BP – A Love Story


Long post tonight, but I promised you this one when I started.  You can guess the posts will slow in the days to come, when I have things to actually do at night. 😛

On the eve of my first day on the job at my new employer, it seems appropriate to tell the story of how I actually found myself in Alaska to begin with.  Truth is, when you go on a major job search like this was it can seem less like a business process and more like dating.  That’s something I’ve felt for a few years now … and as the process continued it became more like that at different stages.  So let me share with you how that went.

Since the big slowdown in 2009, I wasn’t happy with the aerospace roller coaster and started putting feelers out there.  They say that 1 in 4 relationships start online; and that’s where I found this last August.  It looked like all on-line dating profiles – basics of what I want, sexy, in a cool location – but either undesirable once I get to know them or out of my league if I do.   They did call, like many of them do, and after a bit of a talk I had a phone interview.  These are pretty superficial, like those first couple dates you go on with someone — are there any deal breakers, do you fit their needs, are they telling you the truth, etc etc.  What was clear was after the early phone interviews, neither me nor BP were sure this was a good fit for either of us.  But an onsite interview was scheduled (due to my band season and other travel, not for months – mid-November).  That is the more meat and bones dating.  You don’t get an onsite interview if you aren’t qualified – you get it to ask the question “is this the one?”

After the inteview, I was convinced.  Even though I was here when there was only 6 hours of daylight, and there was snow up to my knees, and the flight up took forever — I loved the town.  Then I talked to the people at the company and even though they are to blame for the worst oil disaster in history – what they wanted to do to prevent that from ever happening again was the main focus of the group I was interviewing with.  What I love about supplier quality is that I can spend a short time with people in a supplier and make that whole company better.  With BP … I get to be involved with a way to keep another Deepwater Horizon from happening again … I get to help make a difference in the world.

Yes, BP was the one.

But she dumped me.

In January, I got word they filled the position giving it to someone else.

I got depressed.  Slouched around the house.  Deleted all BP emails and contacts.  Threw away my Alaskan relocation items.  Left the rest of their junk on the porch where they can pick it up if they want it.  I left it in good graces though.  The guy I talked to the most in Anchorage (who becomes my boss tomorrow) seemed to like me, and when I said to give me a call if he hears of another opportunity he seemed open to that.

Then in spring of this year, it was like the sister of a girl I was dating called up and said she thought I was cute.  BP had another opening … this time in Houston, TX.  Then the process began again, this time quickly.  Few phone calls, then an onsite interview.  But this one didn’t seem as right.  They thought the same and in short order, we broke it off.

So, I went about my business, keeping an eye out for other jobs but not really committing to anything.

I posted on my facebook one day:   “Ever date a girl for a while, then she dumps you?  Then her hot sister calls you and you date her for a while then SHE dumps you?  Then the first sister calls you back and says she still has feelings for you?”

Alaska called again.  I wasn’t going to pull the trigger right away.  Twice Dumped, third time shy.  I pushed to move it along, and they dragged their heals a little.  But I remember the phone call with the guy who will be my boss tomorrow where I said to him “I just don’t want to spend the next couple months waiting to hear anything then finding out that I am not the guy” and he said to me “I am telling you .. you are our guy.  If you can be patient is all we ask.”  So … I was patient.

I was at a German Beergarden in Berlin when the phonecall came .. and they popped the question.  My concerns with this job were practical, and by the time that call came I was assured the practical concerns were taken care of … so when the offer came, I wasted no time in accepting.

Tomorrow, the adventure begins, and we will see where it takes me.


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