Chasing the money, black gold

When the oilfield is doing good then everyone does good. When the oilfield is down then you see devastation.

Money is enticing and for generations of oilfield workers, it’s hard to pass up. What some don’t realize is that not every person who works in the oil and gas industry is rich. Yes, the pay is better than minimum wage but an entry level person may start out at $10/hr and see minimal increases. Unfortunately there are many who do may a ton of money and don’t save for a rainy day, so when the work/money isn’t there they lose what they have. That’s to no fault but their own and it’s their reality. But for the majority, the every day worker, the money is decent because they trade work-life balance for working weeks, sometimes months, at a time away from everyone except co-workers who are out on that job with them.

Oil and gas jobs can be extremely dangerous. You put your life in the hands of someone who may not have slept for days. Human error, bad judgment, or an event that may be out of their control can stop a job, can result in job loss, and unfortunately it can result in loss of life.

Not every person who works in the oilfield works offshore. The money is good and it is enticing to people in a variety of positions. Administrative, management, HR, Payroll, Benefits, shop hands, the list goes on. And these same people enjoy the benefits of a stable oil industry and face the same devastation of an industry downfall. And Lord knows there are many families devastated by this latest downfall because many families have seen couples and children lose their jobs leaving the family destitute.

But, many still chase the money. They want big money quickly. And it’s hard to make an adjustment when you are used to making that black gold money. They go from company to company, town to town. It’s like a drug. You want more and more. It’s a cycle.

I understand chasing the money. I chased it. Then one day a wise person, someone who was chasing the money, told me that he regretted chasing the money. Don’t get me wrong he wasn’t dissatisfied with the life the money provided for his family, but he was currently living 3 states away from his family, missing milestones with his children, and his wife was left to raise them alone. I had just been offered a lucrative package to relocate and I was torn between taking the job and leaving the company. I was already leaning toward declining the offer because of my family. This gentleman spoke with me and said if he had the chance to go back even 2 years he would turn the money down and stay with his family. He said don’t chase the money. It’s been a tough year financially, but I’m glad I didn’t chase the money.

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