CALGARY, Alberta – Whether there are a couple of new guys on your floor, you routinely go to the bathroom on a different floor, or you are at an oil and gas symposium or trade show, there are times when when you may need to try and identify a stranger’s role in the industry based on bathroom etiquette.

This lighter piece serves as a handy guide to do just that, based on the 2P News team’s combined 237 years of experience going to the bathroom (in the oil and gas industry).

A depiction of the #1 urinal etiquette rule broken
A depiction of the #1 urinal etiquette rule broken

Reservoir engineer – You can spot these guys as soon as they walk in the bathroom door because they typically mumble something under their breath about recovery factors.  Most REs will look over into your urinal to monitor the vertical sweep efficiency of your urine traveling down the fine-bone China. They might even ask you about mobility ratios of your pee compared to any water falling down the man-pisser, and even suggest that you “squeeze hard” in order to deplete your bladder under secondary.  They are also known to calculate expelled vs reserve bladder volumes to plan their next pee break in a timely fashion.

Geologist – These guys always look funny, so keep an eye out for long hair and very casual Friday attire when it’s not Friday. You can spot a geologist because he tends to look over into your urinal for sedimentary deposits in your urine. If he identifies any, he will typically recommend that you go see a doctor before it’s too late.  They often tend to over-examine the procedure and will almost always take a good 20 or 30 minutes to finish at a urinal.  Best not to wait on them.

Production engineer – These guys won’t think twice about looking over into your urinal to check if your total fluid rate is consistent and high. If he suspects that your total fluid rate is low, he will investigate to see if you are pumped off. Many PEs will also ask lead-in questions to determine if you need artificial lift to improve your personal life. Just ignore them.

Land Negotiator – The telltale sign that a landman has just walked into the bathroom is a strong smell of beer or hard alcohol. Why? Because there’s a pretty good chance that he just got back from entertaining a fellow land negotiator in hopes of swinging a deal. You must give a landman his space, because if you don’t, he will physically negotiate it away from you. Whether he sticks out his elbows, or **ahem*** other appendages, please watch out.  Just make sure to keep a firm shoulder-width stance and hold your ground when you spot a Land Negotiator.

Security camera footage of a Facilities Engineer in an office bathroom. To this date, nobody has figured out what he was doing.
Security camera footage of a Senior Executive in an office bathroom at Poukete Engineering. To this date, nobody knows what he was doing, or trying to do.

Middle Manager/Executive – Warning: You will need to be in the bathroom for upwards of 30 minutes to make a positive ID on these guys. A middle manager or executive tends to stay at the urinal for minutes after he finishes peeing –  just looking around in a spaced out daze. He then routinely goes to a toilet stall, sits there for at least 30 minutes doing non work-related stuff on his Palm Pilot. A typical bathroom session for a guy in this category is 40 to 50 minutes, a span over which zero work gets done, which aligns perfectly with the position’s roles and responsibilities. A very expensive pair of shoes (seen under the stall door) is another dead giveaway.

Planner/Scheduler -Time is everything for these cats. Looks at his watch before unzipping his pants, again before he starts to pee, so on and so forth until he leaves.  Doesn’t actually ever urinate, just wants to plan it and check his timing.  If he gets in your way just push him to the side.  He’ll reset his watch and start again when you leave.

Drilling Manager – Not much here, loud, rambunctious, lots of ass patting on the way by.  Watch out for his Shale Shaker move.  Tends to make a mess. There are anecdotes of a drilling manager with PNRL who was known to try and drill through his #2 with his #1.

That’s all there is to it. The next time you need to figure what title some stranger holds, based on how he conducts himself in the bathroom, please use our handy Oil and Gas Industry Bathroom Etiquette for Dummies. We recommend printing this guide, laminating it, and carrying it with you everywhere you go.




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