While in graduate school in China, I began working as a mediator between the French and the Chinese in offshore petroleum exploration. That position evolved, after graduation, into full-time work on offshore rigs, first in the Bohai 渤海 and Yellow 黄海 Seas, and then in the South China Sea 南海. Though not formally trained in any rig occupation, I learned many of those skills on-the-job, while ensuring smooth interactions, and the accomplishment of the daily drilling objectives, between the French and the Chinese.

I then went with the French to central west Africa, Gabon, my position there, Drilling Control Analyst, assuring through a regimen of self-generated controls, coverage of all blind spots inherent between finance, administration, drilling, materials, and rig operations, all in French. As penultimate authority approving or denying payment of all invoices for materials, personnel, and services to the offshore rigs, only the signature of the Drilling Superintendent was required in full confidence after mine. Needless to convey, millions of francs, then, were saved through my unwavering vigilance.