YEPP PerSPEctive - Michael A. Minyard comments on his career experiences.
How on Earth did I get here? Normally this is a question posed in the figurative sense, but on this occasion, I mean it quite literally. I am swinging 80 ft above the choppy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of west Africa, holding tightly to the outside of the rope mesh of the personnel basket, a 4-ft-wide doughnut-shaped object with a canvas tarp across the bottom and rope webbing coming from the sides. The webbing meets at a point a few feet above my head and is attached to a longer rope that is then attached to the moving end of a crane. The crane arm swings toward the workboat and with it, the personnel basket, my duffel bag (safely sitting inside the mesh), and me. I am not a member of an elite military squadron, nor am I the host of an extreme-sports reality show. In fact, this is all part of my work in the oil industry. Yes, that oil industry.