We all know the big thing is money, the all mighty dollar. But even if your day rate is $50,000 a day (i’m being facetious), the other things still count in my book, and I think it could be a good discussion, especially as someone who is slightly considering making a move in the back of their mind.
Things that come to mind in addition to the day-rate or annual compensation, whatever makes more sense, is the other stuff the company pays for, or gives you for free. For example, I get a really good, like minimal co-pay, med/dental/vision plan for free, lots of life insurance, license insurance, upgrade/renewal courses, lots of paid holidays, vacation pay, (basically a small bonus) etc, all “free.” About %10 of annual pay 401k contribution from the bossman (fully vested). Extremely flexible schedule very close to home. In addition to that I get minimal paperwork and the authority to run my boat the way I want how I want with minimal office micromanagement, basically if I say NO I am not risking my job or need to explain why. With that in mind I am on the low side of dollar bills at the end of the year in the low 6-figure range for close to equal time, but if you get nickel and dimed for %150 the pay are you really making THAT much more? Maybe you are, but just curious to hear what the thought on this issue is elsewhere. Could help myself and others think things through. Also career advancement is to be considered too, how high can you go, and how much more could you expect to earn advancing, if there is room to advance?
Not looking for company-by-company comparisons or day-rates, or even dollar figures, just general situations.
Sound to me like you’re doing OK. I really enjoy what I’m doing mostly anyway but things are getting a little out of hand some places. I’ve got to worry about pirates then the Ayatollah shooting a missile up my ass.
Sounds to me like your being fairly well compensated and working in a comfortable domain.
Using round numbers you can itemize compensation values thus:
Base Pay 100,000
Employers - Insurance Coverage - $15000
Employers 401k match - -10,000
Employers Training Programs - $5000
Vacation Pay - $8000
Value of working close to home - ???
Value of working with crewmates you respect - ???
Value of job security at current company - ???
Your overall quality of life index - whats that worth???
Sounds like your actual compensation is in the mid to upper 100’s for doing a job and working with people YOU LIKE. Don’t underestimate the value of THAT.
Let’s say you sign on with another company for $200,000 a year, but few perks and the boss & workers are complete A-holes. Yeah, the gross paycheck is nice but 5 minutes after you cash it, the smile will leave your face and now you have to deal with those miserable assholes again. End of the day - you lose. You’re grumpy, getting ulcers, and kick the dog when you get home. Not worth it.
My 2 cents but what do I know? Your mileage may vary.
I know that in the past I have left jobs that I could not stand to go to, even though I loved the work the people that worked with were grade A Assholes and made the time spent on the boat a total nightmare. I always said that even though the money was important along with the benefits but at the end of the day if I could not stand being there I would move along even if the next job paid less.
I understand that being happy with what one does makes all the difference in the world, but I have to say if one is not happy with his compensation it will affect his work. Many studies have been conducted about what is important to employees and you would think money would have been on top of the list. It was on the list, but not at the top. Being treated with respect and listened to. Being given opportunities to advance and training. Having started as a roustabout/deckhand I can tell you this is very important. These types of things were at the top. I look back at the evolution of this industry and myself. Believe me we have all evolved if we are still in the oil industry. To me personally I was always out here to make a buck, having fun and enjoying my work was just a bonus. I can tell you I absolutely LOVE what I do. If I was going to be away from my family 8-10 months of the year I wanted to make as much as I could. I used to think money could solve all problems. I now know that is not the case. It is important, but it is not everything.
Back on topic, I think benefits are an important way for employers to keep employees. 1- Way back when at John E Graham and Sons that Blue Cross and Blue Shield kept so many guys there, even when wages were below competitors. Today I am lucky enough to work at a company that fully covers all the premiums for all the health insurance with a low copay. This should be the standard and not the exception. 2- Another non pay benefit is my dollar for dollar match on 401K up to 8%. The does not put money in my pocket today, but believe me it makes your retirement savings grow quickly and I consider this as part of my total compensation. 3- I used to consider training as part of my compensation, but now I just want it all to go away. So much training, I have come to terms with it and I am happy to finally be with a company that covers all expenses including paying me a decent wage for my time. In the past I had to pick up all expenses and my time was my off time with no compensation. 4- More recently another non pay that affects the total compensation is foreign taxes paid on my behalf by the company. Let me just say I will never leave where I am now, not willingly anyway. This completely offsets my US tax liability dollar for dollar. 5- Even time schedule is also important. It took me four years to finally accept that it was ok to not be at work. I was so brainwashed to think I should be at work making money. For too many years I felt like I was losing money by being home. I wish the US could adopt the Norwegian schedule of 2 weeks on and 4 weeks off with our same salary. That would be something. 6- Finally, my boss actually listens to me and supports my decisions once I make them. I can honestly say I am working for the best boss I have ever had. It really makes a difference to trust the people you work for.
