September 18, 2015 0 Comments Experience Working in Alberta's Oilfield

September Woes

I’ve always had a depression problem growing up, as my family was very hard on me and expected me to perform, so I didn’t really have many friends and get to have fun. Eventually nothing was working out and I was an young adult by then, especially financially, so I threw everything in my car and drove to Alberta for work, thinking that I could make the oil money, recover, and go back and restart.

I was horribly wrong that plan would go smoothly, as I learned that you needed skills and a trade for that to work, and you’re supposed to save and invest your money. I just ended up with a job cutting grass living in a tiny “company” townhouse with 8 guys. Then I ended up at an outfit that liked only temp. foreign workers and would tell you lies just to stay, and give some people camp and others none for identical positions. Obviously that was not a long-term solution, so I listened and took training, got into a trade, and bought various stocks and funds overtime with my savings, but it was an emotionally and financially painful process over the next couple years. I used to drive around to company offices that interested me to shake hands and hand out resumes, only to get the “who’s this guy” look at times, but always ended up working in the end. I’ve worked all the way north about 150km from the Northwest Territories and south as Calgary area- sometimes gone for months never knowing when I’ll see my own bed again. My jobs were always 70-105 hours a week and I never got scheduled rotation arrangements where you could have a whole week off.

Every woman I dated throughout my travels and even in Edmonton ended up putting her hands on another man or just never heard from ever again. I was raised to always to put my own future before dating first, so naturally I just took it with the “it comes with the trade” remark aside from getting angry. And then the price of oil fell and I lost a large portion of my money as I was laid off and investments plummeted in value.

I’ve always been a working person so I was able to land an local Edmonton job shortly after I moved back here, but working 80-105 hours a week, every week outside the Spring- doesn’t help with the depression problem. It often trickles to my work where my mind is sometimes clouded and have a tough time focusing and I “start tripping out” as some would say. I managed to make a lot of money from it. Then I got into a car accident that insurance didn’t completely cover and I was out of work for a week, wiping out more than half of any savings I collected through the summer. Then came tuition payment time, and they echo “go to school” to us young guys yet the system here makes it so expensive to do so. Being a young guy I also got looked at just a source of money from various landlords and constantly being told to do this and don’t do that, so overtime I got sick of renting rooms and applied for a mortgage. I then learned of how stingy the rules here are to get one, as overtime income is useless unless reflected on 2 tax return slips.