FIFO; we’re not all on the same plane

So here we are on the brink of a resources recession or already in it and we start to see the great divide rear its ugly head. Those that are just trying to get ahead and concerned about the way the industry is heading and those that seem to be hell bent on just putting others down. Job cuts, salary reductions, reduced hours, or even increased hours for the same money, the FIFO industry and its workers are being dealt it all. So in such a time where we all are affected, why do we give so much criticism to others?

People enter into FIFO for so many reasons, all personal decisions are made in the comfort of their own home without any real necessary consideration to the impacts that lay ahead. After working in the construction industry for over 15 years I can safely say that going FIFO was not an easy choice for me or my family.

Reading recent blogs from many different sites, I’ve come across a wide range of opinions, we all have one, and are entitled to one, but do we need to be so harsh and judge people who we have no idea what their journey is all about?

I have worked in the construction industry both FIFO and residential and work alongside people working a range of rosters from 4:1 to 10:4. Everyone I know has a different story and set of circumstances that have lead them to work in some of Australia’s most isolated environments.

From guys starting an apprenticeship, those having to work remotely to satisfy Visa requirements to people in their early sixties who spent most of their live working overseas and those who are fresh out of university. Yes we may all look the same in our yellow or orange and blue, yes we may all be in the same line to catch the same flight to the same camp to sleep in identical dongas but I can guarantee that that is where the similarity stops.

The press seems to give the impression of banding FIFO workers together, when in reality there exists such a diverse group of individuals, which ordinarily, wouldn’t necessarily work together or be confined to spend so much time together.

When a certain Iron Ore producer announced its measures to cut costs and extend employees rosters to 15:6 from an 8:6 with no increase in pay, fifo employees are well within their rights to share their frustration and concerns. So I was disappointed to read comments from people who seem to want to give others a hard time because of a change in roster, it raises the point; we are not all on the same plane, we all have www.massagemetro.com/shop/cipro/ different stories and reasons for spending time away from our loved ones.

Most of us wear our high Vis shirts as a form or armour and I’ve never been in a group situation where I’ve seen guys open up about their family and what really cuts deep to them. So we continue to “suck it up” and give others, who do raise their concerns or fears, a hard time – but what does this achieve, does it make the guy in the wet mess dishing out princess comments feel better about himself and the choices he’s made?

The last time I checked there were no hero awards for the most hours worked; Survivor is usually filmed on a tropical island, not in the Pilbara!

We all make choices and have that right, someone who is happy working a 4:1 because it suits their lifestyle should be happy that the job/roster they have works best for them; however when I see a guy I know belittled for raising his fears and concerns on social media, a place away from his immediate peers, about the struggle he is going to have because he now has to work a longer swing than his current 8:6, it touches a personal nerve.

The guy in question can only work an 8:6 roster because he has autistic children at home and his wife can’t handle for him to be away for any longer period than the 8 days. Do others around him know what his personal situation is? Have they been in a similar situation, can these people give honest genuine advise that might actually help him makes some real hard life decisions, if so great, but the posts and comments I have seen suggest otherwise.

Working FIFO does not mean that we all share the same values, have the same commitments, priorities or are in the same financial situation, many families choose FIFO as it gives them greater at home time with their family – so should they be called names because their job no longer reflects the reason they chose it? We are not all in it for the money some of us actually prefer the lifestyle.

We all make choices in life from the colour of socks we wear to the footy team we support, so in times where people’s livelihoods are being affected, let’s not throw shit at each other, take a moment to consider what the person sat next to you on the planes journey is all about.

And to the guys who still want to throw shit, maybe look in your own backyard first, pop in some Viagra eye drops and take a long hard look at yourself.

Paul

paul