I was born/grew up in: Northern Peninsula, NL
I now live in: Avalon Peninsula, NL
What I do at work
I operate cranes offshore to load and offload supply vessels. I make lifts of supplies and equipment around the oilrig for suppliers or for different departments on the rig. On land, I also operate cranes to put together other cranes or equipment, and to load or offload trailers.
Everyday, at the start of my day I do a preoperational inspection of the crane. This is to make sure everything is working properly and that the crane can be operated safely. Then I’ll size up the day’s work and what needs to be done. I’ll look at how heavy the lifts are and determine what rigging or tools we will need. I also do weekly maintenance on the crane. This involves greasing the crane, topping up oil levels if needed, cleaning off lumps of greases out of the sheaves, or around the crane. I also clean the engine room or slew ring depending on the type of crane, as well as the operator’s cab and window . At the end of the day, I often do a post operational inspection to make sure the crane is still working properly and no issues arose from the day’s work.
My career path is
I did not enjoy high school. I did not find any of the programs relevant to my interests. I went to Operating Engineers College for my Land certificate. I did 6 periods of apprenticeship and trained under some wonderful journeypersons. When I had enough hours and training I wrote the exam and got my certification as a Land-based Crane Operator Journeyperson. To get my offshore crane operator’s ticket, I did a stage 2 program at Sleipnir Lift Management (I also did my stage 3 ticket with them as well). I never expected to have both land and sea tickets so that was an unusual twist.
I owe a lot to my cousin Tina who convinced me I could be anything I wanted to be. I liked the idea of working with cranes so I choose to become an operator. My biggest challenges have come because I am a woman in what some people think is a man’s career. I’ve had to deal with people who did not want to hire me. Sometimes they use the reason that I didn’t have enough experience. While I may not be the most experienced person out there, I do have 9 years of hard-earned hours in the crane and am very eager to learn more. I shake off the “no’s” and keep on trying until I find a “yes”.
I’ve worked for a number of companies now. In each job, I asked questions and learned new things. Each time I gained a new experience, it made me more likely to get the next position. I currently work as an Assistant Crane Operator with Seadrill Careers. I really like working here because it gives me opportunity to work on both land and sea. I also get to learn new things as I get to work in new, interesting places.
I am motivated by
When I get the opportunity to make a different lift or to operate a different crane I get excited. The challenge of operating in different weather conditions is exciting as well. This keeps me on my toes. I find being alone in the cab and working alone, peaceful and I enjoy that. I find it better to work with minimal drama and chatter.
When I was younger, I was often told I would never amount to anything and told no on a daily bases. Being able to do something I was told I couldn’t do is very rewarding. It’s personal for me and I wake up with a simile on my face since I proved so many people wrong. I made something of myself and never gave up.
How I affect peoples’ lives
My career is fulfilling because I love cranes! I always did I find them interesting. This is a career that I chose to do, not one I was forced to do. I love to help apprentices learn more on the cranes and give them the seat time they deserve (if they are interested).
Outside of work I
I enjoy being outdoors in the woods, on a skidoo or bike or hanging out at the cabin. I love the wood heat so I often sit by the fire. I have a Jack Russell Terrier who keeps me busy (she’s my little buddy). With my partner, I enjoy going to the gym and going on hikes. We enjoy the outdoors and the peacefulness of being outside. I have also a big Boston Bruins fan so, on Saturdays, I’m often in front of the TV watching hockey.
My advice to others
Never give up on your dreams! You might hear “No” a 100 times but all you need is one “Yes”. It may be hard at times but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You will end up where you need to be when you are meant to be there. Don’t let the small minds or ignorance of others discourage you. Keep your head up and shoulders square. Remember how others treat you says nothing about your character but everything about theirs.