At this point in 1940, Lad is the only son away from home. He is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company , maintaining their vehicles and the diesel oil pumps.
Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in the field in Venezuela
A-73 April 28, 1940
Dear “Love and Kisses”:
Got your letter yesterday, written from Guario on the 17th concerning the question as to whether you should stay put or try another brand of boss. From the tone of your letter, and reading between the lines, I have an idea you have already made up your mind to make the jump and just want me to confirm it. This is as it should be, (Your making the decision, I mean), because being right there on the job and knowing the man and conditions and your own feeling, based on certain intangibles that you cannot convey to another in the letter and which are quite important, you are the only one in position to weigh the thing materialistically. All I can do at this distance is give you my theory which you will realize is not so important as long as it involves no deep principles of right and wrong.
There are one or two questions that have arisen in my mind that would have some influence on my decision, which you did not discuss in your letter. You know how I feel about a young fellow following the line he has elected and not let himself be sidetracked by something that at the moment looks more alluring. Along this line of reasoning, you did not say whether the job Mr. O’Connor had in mind would lead you any nearer to your goal, although I infer there is no direct chance along that line as you later referred in your letter to sometime in the future tackling the diesel prospect. Let me express myself this way: if the new job has MORE chance of leading you into your promised land, whether it pays more money or not, I would take it; if your present job has more possibilities of getting you into the diesel end than the new job, then I would stick to the old. If neither job holds out any promise along that line, or both hold equal promise then the basis of your decision to change must rest on other facts.
Another phase you did not mention was whether the new job would bring you into a better location geographically. Would you be out in the wilds in some camp as you are at present or would you be stationed at Caracas or some other civilized place where you could have the opportunity of meeting other people, where your work would bring you into contact with big shots where you could improve your rankings with influential men, putting yourself in the better political situation?
You speak as if a change in the old management at SVOC would invariably result in the present gang being fired. Might there be just as much possibility as far as you are concerned of a change being beneficial to you? I don’t know and of course you, being on the ground, can size up this far more accurately than I, but change of management does not always mean retrogression for the personnel. It may mean the new man, unless he brings an entirely new staff with him, looks carefully over the available manpower and picks out the best so that he could make a good showing on the new job. He will need friends and I think it would be most foolish for him to take on an entirely green crew, being also green himself. He would need friends and competent help and the chances are he would, for a time at least, carry on with the old gang until he got on to the ropes himself and was able to gauge what was what and who was who. In other words, you might be better off financially and otherwise by sticking then you would by changing. Here again you must be the final judge on this score. It is true you have made a certain satisfactory record with SVOC, a big company with lots of other jobs and would be throwing that cumulative record overboard when you quit and go with a new outfit.
I will post the second half of this letter tomorrow.