My 40 years in Total
I began working for Cosden Oil and Chemical at the Big Spring, Texas refinery in June 1976. I worked on the semi works unit that was used to prove the MobilBadger ethylbenzene process. I became Plant 2 production engineer when I moved to Carville in 1979. During my stay at CosMar, I helped startup EBIII in 1982, several revamps of the styrene units and in 1983-1984. I was involved with the startup of polystyrene (PS) line 1.
In 1985, I transferred to the La Porte polypropylene plant as the Production Manager and stayed at La Porte through the Train 7 construction and startup before transferring back to Carville in 1989 as the Plant Manager for the Polystyrene Plant. That year we started up Line 3 and became a stronger player in the PS market.
In 1992, I transferred to the Bayport plant as Plant Manager and stayed through the startup of Bay 2 before transferring to La Porte as Plant manager in 1999. Train 9 had just started up and the Mon 3 folks were working the bugs out. What was the largest PP plant became even larger. I stayed at La Porte until 2009 when I transferred to Total Plaza working in remediation. In 2012, I was seconded to RETIA USA LLC (Total's remediation company) and then transferred back into RPA in 2014 working in the Industrial group.
The memorable event at Total is without a doubt the first was working for Mr. Black, the Plant Manager at CosMar. He taught me how a plant should be run. His operating philosophy worked then and is still applicable today! Safety, Environment, Housekeeping, Quality, Service, Production and Costs were the basis for his philosophy.
The other that has stuck with me since joining this company is the support and backup that our Research and Technology group has provided all these years. Without them, I know we would not be as successful today with our polymer sites.
For new Total employees, I have a three pieces of advice:
- Never do anything that compromises your own safety or the safety of others.
- Find the balance between work and life that works for you. I did not until a few years ago. I missed way too many anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and vacations over the course of my career.
- Take pride in what you do, work hard, and opportunities will come your way.