Inside The Boom: Welcome To The World Of “Hot-Sheeting”

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Emily Guerin/Inside Energy

These little signs indicating a shared room hang in the hallway of a hotel in Williston, North Dakota.

I’m in Williston this week doing some reporting for an upcoming series on worker fatalities in the oil and gas industry. While I’m here, I’m staying at the Dakota Landing, a giant new hotel on the outskirts of town that caters to oil workers. There’s a full bar downstairs, a mudroom for grubby boots and clothes, and a breakfast buffet that begins at 4:30 A.M. The place is filled with men–men smoking outside the front door, men playing pool together, men talking to their girlfriends on the phone in the lobby. There’s also men sharing the same bed–but not in the way that you think.

These little signs hang on doors up and down my hallway. One guy sleeps in the bed during the day, a different guy sleeps there at night. It’s called “hotsheeting” because the sheets are still warm from the first guy when the second guy hops into bed (or, if we’re being optimistic, because the maid just put on new sheets, fresh from the dryer, after the first guy leaves).

Hotsheeting is kind of off-putting, but it seems just right here in frenzied Williston, where the work never stops.