21:09, Eastern Standard Time (New Martinsville, WV)…in the hotel room.
The natural gas industry is an interesting place. It’s not only a job but it’s a lifestyle. It’s the way you live and the way you figure out how to cope with minimum materialistic items. You are living like a nomad, traveling from city to city, town to town, or village to village. To actually start to notice and understand what you really need in life and what can simply be put away. I am put up in hotel rooms whenever I work and knowing that I work 12 hours a day / 7 days a week you are put in nothing but hotels. You are never in the same place for longer than a week so what do you carry with you, where do you carry it all. For some of the lucky folks out there in the natural gas industry you are centralized in a specific location and by always working in that same place you are able to live out of an apartment, the same hotel room over and over or the nearest place to lay your head to rest. I on the other hand do not have that luxury only because I am moved around so much. Saying all this you can conclude that living out of your vehicle is the only option, and living out of my car is exactly what I do.
"Living out of your car?" people may say. "I do that all time!" Yeah, so let’s begin story time, one night I ran across a friend of a friend who had forgotten something in his car and while for it he looks at me and says “pardon the mess, I know it’s cluttered in here but what did you expect, I live out of my car.” I take a look into this friend of a friend’s car and saw a couple of magazines in the back seat, a coffee cup in the center console and some ramen noodles on the passenger floorboard. I think to myself, really, if this is called living out of your car then what do they call what I do? Once this friend of a friend finds his prized possession he was looking for I asked him to come over to my vehicle and take a look. We opened my 2000 Ford Explorer’s trunk hatch and he was shocked by what he seen. There was a full wardrobe of clothes, a 7 foot fishing pole, a tackle box, cleaning supplies, two ice chests, a sleeping bag, a crock-pot, a blender, a pillow, some storage bins, a fold up chair, bicycle gear, a few free weights, 10 gallon size jugs of water, and enough dry food for a nuclear terrorist attack. He looks at me, with eyes wide and asks why anyone would carry so much stuff in their vehicle; I thought I lived out of my car.
My response was simple; I work for the natural gas industry.
You may think functioning without a permanent place to stay in is impossible, but oh let me tell you, it’s nothing but possible. I like to have a somewhat normal life, being able to cherish the little things that you might take for granted in a stationary place, items you use and simply toss or lay back down without even knowing you own them, or realizing how easy they make your life. By lugging around all your belongings in a confined space such as a car, or SUV in my case, you start to understand what you really need and what becomes a nuisance to carry around. The natural gas industry is not only a job but it’s a lifestyle, a way of life, it prepares you to figure out what are needs and wants and it’s all so much fun. This lifestyle creates its own budget for you making you think about what to buy next, or what to take along. The natural gas industry is a self budgeting industry.