Thursday, April 02, 2009


All last year as gas prices skyrocketed and people complained, I had the thought that prices might be high, but Duncan, OK was booming. People had jobs and were spending money. Toby and I counted six new banks built here in Duncan. I’m not sure why a town this small needs that many banks, but they sure seemed to be doing well. Housing had been doing great – partly due to the boom of Ft Sill. But with the fall of oil prices and as the recession became big news people began to worry. There were a few layoffs early on this year, but on Monday there were more. It was inevitable. It is the way of things in the oilfield. It has happened before and will happen again, but it is still unpleasant to watch. Oil and gas are a big industry here – and not just Halliburton. Halliburton is just the big dog in the game and therefore in the spotlight. Other companies like BakerHughes and Schlumberger have laid off people too, not to mention how hard hit the small companies have been. The above link has a good video.

With the first few layoffs, I sensed that Halliburton was trying to trim down – maybe get rid of the less productive people, but not layoff too many people – maybe each department was told to trim back excess. This week’s layoffs have taken a different turn. Sure, the weakest links were being laid off, but for some reason many of the big dogs went too. Retirement or near retirement people were laid off. On the one hand I can see H’s thought process. By firing someone whom has been working for you for over 20-30 years and making the big bucks, maybe it will save several lower paid employees. On the other hand it seems a bit disloyal. Here someone has poured his heart and soul into a company for over 20 years, and is expecting and planning on working ten more years – then bam – he is out. Rather than a 20-30 year old person out of work, it is a 50-60 year old person. Hopefully the older person has been wiser.

Toby and Jesse were not in the layoffs, but we have many friends who were. It is hurtful. So far, they seem in good spirits. As I said, layoffs were inevitable – some people were expecting it. Some were not. For me, I would rather pay higher gas prices and have all my friends employed and doing well.

Totally Off Topic
Not too long ago while friends and I were watching TV, an advertisement for Fast and Furious came on. I oohed and aahed over Vin Diesel. My friend Janice was horrified. She thought he was an awful actor and did not like him at all. She even remarked that she liked Dwayne Johnson much better. Give me a break! How can anyone prefer Dwayne to Vin? Vin is a hunk and I love the F&F series. I just watched a GMA interview with Vin and I have to say he is way better than Dwayne in body and acting and coolness. I am hoping Toby will take me to F&F so I can see it on the big screen!


Buck said...

Layoffs really, really hurt... and not just for those who get the pink slips. The survivors are demoralized, as well, and spend at least some time wondering "will I be next?".

I was never laid off during my working life but had the unfortunate responsibility of having to ID people who had to go... and to deliver the news when the whip came down. That was perhaps the MOST difficult chore I ever had... period, full-stop. Some people are philosophical about it and some people fall apart, the latter being the most difficult to deal with.

I watched my last company "downsize" from 350 people to about 150 when the "dot-bomb" bubble burst. I was fortunate in that lil episode because Operations folks were exempt from the lay-offs (I was the Director of Site Operations)... but the "support" functions, like HR, sales, marketing, recruiting, and all that lost up to 90% of their staffs. Even Engineering took it hard, as there were no new clients to develop solutions for. And there weren't many places in SFO for the newly unemployed to go, either. Lots of people left town...


(Hey! My second post of the day!!) ;-)

Bag Blog said...

I agree with your second post of the day, Buck. Layoffs are just bad stuff for everyone. Although people seem to be doing okay right now, with the economy in such bad shape, I just worry about them down the road. I know that the people of OK are good solid folk and will be fine, but I hate the hard times.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

Its a pinch for sure, but like all pinches, they release at some point and relief comes...its just enduring through the pressure that is the hard part. Its our duty to be ready to help those who are in need of it and make this time more bearable.

Vin Diesel...really? Feh...he's ok i guess. I watched QofS the other night...i'm not even a Bond fan, never have been...but QofS was just plain cool. Of course, i'm a big Matt Damon fan with all the Bourne stuff of late.

Becky said...

Layoffs are hitting hard everywhere. There is one company here in town that has laid off so many people, I wonder that they have any employees left.

I don't much care for VD or DJ myself. Well, face it, there just aren't too many actors I DO care for.

Mezzo SF said...

I have friends in many different sectors who've been laid off. It's such a crazy time right now.
On a lighter note, I am also really excited to see F&F. Though, I'm probably more of a Dwayne Johnson girl, I like Vin Diesel, as well.