I've finished up my first shift with my new employer and have to say I'm pleased with how things are going so far. Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Taking a step back from a career you've been in for 10 years and looking for change has had its own unique challenges, setbacks and general moments of angst but I've managed to pull it off. I started a new position up at the Suncor site late last month which has me on a 10 days on/4 days off rotation. Today is the start of a little R and R. It's primarily an outdoor job and more physically demanding than what I'm used to but I have to say the body is holding out good so far. I actually find myself with a lot more energy now that I'm on the move and not stuck to a desk so much.
I now work with a major contractor that deals with scaffolding and the first couple days were a major learning curve, trying to remember the names of all the different pieces, how they fit together, what part is stored where and all that fun stuff. Plus, my first weekend on the job just happened to coincide with the annual inventory time. I've now counted, bundled and sorted through more right angles, standards, ledgers and transoms than you can imagine.
Getting to work requires taking a bus up to the Suncor site, a 30km drive that can take well over an hour due to traffic and all the construction going on at the moment. I'm impressed (if I do say so myself) with how well I've adapted to the 4am wake ups. Fort Mac really is a young person's town so I'm a little bit older relative to most of the people I work with but I enjoy the new pace and the energy.
The long hours mean I only get one full weekend off a month but one of the first things I did was to take a permanent marker and write the kids' names on helmet to inspire me during any rough times (as I know there will inevitably will be) that may come up in the future.