh. Let's see your contract."
I look around for my contract. I lost it.
"I lost it."
"Hm. What's your job title again?"
"Base Plant Projects"
"Base Plant... as in Mildred Lake?"
"No, it clearly said Aurora."
"I'm sorry. I usually work down at Mildred Lake. I'm just filling in for someone."

Eventually, she called someone who knew someone who knew where I was supposed to be.
Someone came and picked me up.

I didn't feel too bad about this though, they didn't know they were getting student workers either, so it was kind of a surprise.

Communication rocks!

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