My saying is the bullshit must be worth the compensation.
Sadly most places that is not the case.
Where I’m at right now the wages are 2 years behind and doubt that will change any time soon, the equipment is OLD, well maintained, but old. The benefits are pretty good and the office is one of the easiest I have had to deal with ever. They treat us like adults and respect our decisions. It makes it easy to stay here until I find someplace that pays better that I feel will be a good fit for me.
Paid travel was big for me. I only had to pay to get myself to the airport so my travel costs were the same every hitch so I didn’t care so much where i was going or how late changes affected me.
When I didn’t get travel pay at my previous company I was watching the boat on AIS from home to see where she was and was going, Having to change flights and juggle schedules at the last minute sucked big time when there were dollars involved. I would sometimes spend a days pay just to get to the boat and another to get home. I felt really bad for the deckhands who were spending two days’ pay.
[QUOTE=KPEngineer;100730]Paid travel was big for me. I only had to pay to get myself to the airport so my travel costs were the same every hitch so I didn’t care so much where i was going or how late changes affected me.
When I didn’t get travel pay at my previous company I was watching the boat on AIS from home to see where she was and was going, Having to change flights and juggle schedules at the last minute sucked big time when there were dollars involved. I would sometimes spend a days pay just to get to the boat and another to get home. I felt really bad for the deckhands who were spending two days’ pay.[/QUOTE]
I agree. Paid travel is HUGE. All that other stuff is great, and definitely necessary, but if your company is going to drag your hind quarters all over god’s green earth they had better be paying for it. As far as I’m concerned if your employer wants you to drive 30 minutes or an hour to work, that’s on you, but if you have to go 1000, 2000, maybe even 3000 or MORE miles to get to your job then that is DEFINITELY on them. I also don’t believe in the “we don’t have to pay travel because your salaries are commensurately adjusted for it” argument.
I get a monthly travel stipend that at best covers one plane ticket, and paid travel would be awesome. However I have no problem getting myself to and from the boat as long as I am not loosing my hat in change fees due to crew change being moved by a couple hours (regular thing with my client).
[QUOTE=z-drive;100616]Yeah, that about sums it up. The job security is pretty much the deal sealer. Would take one hell of a huge “frig” up in the words of those idiot tv gold miners to be worried.
Anyone else? Advantages and disadvantages of your situation?[/QUOTE]
I hope this isn’t too much of a break from the path of this thread but this brings questions to my mind in relation to another thread. Z-Drive, maybe you would like to comment there about this topic. The other thread I am thinking of is “Union or No Union.” You seem to have a pretty decent set-up where you are now. I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at it. So the question I would ask you, and again you don’t have to answer here because this is not in line with the original purpose of this thread, is whether or not you think the “total” compensation you are getting from your company is due to the influence of unions, or if your company adequately compensates you in their own right.
[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;100774] is whether or not you think the “total” compensation you are getting from your company is due to the influence of unions, or if your company adequately compensates you in their own right.[/QUOTE]
Having union guys on the boat helps with some of the BS on occasion, but ultimately whatever the union guys “get” they give us (management) more, a bonus, or a better package to stick it to them. Its not a particularly strong union either, they get very limited benefits through the union as most come from the company. I feel that we would ALL benefit from an informal bargaining unit in-house rather than an organized union, as there are only a handful of ‘yesmen’ that don’t put their foot down on issues…as in the union rarely steps up so the guys handle issues in house with shore-side on their own. It helps me operationally as myself and the head steward get along very well so issues rarely leave the boat…I tell them to call their steward and see what he says.
So no, we actually have got raises less frequently than the union guys. It only helps with keeping day to day BS in check.
As far as travel goes, its complicated in some cases but hell Its 2013, and the skills and licensing required to do these jobs aren’t available on every tom dick and harry out on the street. At this point in my career paid travel is pretty much going to be required for me. When I was starting out I let it slide when I shouldn’t have. I have found that when working for some smaller companies that don’t normally require travel they have been way more accommodating than those that don’t. Flight taken care of with no effort on myself other than the boarding pass, taxis, meals, hotel room, whatever I incurred getting to or from the boat was their problem. Also a half day’s pay or more for traveling, if they are making me go. Otherwise I’m not going…keep me local. That works if you normally don’t have to travel to take them to the cleaners for all expenses, but if you normally do you shouldn’t have to pay a dime for the flight at least. Locally they give us a per-mile reimbursement, works for me.
