During WBENC Energy Week, industry leaders are reflecting on the challenges of 2020, and what it means for the future of the industry in 2021. Today, read a guest post from Dave Feldman, Manager of Supplier Diversity/Local Content at Chevron, on his perspective on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted him personally and Chevron globally.
The Global Pandemic – Through the Eyes of an Employee
Never has the question “how are you?” carried so much meaning. It can mean — do you still have a job? Are you able to work from home? Are you getting paid? Are you ok financially and able to provide for your family? How is your company doing?
Even more importantly – Are you and your family able to stay safe and well? How much risk are you exposed to on a regular basis? How’s your mental health of you and your family? How much stress are you under? Has anyone gotten sick? Or even, have you lost a loved one?
I have worked at Chevron for nearly 37 years and have lived and worked through many of the ups and downs that are so intrinsic to the oil and gas industry. Still I do not recall a year as challenging as the one we are enduring right now. We have been challenged by very difficult market conditions and have both witnessed and participated in the social unrest following a series of tragedies that have highlighted inequities that continued to plague our society…and our workplaces. We have undergone an enterprise-wide transformation – changing how we will work going forward to remain competitive, including a competitive job selection process that has resulted in fewer jobs and less people. And then, a global pandemic that represents the biggest health crisis in a generation that has affected nearly every aspect of our lives – including how and where we work.
At Chevron, we operate in many parts of the world and see the effects COVID-19 is having on communities where our employees live and work. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this pandemic. During this unprecedented time, Chevron is committed to protecting our customers and supporting our workforce while helping those affected and supporting healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Across Chevron, employees are demonstrating the power of human energy by doing extraordinary things during this extraordinary time. All across the globe, we’re helping communities respond to COVID-19 with contributions to support medical needs, small businesses, and more.
Protecting the health and safety of our workforce has always been a top priority. During the pandemic, we’ve implemented a number of initiatives to keep our workforce safe. For myself, I am writing from my home in Houston where I have been working since mid-March. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing and evolving concern. Chevron has developed a four-stage framework for returning to the workplace that incorporates processes, protocols and safeguards to ensure that employees and contractors face no added risk. We are committed to returning to the workplace only when it can be done safely. The health and safety of our workforce will always be Chevron’s top priority. (Read more about how Chevron and other industry leaders are responding to the pandemic.)
So, how am I? I am ok. My family and I are cautious. We wear our masks, avoid crowds – indoors and outdoors, keep our distance, and wash our hands. I miss traveling and eating in restaurants, but I managed to stay employed and am still getting paid. So far, we’ve managed to stay well and look forward to the promise of a vaccine, but mourn the deaths and on-going suffering of so many. I feel very blessed to not have had to worry about having food or paying bills. I do feel very lucky to work for a company that has indeed put my safety and well-being above all else, allowing me to navigate these very uncertain times.