Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Even Grander Tour

Back when I began working for my current employer I wrote about how I ended up taking a grand tour of Suncor when I didn't get off at the right stop. After that, morning transportation became pretty routine. I actually reached the point where I became rather lackadaisical about catching the bus. A couple weeks ago I managed to take an even grander tour. Not just of Suncor but of the entire oil patch.

I got on my bus one morning and while it was quite full, I managed to snag a seat next to another guy I know who works at our town yard who occasionally comes out to work at our Suncor site. After exchanging pleasantries, I did what I usually do during the morning bus ride....I fell asleep.

A short time later, my fellow worker nudged me awake. "Darcy, where the hell are we? It's 7am* and we're still on the highway!" At first, I thought he was pulling my leg, until I saw a sign along the highway for Firebag, one of the last projects up Highway 63 before you hit the winter road to Fort Chipewyan.

As it turned out, we were on the bus to the Aurora mine...not just one of the last stops, but THE last stop before the highway turns to gravel. We had overshot Suncor by a good 35km or so.

Now, in our defense, there happened to be another fellow on our bus who was also in the same predicament as us. By some weird coincidence, he also worked for a scaffolding company at Suncor. I guess the bus line just had it in for scaffold workers that day.

Anyhow, to make a long story short, as it turned out, we managed to get a shuttle back down to Suncor. Normally we would have been on the hook for getting to work but in this case, the bus line had messed up. Our regular bus to Suncor is 5A. Now, is just so happened it was very late that morning. While waiting for our bus, a second bus, a bus up to Aurora (also labelled 5A) just happened to take a wrong turn onto our bus route. As a result, we jumped on by mistake. As luck would have it, we only lost an hour's pay after turning up half way through the morning. So that was good. The good-natured teasing we got from some of the other guys after relating our little story was something else.

*My shift at the time began at 7am. Usually the bus made it there on time.

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