Work & Life: Running on Fumes in North Dakota – Life as a Female Trucker


Life as a female trucker…

Jonnie Cassens, a 38-year-old truck driver who is the subject of this Op-Doc video, offers a different perspective. Unable to find decent work on the West Coast, she moved to North Dakota carrying unpaid hospital bills, student loans and a commercial driver’s license. It was easy for her to get a job in the oil industry, as a contract “hotshot” truck driver — basically a round-the-clock special-delivery driver. When a rig or a pump jack breaks down, a hotshot is called to rush a new part out to a site, often in very remote areas. Jonnie calls it “U.P.S. on steroids.”

North Dakota Oil Boom…

Since around 2006, North Dakota’s oil boom has been a beacon for recession-ravaged Americans. The oil towns in the western part of the state are a land of possibility and opportunity, a “Kuwait on the prairie,” where the American Dream is alive and well in the rural heartland. Or at least that’s the sales pitch that has lured thousands of job seekers.

The Work is Steady bu Agonizing…

The work is steady, but her life has been agonizing. The pay can be lower than expected (her employer says she earned $34,000 last year) and the cost of living remarkably high (a tight housing market has, in some cases,inflated rents to Manhattan levels). Her loneliness is magnified by a desolate landscape that’s dominated by men.

Why “Be Happy You Have A Job” is a horrible excuse!

2013 01 30 New Job Why Be Happy You Have A Job is a horrible excuse!

While the scenerio depicted above may seem to be a prime situation, it is often just the opposite.

This leads me to the statement “Be Happy That You Have A Job.” A nice thought? However, it is a horrible excuse for managers and colleagues to use when there are legitimate complaints and/or frustrations around current practices, processes, workload or culture within an organization.

And while not everyone may agree, in my mind, it’s even a less acceptable excuse for anyone who is without a position they would rather have or a job at all to use when referring to those who do.

All the “Be Happy That You Have A Job” statement does is become an excuse to not be honest about the realities of career stagnation, unemployment and a culture to keep people from discussing the root cause of a bad organization or a lag in responses from employers.

I know it is hard but don’t let the perceived happiness you think you may desire get in the way of what you should truly be searching for.

The grass may be greener on the other side, but if you watered your own maybe the perception would change!

Which is best Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?

“You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts!”

On October 1,  the new Health Insurance Exchange systems began within various states in our union facing glitches, errors and problems. It is understandable given it is the first system of it’s kind, anywhere… in the world! Requiring each unique log-in to connect to various federal agencies and departments to reference and check each individuals information to ensure accuracy. For all the people on the news saying it is not wanted or needed, it wasn’t much of a surprise when more than 1 million people visited the site, on Tuesday alone.

While these technical issues can seem idiotic, they should not make people idiots to facts of the act. However, as with any legislation that polarizes segments of our population there are plenty that still don’t know anything and claim an educated opinion.


The idea that ignorance is the root of much disagreement is sad. It is argued that if Americans understood the healthcare law better, more could support it.

If asked to pick between Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act, which would Americans choose?

Apparently it would not matter to them that they are synonyms for the same thing?

Jimmy Kimmel sent his Q&A crew out into the streets to find out how ignorant and uninformed the public is concerning issue.

Now feel free to question his tactics, but also be sure to review the CNBC poll which found that 46 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare, while only 37 percent oppose the Affordable Care Act.

I present exhibit A – ignorance!

Malcolm Gladwell: Settle – Be a 1st Class Candidate in a 3rd Class Company



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