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.

Corporate Culture and Engagement on @DriveThruHR

On May 18th, 2012; I was once again on @DriveThruHR, the only weekly Blog Talk Radio show on HR. My pleasure of course and it was a great discussion on employee engagement, with a particular focus on Culture. Feel free to listen in and enjoy.

A few items addressed:

  • The lost productivity of actively disengaged employees costs the US economy is $370 Billion annually (Gallup)
  • Can culture be manufactured?
  • Should we hide or shine our company culture?
  • Culture = Vision. There is no separation or masking what you truly are!
  • Mike Tyson, Major League Baseball and Yoda!

If you’re having trouble listening Click Here

Listen to internet radio with Wempen and Tincup on Blog Talk Radio


If you want to see some more interesting info and stats on Culture and Engagement Click Here

The point of work? WORKing with people!

Everyday you do a  job. That job serves some kind of purpose. A purpose for the business, for you or for others around you. However, so often people are so caught up in the job that they don’t think about the importance of talking with people!

When many writers, bloggers… people in general essentially spat the talk of it’s all about the business or you come to work to work not to deal with the personal’s of people, I just don’t buy it. Sure you need operations to run smoothly. However, I firmly believe that while you can understand your business, if you don’t understand the people… then you will never know your business!

The following is a short profile of a New York City curio collector whose home is regularly mistaken for a vintage shop. He invites people in, telling them nothing is for sale!

This Is My Home

This Is My Home from Mark on Vimeo.


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