Help! I need somebody! (Not just anybody!)


While there is no doubt that oilfield wives are a tough, resourceful, independent lot, every once in a while we need a little help around the house or around the yard.  While I am pretty handy with many things like basic electrical and plumbing repair, there are other things that I simply can’t manage on my own, like dealing with our wild kingdom of a yard. However, over the years I’ve learned how to get help when I need it. Sometimes it required a bit of creativity and sometimes the outcome was not what I hoped for but, I eventually got the things I needed done.

I’m going to share with you a few of the tips and tricks I’ve used over the years to get the help I need. Some of them may seem obvious, but I feel they are important enough that they bear repeating.

-One of my favorite ways of getting the help I need is through bartering. While bartering may not be appropriate in all cases, in the right situation it can be an awesome experience. Just be sure that the barter is fair on both sides. One of the best barters I’ve done was a laundry barter for produce. We had a big garden that year, eggs in excess from our chickens and I was baking bread once a week. What I didn’t have was time to do laundry. Once a week I set the laundry out along with bags full of produce, eggs and bread and someone picked it up and returned it a few days later washed.

-Be careful when paying for services ahead of time. Make sure you get what are paying for. This is one area where I’ve been burned. I pre-paid a neighbor for several weeks of lawn mowing services. I came home several weeks later to high grass and eventually a complaint from the city.

-Sometimes you just have to suck it up and pay a professional to have it done. I love to barter and at times, when we had no money, I had no choice but to barter and I also prefer to help out folks I know by paying them to help me out instead of sending my money to a large company that I have no connection with. However, there have been times when I would have been better off just forking over the cash to a larger professional outfit. Learning how to recognize the difference is a skill that will serve you well.

-Make sure you know the person who is doing the work well and that you trust them. If you are hiring a professional be sure and check out their reviews and references.  Trust your gut. If you don’t think they will do a good job or something seems off to you don’t be afraid to go with someone else.

-Maintain a professional relationship in your transaction especially if you are paying someone to help you out. Don’t be afraid to ask explicitly for what you need and want. This one area that I struggle with because I want everyone to be my friend which causes me to sometimes not ask for what I want for fear of angering the person helping me.

I hope these tips help you to get the help you need. I know some of them may seem like common sense, but common sense isn’t always so common. I also know that if I had always heeded these suggestions I’d have saved myself a lot of headache! Maybe these reminders can save you some headache, too.

What kind of tips do you have for getting them help you need? Or do you have any particularly juicy help getting horror stories to share with us as a reminder for what we should be on the look out for? Share them with me in the comments! I’d love to hear them!


About chelsea

Chelsea is mama to 4 year old Will and partner to her oilfield man and best friend of 16 years, Jacob. She splits her time between the family’s camper in the North Dakota Oil Patch and a small urban homestead in Kentucky. Chelsea writes about the family’s camper adventures at She is a batik artist and loves teaching others about the art of batik at She can also be found working on her other sites and In her moments of spare time she enjoys knitting, sewing and gardening.

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