Saturday, December 06, 2008

Fun with jetlag

I'm back in Italy and I'm having a lot of trouble with jetlag this trip.
I screwed up and slept a couple of hours thursday afternoon when I
arrived, then I couldn't sleep again until 6 am friday. I was guilty of
asleep at the office all day friday, luckily nothing of importance happened
and I safely made it home without getting myself run off. The really stupid
thing I did was I repeated the mistake last night too, then slept until 1 pm.

Now it's midnight on saturday night and I couldn't be more awake, I'm
stuck watching my crappy sky tv satellite. It's in black and white because
we have an ntsc tv and the analog signal is pal, I switched out the box for
an hd box thinking that hdmi should be the same all around the world, but
all I get is the top half of the screen, so I'm sticking with the analog signal
in black and white. 1000 channels of mostly nothing, with lots of history
channels and nat geo channels, but they are all repeating the same shows
from earlier in the evening. Sadly the only thing on that's interesting are
the dial-a-porn channels, where a model answers the phone and gradually
takes off her clothes. (I'm learning italian, I have to watch)

I can't imagine how they make money unless the guys calling are paying $100
per minute, because they are almost never talking on the phone. Oh well,
you know you're bored when you're drinking italian new wine out of a 3 liter
plastic jug watching italian porno in black and white, and the most interesting
thing to think of is their business plan.

Better than thinking of my business plan. Lou Minatti mentioned in a blog
post that oilfield service companies in houston are about to do big layoffs
according to a high placed relative of his. I understand why that will have
to happen to some extant, the big question will be will they cut to get ahead
of the problem to maintain or increase profitability, or will they just lop off
the bottom 10%. hmmm.

In 1991 they fired almost everyone (90% of staff) because the business
died when prices crashed back to $8/barrel, but they layoffs happened
in stages. In smaller downward dips like 1994, 1996 and 2007 they just
layed off the bottom 10%. In 1998 they tried a different tack and layed
off everyone above a certain seniority who weren't on a management track,
which in one way was more shocking than laying off everyone slowly, because
the guys you'd think would never leave were gone in a blink. Almost all got
hired back pretty quickly as contractors when it picked up again a couple months
later, but it was still a weird higher management decision that I hope they
don't repeat.

It all depends on demand, if demand drops too much too fast until all storage
and all tankers are full, it will go to $10 and all drilling not on deepwater rigs will
stop. The good news there will be a quicker rebound as the rest of the economy
comes back quicker, the bad news is that it will ensure $300 oil in 2 years because
drilling activity won't make it back in time.

oh, well, back to black and white tv.

1 comment:

Frances said...

Hi Joe, stop watching bad TV, maybe reading would be better. Your regular e-mail is not responding. Mom and dad are trying to check in with you and Patty. Please call them when you get the chance. Sorry you had such a difficult trip home. Love, Frances