An Oil Spiel- Sheen of Fear
I'm scared, and I'm not alone. Watching the price of a barrel of oil in real time and how it fluctuates minute by minute has become part of my day. I was taught from a young age that knowledge is power. But the more I know, the more my fear grows.
My husband has been in the oilfield for most of the time we have been married. So are many of our family and friends. Thankfully, my husband still has a job, but we did take cuts last year. Several of his fellow coworkers didn't fare so well.
It's nice to fill up my car for under $30, but it hurts when I do. I know it's at the expense of families we know. I would happily pay upward of $2.50 per gallon if many of them were still employed.
It's not the executives hurting the most. It's the people on the rigs, those on 24-hour call, the men who aren't home for half a year and their families who are suffering.
Lots of these oilmen worked long, hard, dirty jobs to get to their positions. The majority of them have work ethics that you can't get from any classroom. Ask them about hovering over a derrick. Ask them about roughnecking. Ask them about laying jugs out while seismographing and what they had to walk through. They are a rough and tumble crowd for a reason. But they are some of the most genuine, hardest working people I personally have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And many of them are rascals!
Our oilfield families are hurting!
One of our dear friends worked his way up in the ranks. He went to school, put in his time "on the floor," and was high on the proverbial totem pole. Then the the price of oil began to drop. The rigs he was working were shut down. They stopped drilling. He went from rig management back to the floor. He wanted to keep working, and he was able to do that. He's now grossing about 40% or less of what he was about a year ago.
Another friend has been in the oilfield over 25 years, since his late teens. He's very good at what he does. He's on 24-hour call. They are assigned in rotations. He's not sure when or if he will go out on a job right now.
The family of a relative is struggling right now. The husband contracts in some branch of the oilfield. He hasn't been able to pick up work in a number of months. He's been beating the bushes, and is down to doing whatever he can to provide. They are faced with some extremely tough decisions. Again, he loves what he does. All he wants to do is go back to doing that.
I could go on and on with stories just like these. I see the headlines about the presidential race, the Academy Awards fracas, the big winter storm in the northeast, and all of the other things going on in the world. I keep coming back to oil.
I thank God every single day that we have a roof over our heads, food on our table, and that my family is all healthy. I'm so appreciative both my husband and I have jobs. I pray that I open that oil price link one day and the meter is only going up.