Dear Editor Penny (and CSEG Colleagues):

Perry here. We’ve known each other for many years now, gone through some great times – and some really bad ones – in our careers and in the oil and gas business.... Thought I might share some things I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) with our younger CSEG colleagues....

How bad is it really out there? It seems worse than many previous ‘downturns’ – especially for any of you who weren’t working (or born?) back in 1986-87…. Not big news to anybody. Will we get through this? Simple answer: yes. We’ll be ‘beaten up’ quite a bit, maybe hurting pretty badly. We’ll also be smarter, and tougher and… more experienced and … educated. (Some have heard me say that before.)

What will help us get through this? We are lucky to be a part of a remarkable association (the CSEG) – maybe the best in the world. We are a community – and we look after each other. We help each other find new jobs and inexpensive training, we are somebody who just listens when things suck, we even have some fun – and we survive. When things are good, we have a career unrivaled in the world; opportunities and money just seem to roll in. Right now just isn’t one of those times.

What might you do? Now IS the time to hang in there with your friends, colleagues, and the CSEG.

A word on the CSEG: the CSEG will purposely run a $300,000.00 deficit this year – specifically to support its members (that’s us) during this really bad downturn. Reduced fees for almost everything. It does need our participation, however – so attend some Luncheons, take some courses, attend the Convention – take advantage of our organization’s programs. Luckily the CSEG years ago set aside some cash “for a rainy day”… and it’s raining – hard right now – for all of us. Without some cash inflow, the CSEG will not be able to maintain its services too long. Soooo, “what goes around, comes around”… take advantage of the offered helping hand – participate, be engaged.

Want some more advice? If you still have a job – work smart and hard, be positive, get away from the “doomsday prophesiers and whiners” in your office, postpone big expenditures and … stay current. Have some fun. Enjoy your family. Exercise, look good, feel good. (That pretty-much applies to all of us, employed or not, right?)

Some will have just been to the Doodlespiel, some getting ready for the Ski Spree or just be ‘laying low’ right now, saving up to go to the GeoConvention and/ or summer’s Doodlebug or one of our in-town golf tournaments. It’s OK to join in; have some fun – ‘go cheap’ though! Not many ‘open bar tabs’ at events these days.

What else? Maybe stay educated/current with technology. If your company won’t pay… pay your own way. What can hurt to ask for the time off to stay (or get) highly technically trained. You probably already know that the CSEG provides training cheaper than anybody – and there’s no travel or hotel cost (if you’re close to one of the CSEG’s training venues).

Remember. The old bumper sticker: “Please God, let there be another boom; I promise not to blow it ($$) all away” (next time) – circa 1982. Our business has always been cyclical– save up when it’s good – to carry you through the next low. If you forgot this time… you’ll likely remember next time!

Remember also the companies who support your CSEG training and our CSEG events (that’s our sponsors who ‘stay the course’) and … the CSEG, which keeps it all together – these are the pillars of our community. Remember to also thank your company if they still provide you with training or training $$ support. During the “good old days” you might have ignored the event sponsors, goofed off during the convention, or not bothered to take training when it was offered; might be a “Murphy’s Law” in there somewhere…?

Easy for me to say? Nope. I was bruised back in ’82, hurt badly in ’86 and lost my job in ‘87 with many of my colleagues – thought it was (close to) the end of the world (oil was $8/bbl; down from $40/bbl). The CSEG, my friends, contacts, and family – and my resiliency – pulled me through. It wasn’t fun. Remember “The Code of the Doodlebugger”: work smart, work hard, play hard, be safe and … be ready to go tomorrow morning.

I hope this helps a bit. Want to talk? Email me at: – I’ll call you and we can talk, or… I’ll just listen. All the best.

Perry Kotkas,
CSEG President (2000), CSEG Foundation Past Chair

Editor Comment:

The EDITOR thanks Past President Perry for both his recollections and encouragement, for our newer members and our long time members.
Penny Colton,
Chief Editor, CSEG RECORDER.



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