Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More to life...

I'm a contractor, currently working for Penn West. Today Penn West told about 400 people to go away. Many of them were on my floor. Many of them were not people I knew well, but you chat in the kitchen. Some of them were people I've been working closely with for several years.

My whole team went away, including my boss. They were waiting for her when she got in. I was in late, coming from a dental appointment. The only people left from my team are me and one other contractor. As far as I know the only other people left on the whole floor are my boss's boss, and the pressure vessel chief inspector. They can't fire him till they have a replacement. I haven't heard how my buddies from IT in the other building made out, but I do not have high hopes.

I will be meeting with (ex) boss's boss tomorrow, and find out if my being there is an oversight (It's happened to me before) or if they've got lots (and lots and lots) for me to do. I don't know. It's going to be an empty place first thing tomorrow.

It was very sad saying goodbye to people that I've worked with for several years. Many of them went out for a drink after, but I couldn't go. I didn't want to go. I'm not in that space yet. I was told to take the rest of the day off. I cuddled cats and napped a bit.

This will be a big blow to some people. Not to tell tales out of school, but some of them need to be working. I am very fortunate that isn't true for me. I was already thinking about proposing part time work next year. I've been doing the math on retirement. If I get told to go away tomorrow, it's very easy to think of the break till my next job as the "semi" part of semi-retirement. I'm not quite ready financially or emotionally to not ever work again. But it's not going to break my heart to have some time off either. The price of oil will go back up, we just don't know when.

This is the stuff I tell the young people I work with. There are only two ways to leave a company. One is when you choose, on your terms, because you've decided it's the right thing to do. The other way is for the company to spit you out onto the sidewalk like used chewing gum. Sure they make the polite noises about it being a hard decision, but there you are, drying out and getting hard while being stepped on. They don't care if you just had a baby, or bought a house, or whatever. They care about their profit and nothing else. You choose. You already know you aren't going to retire here. Think about that.

I admit to being thoroughly sick and tired of the oil and gas roller coaster. I've been on it since 1992 and experienced the fallout before that. Up. Down. Up. Down. Paid well. Laid off. Asked to do too much work. Not able to find any work at all. Over and over again. This is no way to run an economy.

It's making me think about what's important. Really important. Not just earning money, there's almost always places to earn money. Important as in how to spend the time I have left here. Doing what I want to do because I enjoy doing it.


  1. whoa, that sounds like a pretty stressful day, best of luck tomorrow.

  2. Sorry to hear about the lay offs, that is very stressful for both the people who were let go and for the people that are left. The roller coaster is tiring and I have only been through half the ups and downs as you. I think a lot of people are starting to reevaluate their path in life. It's supposed to fun, right? Good post.


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