In the wake of the current oil price plummet, everybody is starting to get restless. This case is evident when you see the faces that turn up at the office everyday. There is a strange forlorn dark cloud that seems to follow everyone, and behind the usual work routines there is an obvious unease that can no longer be subdued. People started talking about ‘alternatives’. Some have that paranoid look in their eyes, making sure that everyone joins the wagon by constantly spreading rumours on what might become of our fates. Eventually these possibilities became exhausting to hear.
I have never thought that work could cause me this much anxiety. I enjoy my job, but have always found it easy to detach from its issues the minute I leave the office. My job takes me on wonderful work adventures, pays my bills, allows me to live the life the way I want, and some of my colleagues are friends and exes. In other words, my job is a great enabler for other things in my life. And thus, when the sense of security of having this job is being shaken, everything else shudders with it in a frightened might.
As a self-professed pro in the department of Anxiety and Overthinking, I started harvesting obsessive thoughts immediately after someone mentioned the word ‘retrenchment’. That night I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I started weighing my options, visualising a worse-case scenario, and then reliving them again in my head.
Employment and unemployment is a common theme anywhere you are in the world. In movies you see people happily quitting their jobs or getting fired with such dramatic exits and not much of a forethought of a future strategy, some of them being a hilarious feat to watch. But in reality it is nerve-wrecking experience, one that would flip the tables and change the course of our lives altogether. Some of us have mortgages, children to feed, parents to take care of, loans to pay and even rely on jobs to give us a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. A job may not be our livelihood, but it certainly is a catalyst that allows us to have and enjoy one, whatever that may be. And so as I, and many of us in the hydrocarbon industry brace ourselves for what may or may not happen in the near future, I hope that we'll make it through and be okay. It is a scary thought, but word on the street is that life? It scares us sometimes.