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A Few Facts for Those Mocking Alberta's Oilfield Workers

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ALBERTA OIL RIG JOBS
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I'm seriously sick of hearing of all the negative posts from people who don't work in oil patch that are putting down people that do.

A lot of the comments I've read online are "you rig pigs should have went to school," "bet your jacked up truck payment isn't so cool now," "I hope all of you fall flat on your face so I can buy your repo'd toys," etc...

A few facts for non-informed folks mocking the hurting oilfield workers:

1. It's not just "riggers" that work in the patch -- riggers provide just one of many services in the field.

2. There are many "educated" people that DID go to school to be outside working when it's -40 degrees because we love the cause, people, hours and money.

3. The patch is just one large team working together to get the oil out of the ground. From the construction crew that moved the dirt, engineers and geologists that picked the spot, surveyors that got the spot just right, seismic crews, the drilling rig that drilled the hole, pile drivers that pounded the piles for surface equipment, instrumentation and electricians so that we can remotely monitor the well, laborers that set up the lease, welders that build pipelines, commissioners that test everything to make sure it's safe, the service rig that blasts into the zone and completes the hole, the pumper that operates the well, pressure trucks, vac trucks, steamers, combos, flushbys, the production engineer that optimizes production, the managers, the trucker that hauls the fluid to a treating facility, the battery operator that makes the oil as clean as he can to send down the pipeline where we will sell it for as much money as we can get. And many more...the list never ends. Not all of us work on the rigs, and the guys that are tough enough to do rig work deserve to be as cocky as they are. (I'm allowed to say that; I've dated enough of them and was raised by one.)

4. Just like many professions, there are some people that march slower than the rest of the group, and non-oilfield people may see those few and stereotype the whole industry. There are plenty of health care practitioners that have lost their compassion, there are crooked cops, teachers that just want summers off and dentists that... just like hurting people (I swear). They're not all bad, are they? No. Neither are we.

5. We ACTUALLY work hard. Lots of us miss Christmas, lots of us miss birthdays, we haven't seen our kids for MONTHS. Seriously, sit back and think about the last time you genuinely wanted to go to something that meant a lot to you, but you were miles away. I'm not complaining -- a lot of us sign up for it or actually want it. But don't insult a lifestyle that isn't for you.

6. These "jacked up trucks" are actually used for work or recreation. (A percentage of them ARE just douchebags, but still.) The work doesn't stop when it's raining, when there's a foot of snow, whether there's a foot of mud or it's glare ice. I hate to say it but half of us NEED these trucks to get to our "office". To top it off, some of us are even contractors and that truck IS our office.

The minute we hear a heart-wrenching story about a family with cancer, a country that's starving or a state hit with another natural disaster, we can't send our warm wishes and money fast enough.

These are our own people. This is our OWN economy. We are quick to lend a helping hand to people we don't know from a hole in the ground, but the minute our neighbor is starving we say "he had it coming"?

Where is our Canadian spirit?

This is hopefully the lowest point of the recession, but what if it's not? When are we going to show some compassion for our brothers and sisters? We are all just working for the man aren't we? Does it really matter that we have a piece of paper (degree) next to our names while we do it?

We aren't seeking your sympathy, we don't want any remorse. Just have some damn respect while we pinch our pennies until things pick up again.

As for my situation, I have been fortunate this far but that could very well change. No career is safe when an entire industry takes a dive. But I have seen these times before from a family perspective, and things always bounce back.

Signed,

An Oilfield Family

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