I’d pick up getting from my house to the airport and vice versa though, about a 30 min drive. I’d rather just have it paid for than deal with a $50 a day travel pay deal or get reimbursed, now its in the companies best interest to crewchange on time to eliminate fees, otherwise I’m passing them on to you.
For the 39 years I sailed, my transportation was paid 90% of the time. Early on, I had to ride carryalls from Freeport to various exotic ports in Tx and La. Most of the jobs in the interim were deliveries, Alaska, North Sea, ect and salvage with paid travel. For 2 years I lived and worked in South and Central America paid a day rate plus living allowance and expenses. The last 24 years I sailed under SIU contract for 2 companies. We had full travel and expenses paid to and from. Top tier insurance and 1 ½ and 2 for 1 retirement contributions. (company paid) Best day rate and overtime. (before the oilfield went apeshit) I miss going to sea now and then… But then I just got a pop-up notice that my pension check was just transferred to my bank account and I’m snatched back to reality!
Also most now will put in creature comforts: internet availability and wireless, sat. TV, phones, gyms, etc, etc. Also quality of food onboard.
I also would like to take it further and say even though the money in the drilling industry is amazing, and the benefits are spot on, I truly believe that the people on the rig have to have a clue. I know some people who worked over at Grupo R and they were making top end in the industry, but they were working with crews that had no experience, most of their training was forged or of lower standard, and it became hazardous for them to continue their job on the rig. So, I would say the knowledge and experience of the people you work with can make a big difference, even if you have people you like to talk to and get on with, if they can’t do their job, then what is the point.
[QUOTE=PDCMATE;100996]Also most now will put in creature comforts: internet availability and wireless, sat. TV, phones, gyms, etc, etc. Also quality of food onboard.
I also would like to take it further and say even though the money in the drilling industry is amazing, and the benefits are spot on, I truly believe that the people on the rig have to have a clue. I know some people who worked over at Grupo R and they were making top end in the industry, but they were working with crews that had no experience, most of their training was forged or of lower standard, and it became hazardous for them to continue their job on the rig. So, I would say the knowledge and experience of the people you work with can make a big difference, even if you have people you like to talk to and get on with, if they can’t do their job, then what is the point.[/QUOTE]
That is funny you would mention that. I had heard that many letters of experience were falsified in order to comply with contractual experience in position requirements. It is something that we refused to do. What we ended up doing was using a third party assessor to assess all contractual positions. They must have worked all that out though, because the people that I know over there are experienced professionals.
Having a person on the crew that is not cutting the mustard is frustrating and will only be tolerated for so long before enough is enough. Like you said, you may like these guys as people, but certain positions are more critical than others. It is a fine line, because we spend over half our lives with these men and women. It is only human to have personal feelings for these guys. Sometimes to the point of family. I can tell you that 99% of the people I work with I would invite them into my home around my family. It can make a tough decision even tougher sometimes. I have genuinely liked someone that was just terrible at his job. We often have very little control over who is sent to fill a position and most of the time you have to make do with what you have. Having the developmental skills to motivate people to achieve things that themselves or others may not think possible. That is key. What you can achieve as a team is much more than any individual can on his own. With support, training and leadership everything is possible. I have taken someone that I was told just could not do a particular task and in the end they were masters at it. I wish someone would do that to me. I have a hard time accepting that an individual is not capable of something.
There were some good points brought up later that I thought were great.
1-Travel. This can be a huge expense. There is a global labor pool now and travel should be standard for everyone. I have guys onboard from all over the world and travel is provided, in some cases business class.
2-Creature comforts. Internet, phones, gym, sat. TV in every room. Man what happened to the days of the tv in the galley with a VCR that had to be shared by everyone. Plus you couldn’t play it too loud or you would wake up guys in the bunk. I know in the past I would not even consider an assignment without internet capability.
This is a good discussion, more or less what I was hoping for.
I happen to work with mostly great guys who do their job well, and in the cases where they may not be the best the industry has to offer they make up for it with hard work, a good attitude and being good shipmates. Once again, cooperative shoreside support helps. Some to be desired on the engineering side, but we are working on that. So yea, I can give up my job security, good shipmates, office relationship, financial benefits for an extra 50 grand a year, but really don’t see myself gaining too much at the end of the year when everything is factored in. Only issue I am working against is career advancement which could really impact the finances down the road in other sectors; where I am there is a certain glass/political ceiling but some new pages in my NMC should sort that out in due time.
I was really leaning towards making a shift to another sector of the industry but chasing the dollars really doesn’t seem worth it, when the risk-reward is all considered, for now at least.