November 20, 2017 2 Comments Experience Working in Alberta's Oilfield

Lonely At the Top, Regrets of the Past

My Post-16.jpg

It is lonely at the top.

Such are one of the first words of wisdom I’ve heard when I expressed my isolation and loneliness throughout my endeavours. One should expect to have less time for people when he/she is busy advancing, and make new enemies as others grow jealous or otherwise resentful. Like parasites spreading their infections, such negative people find delight in taking other people down with them. Yet on some days, I am quite regretful for some of the things I’ve done to people, even if sometimes unintentional, as in order to advance as rapidly and aggressively as possible, I’ve expected it to be a costly journey. I still ask: “Could I have been easier on them? Could I have done different? Has that been right or wrong of me?”

I’ve gone through many women simply because of their time-wasting nature, whether it be pursuing multiple guys to see which has been the most persistent and turning our relationship into a chasing contest, not showing up to planned time together, ignoring phone calls and texts and making excuses not to see each other, to expecting increased persistence to prove my worth, etc. I’ve gone through others because of their disapproval of my long hours of work away from home; most prioritize the woman first while I prioritize my future. Many women are just accustomed to this in Trades Province Alberta where the attractive (even if only somewhat) woman demands a considerable price tag, and in shifting dating culture. Many men have stagnated and sacrificed their career, morale, and self-worth for their women. The fortunate ones ended up happy, while the unfortunate ended up alone and miserable regardless. So have I wronged to rid of such people out of my life? If not, should I have been easier on ousting them out of my life, instead of taking my anger and bitterness on them, when their emotional strength has already been lacklustre? Where is the line between standing up for myself and defending my morale and being considerate of the other party’s feelings? Compromise is normally the logical path to successful relationships, but when is it too much? At that point does the marginal happiness become no more? Should I have accepted the lack of being punctual and organized? Should I have accepted the lack of respect for the working, time-sensitive man?

Many across my journeys have been deeply offended and insulted by my words and philosophies, especially my extreme hustler, risk-taking, futuristic, career and investment-driven attitude, designed with a “pry it out of your hands if must” theme. Being money-driven automatically implies selfishness, especially being a risk-taker in the investment world. Asking for higher rates/wages from a potential employer/client, lowballing assets to produce higher yields from lower entry prices, and buying into the fear of the markets, also then imply selfishness- especially when someone beside me will just be grateful otherwise. Another perspective tells me to be nice to the suffering employer and shareholder who can barely afford me. Don’t profit off the poor suffering investor or homeowner’s fear and lack of discipline. I have profited handsomely over the years taking risks in down markets- something I am sometimes resentful for as others collapsed into financial turmoil. But why should my self-worth be dictated by another’s background and demands? If Person X has Y background, why should that affect my compensation and work standards? Why should I artificially adjust my price tag or offer against the market equilibrium? If I worked to get to where I am, why should I be punished for my labour? Higher wages also imply higher liability and greater cost to the client/employer, hence a risk of the loss of that income – more risk, more return. The same principle applies to the equity and real estate market. Why should I deny the compensation for taking the risk? So, when do I play nice and let market forces have less play? When should I give the other party a chance?

My blunt and to-the-point words have cost me relationships and relations with former good colleagues. I word things in the worst ways, yet in my heart, I am harmless. I talk selfish and like an asshole, but I don’t mean to be an asshole. Nevertheless, then should I lie and give a false sense of positive assurance? Should I mislead one into believing and banking on a lie? Or if I am to remain honest, should I stress myself out mentally to serve someone’s particular emotional sensitivity? Should I forgo my own happiness for another’s happiness?

I am not the best looking person, but certainly not the worst. I attract more women than the average male. I really can just live an average young man’s life of sleeping around with girls or have a stable girlfriend, if I give up my ambitions and alter my defensive, my-future-before-the-woman attitude. Many men just want to do anything for a woman, and many even pay steeply for sex. Here I am the one who can have women and live a comfortable life, yet I refuse it. I opt to stick to the my future first mentality, and I do feel bad for it sometimes. I’d rather retire early and rip down along the beach in my Ferrari whenever I like during others’ working hours, than have a typical Albertan woman today but work until my 60s.

Many people have looked down on me, doubted me, and offered criticism. When someone thinks I am not good enough, I automatically see him/her as an enemy, and vow to surpass him/her, and anyone that he/she deems superior. Anyone giving me the “you’re not good enough” look I just see as a piece of shit. Others will then take it personally and suffer a blow to morale, and some others will try so hard to change themselves to mold into the critic’s desires. I am resentful for my negativity and bitterness at what others will accept as honest feedback, yet I cannot stomach making someone else happy, at a steep cost to my own morale and happiness.

Some former supervisors and other higher-ups have tried to be nice by offering me employment opportunity for the long-term. Oilfield companies have offered me generously-paying work relative to the majority of other people my age, and many even older and much more experienced. My goal has never been to work for someone else for the remainder of my life, and I’ve followed one of the first pieces of advance when I landed in Fort McMurray in 2013:

Take what you need and go.

My goal has been to acquire investment funds aggressively and rapidly as possible. Lost time is the opportunity cost of lost income. To this day I’m resentful to not visibly show gratitude to their offers. I’ve behaved as if I just haven’t given a shit. I look like someone who doesn’t care for the good others have done me (although my cultural upbringing is partly to blame; we are a very closed culture that keeps mosts feelings within our hearts. Family even doesn’t say “I love you” to each other). My risk-loving attitude is evident in my lifestyle; buying properties (though as investments), eating expensive diets, enjoying expensive hobbies, and enjoying high end vehicles. These are moves that make the average person cringe, especially with careful discipline and financial analysis, somehow I always end up ahead. At $26/barrel oil, I had been researching how to pay for my Porsche 911 (though it never happened, due to unperceived circumstances). I’ve once said:

Regardless of what the price of oil or my age is, neither will change my hopes and dreams. If anything, when others are fearful, I am greedy. When others are greedy, I am fearful. The public’s fear is my gold; when others see an economic apocalypse, I see a buyer’s market, like when a child walks into a candy store.

I’ve done things at work that others have been scared to, in fear they’ll end up being unemployed and collapse into financial turmoil. I spill salt in the average person’s wounds, and I feel guilty for it sometimes, in a time of widening wounds. But are they wounds I have inflicted in the first place? Why should I be responsible?