From the age of 23 to 32, I worked in oilfield service. There was 24-hour call, and often long hours once I called out. There were 3 or 4 times a year where I would work 24 hours straight. There were a few 30+ hours shifts. 48 is my longest, but that only happened once.

I had learned to take a nap in the middle of the day just in case a call came up. With that nap, I could handle a 24 hour shift. And when on the job, I learned to nap when work activity didn’t require much attention; i.e., don’t socialize with the rig workers, instead lie down in your truck to get an hour or so of sleep. There were many three-day shifts with maybe only 8 hours of sleep.

As I got older, it became harder to handle the sleep deprivation. There weren’t many workers over 40 in my line of work.

And to be honest, there was a bit of machismo with being able to stay awake.

I’m not sure I damaged myself too much. I usually had a few days (or more) rest between jobs to catch up. Seldom did I do one job right after another. This happened maybe once a year, and I was usually a basketcase after the second job.

These days, I like my eight hours at night and two naps in the day. No way I can work oilfield service hours.

Dave Volek is the inventor of “Tiered Democratic Governance”. Let’s get rid of all political parties! Visit

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