There are a few things that chip off a little piece of my heart.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a neighbour which took a piece away.
Here is the scenario:
Right now, there are many men and some women who travel up to Northern Canada to work in the tar sands. These workers are being paid alot of money, and I mean alot of money. Here is a summary of my conversation with my twenty year old neighbour.
Jason was home for his five days off. He works twenty-days up north in a camp. He gets all his meals cooked for him, buffet style. There is a maid that cleans up his room every day. He works twelve hour shifts and I believe that he probably works hard. He told me that he makes more money in three months working up north that he could make in one year in our town. He also told me on his five days off, he spent more than he would normally spend in a month. (Note: he does not pay rent here, he stays with his parents. He has a truck payment, but that is all for expenses.)
His parents were away when he was home for his five days off. He said that it was hard being home because he was often hungry and looking for food, but then realized he had to cook for himself. He was wearing two new gold ear rings as well as a gold necklace. And take a look at his truck:
I am worried. Deeply, profoundly worried.
What type of environment are we creating for these men who leave their families and come home for only five days out of twenty-six?
How about the families that are left behind? What about the amount of money they are being paid? (They make more than my husband does who has three degrees!)
Lastly, what skills are they learning to contribute to regular society? And what happens when the work ends? I am very, very worried.
Boys, I want to tell you that money isn’t everything. As your Papa Jenkins always told me, “You can’t take it with you when you go!” Yes, go and make some money up north if you need to, but be sensible with your money. Save it, donate it, but mostly be at home with the people you love and love you. Life is short!