This is the second half of a special letter written to Lad concerning a possible move to another job with a different company.
Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
It is sometimes helpful, in getting one’s thoughts organized when faced with a decision like this, to sit down with a paper and pencil and head up a big sheet with two columns — Advantages and Disadvantages, putting down everything you can think of opposite one another in respective columns, cancel out like against like and see what the final result is when you get through. This is not of great use however if you cannot do it impartially, and if you’re already inclined toward one way or another, and after you get through the black and white answer does not jive with your wishes, it won’t count for much, except to give you the satisfaction knowing you have not jumped in the dark without knowing just what you are doing and why.
A few points on the advantage side might be: more pay, knowing and liking your new boss, a step up in position (if it is, I don’t know), a different experience with another company, better prospects for the future (?). And in this connection I have often seen this sort of thing happen. A man is hired for a certain job. He does well, and is sort of tagged as a truck man, or a diesel man or a garage repair man, or what have you. And when there is an opportunity open up ahead along a different line that he could fill with benefit all around, they pass him up because he is regarded as a good truck man or diesel man or garage repair man, etc. You see what I mean? And perhaps some man is taken in from some other company that is not any more capable than you and may have had no more experience for the new job than you, but because he is not so tagged by the new outfit he joins, he gets the bigger opportunity. “Once an office boy, always an office boy” is the exaggerated spirit of the thing. If that is your case at Pariaguan, the only thing that will change it is your getting a new job with another outfit or a change of bosses that will not have the handicap of “knowing you when”. On this theory, if you are sure of a change of the administration it might be better to take a chance on the old organization where you have already accumulated a year of satisfactory service. Again this is only a theory based on an “if” and must be weighed in the light of your more thorough knowledge.
As to disadvantages, there would be the losing of the chance at the end of another year of coming home for a visit with pay, and also as I mentioned above, the surrender of a certain amount of prestige based on the time already put in on the SVOC payroll.
Ted ought to be able to give you a more seasoned view of the question in view of the fact he has been in Venezuela, knows the oil game to some extent and is acquainted with both Mr. O’Connor and some of the SVOC officials in New York. On the other hand, he is apt to have very decided views that may not be based on full knowledge of just what the specific situation is, there and now.
To sum it all up, I think you’re wise in doing just what you are doing, get as many different viewpoints and slants on the thing from as many different sources as you can and then make your own decision.
Mr. Wardlaw seems to me to be a good common sense one. When one is in the thick of things and the men in the ranks, very close to things, are pessimistic, it is often because they are not far enough off to get the right perspective. I suppose it is like soldiers in the Army. If the regiment retreats it looks as though their country was losing the whole war where the high command may just be getting ready for a big smash elsewhere.
All in all and based on a very meager knowledge I think I should accept Mr. O’Connor’s offer. Love and kisses yourself, from