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up a significant portion of southern Louisiana’s population and have exerted an enormous impact on the state’s culture. *(Source Wikipedia) Back to the word “embrace” as it relates to the culture, as I feel like I cannot stress this


point enough. One must understand that a large part of your interaction will be working close- ly with clients and co-workers who have deep roots in the local culture. Generally speaking, Cajun people are a tough people who seem to be “set in their ways”. Understanding and embracing the culture is a much healthier option than to disregard or fight it, as you will not be changing this culture any time soon. To put it simply, if you are a high speed, low drag city boy or girl, who likes to move everything around you at the speed of light, this slower paced culture and way of life may be a very tough adjustment for you. When I interviewed pilots and managers for this story, I asked what the hardest adjustment


is for the pilots transitioning to the GOM? Without a doubt, the number one answer is being away from family, especially for those who are married with children. Everyone emphasizes over and over how important it is to have “buy in” and understanding from the entire family unit of what commuting will be like and how it might impact the family.


ADJUSTMENT TIPS Here are some tips given to me by long time GOMER’s that may help a new pilot bet-


ter adjust to this unique work-life environment, but also excel:


1. Learn about the local culture and try and embrace the differences. 2. Make productive use of your non-flying time while on hitch by physically working out or taking online courses toward some goal such as a college degree or learning a language.


3. Set yourself up to be able to communicate with family in a meaningful way. For exam- ple, Skype video conferencing is a way that your children can see you daily which might reduce anxiety among children when mom or dad are away from home on hitch.


4. Make good use of your time away from work while on break to fulfill personal or family obligations. If you run a business or work somewhere else on your time off, you may run the risk of work burn out.


stand the common areas in which new hires struggle when coming to the GOM. He tells us that


To Jim Palmer’s credit, his decade’s experience in the GOM have helped him to under- lifestyle issues surrounding family, commuting and local culture are the most common


“shockers”. He believes that communication and education is key to helping a new hire pre- pare to begin his or her career in the GOM, hence his participation in this ongoing series. Joe Wilmeth, a long time employee of Bristow Group and 30+ year veteran of the GOM


said, “Yes, it is a very different culture and lifestyle down here in southern Louisiana. That is not to say if is a bad lifestyle, it’s actually a very easy, laid back, and comfortable lifestyle if you can accept it.” abcd


WATCH THE VIDEO on Justhelicopters.TV – For more images and detailed inter-


view comments about working in the GOM. STAY TUNED FOR MORE – Every month we will be adding to this series with con-


tinuing articles, pictures and video. MORE TO COME – Maintenance, Flight Following, and Quotes from the Field.


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