Housing at ECO

<P>Do any of you know anything about the housing for employees at Chouest? I’ve heard some not-too-good things about it and was just curious. Any info is appreciated.</P>

<P>Well the best part about it is it is free. The rooms are small. There are bunk beds in the rooms. It isn’t even the Motel 6, but the price is right. I have heard horror stories myself, but I have never had to share a room with anyone there nor did I find the accomodations unacceptable. It was never the premier spot to stay. They have some shipyard workers staying there in the rooms and some trailers so it is a little crowded. It isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.</P>

you mean on your off time they have housing you can stay in for free?<br><br>if that is the case ,why would anybody bitch about it

That is not what it is intended for. It is intended for people traveling or taking classes at their training center. For example if someone flew in the night before crew change they could stay at housing and vice versa someone flying home the day after crew change could stay there and then fly out the next day. For Classes offered at the training center one could make arrangements to stay for the duration of the classes. They also have a dining facility there free of charge.

last time I stayed there I woke up with several bites from some unknown critter. I would rather sleep in my car

<P>Well ECO and I didnt last to long. I got into the airport monday morning and caught the shuttle to “Housing” where I was supposed to stay for that night and three more after for orentation rigging and safe gulf. Filled out my paper work to get threw the gate and got my key to the room. Well the outside wasnt to awfuly terrible, like Capt. Lee said not the Motel 6 but hey I’ve slept in worse. Or had I? I walked up the stairs to my room, wow, what was that critter than ran across in front of me? I opened the door and there was some dude sitt’n there in his draws drinking a 40 of some kind of malt liqor. To make things even better he didnt even speak english. There was no AC witch wasnt to bad I have slept without AC before but the window was open, no screen,and bayou bugs were every where. The place was horrible! I went back down to the van and rode to the office. There was no way that I was going to stay there. It was terrible! So I sat outside the office until the next morning when my recruiter got there. When he walked in I asked if I could speak to him, he said sure and kept on walking so I followed behind him telling him my problem with “housing”. He pritty much told me to get a hotel(there arnt any rooms available, I had already checked) or go home. So after 30 some hours with no sleep I said ok I’ll g home. I cant beleave that they expect people to stay in that kind of shit hole! There is 50 million dollars worth of office and warehouses down in Galliano and 10 cents worth of housing to stay in. I dont want to sound like a cry baby here, I have slept in some pritty ruff places in my commercial fishing carreer. Hell I spent a night in jail one time for a drunk in public ticket and jail was way over top of this place! Oh well if they dont think anymore of there people than to put them up in that kind of place I dont want to work for them anyway.</P>

I gave a ride to Chouest’s ‘housing’ to a fellow who wanted to pick up a friend of his a year or so ago. This friend walked out and said he’d had it with ‘housing’. I couldn’t believe it was all that bad so we all went back in to check it out. To me the place looked like some sort of military surplus NCO barracks the Chouests picked up somewhere, I found the rooms to be small for two people but would suffice for an overnight stay. The mattresses seemed to be the type you’d find in an upscale jail but what the heck. Then I see all these guys wandering around speaking a language which was obviously eastern European so I asked one of them who they were. Turns out they were actually eastern European, many of them were from Romania, and had been hired by Chouest to work in the shipyard, they said Chouest used to import people from India too. That may explain why ‘housing’ was so big, I mean it’s 3 stories of barracks. I asked the guy doing the complaining what he was expecting, since it was obvious ‘housing’ was built for workers from a less developed country. He said that he was told Chouest provided housing for their crew change when he was hired but he later discovered this was only if there was room and no room was guarenteed. His boss told him if didn’t like it he could pay for a motel or quit. The attitude of ‘if you don’t like it, leave’ from management accounts for a lot of the bill boards advertising for help one sees up and down the highway. One doesn’t run into this sort ‘housing’ situation with blue water shipping or the drillships
and MODUs, in my experience. So, look at it this way; patience, work,
study and a good attitude will open up opportunities later which will
allow you to move to better accomodations if such a thing is important to you.<br>
I think that if the GOM supply boat companies would just be up front and say, “You’re on your own; we don’t promise you travel, a room or pay room expenses” they’d be ahead of the game.<br><br>

THe place has taken a DRAMATIC turn for the worse over the last 6-9 months. Rooms are assigned on a 1st come 1st served basis (even if your coordinator or school reserves a room for you) and what blows me away is that the place is usually full by 6 or 8 o’clock in the evening. There has been talk of a new housing facility being built for crew changes and school attendees but you can bet that is no sooner than 2 years away. I just plan on paying for a hotel whenever I come to Galliano, period. I figure the day rates, benefits, and free & easy access to the school make it worth while. That is the choice I made. When I get tired of it I will go somewhere else.

Capt Mike,<br>What division are you in with ECO? Gov’t or Oilfield?<br><br>

Oilfield, BP division (on the Edison right now). I eventually want to go to the Gov’t side. I’m an ex Naval Officer with an active clearance. I have circumnavigated South America and would love the opportunity to serve on the Palmer or Gould. I hope to move to Santiago or Punta Arenas in a couple of years. I have been a “squeaky wheel” trying to get on Anchor boats and I’m just about to get there. I want to learn more about what goes on on these boats. Besides, I don’t want to rock the boat right now if you know what I mean. If an opening becomes available in the gov’t division I will certainly put my name in the hat but after making so much noise trying to get to an Anchor boat I figure it’s not the best move politically. Any input? I’d love some advice from someone outside of BP.

On the Edison??? I got the relief chief on the Edison now with me on my boat. Good guy. Sharp. I worked both the Palmer and the Gould. I liked the Gould because Punta Areans is a good liberty town. The Palmer is a nicer boat (bigger). The Palmer is 100% sciencetific research as where the Gould is a support vessel for Palmer Station, and also does some scienctific research. Every trip is different, never really boring like that. But I would imagine the office would start to put extras on the Palmer for if anything breaks out on the Artic.
Not sure who is taking care of the Edison, but I always got along with Shannon. Back when I went to it (only for a couple of weeks), I believe it was Emile.
As I had told someone else the other day, getting in the Gov’t division is all about timing. Just being at the right place at the right time.
Being ex Naval, I am surprised you did not start in the Gov’t divison. Some of the vessel require Security clearances.

Capt Rob,
I appreciate your input. Probably after a year or 2 here I will start pushing for the Gov’t division. Unless I really like it here. My time in the Navy has got me used to moving around. I’m not sure I how well I will settle in for spending 5 or 6 years on the same vessel. Time will tell though. Age has a way of mellowing some folks.
EMile has graduated from being a coordinator but still works for Shannon. Capt Timmy says hello.
Good luck down the road.