Since oil prices began to drop, thousands of people have lost their jobs in Alberta.

However, in the middle of all that uncertainty, one Kelowna man with a steady job north of Fort McMurray, called his boss this week and quit.

Jeff Dingman says that his position in an oil company was secure, so it was a tough decision to leave.

However, like many fly-in,-fly-out oil patch workers, the strain of being away from his family was a lot to deal with.

"You hear about people going up north. For so long, people have been doing it," Jeff Dingman told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.

"I never thought I'd do it. Then I did it, and was working with this group and kept getting promoted and I ended up being the boss, and I've been the boss for almost a year now. And then it was just time to move on."

Jeff Dingman's wife, Trina Dingman, also says it was hard to be apart for such long stretches.

"We had never really been apart before, so it was a whole different world of communication, and to be honest, we weren't so great at it," she said.

"Mostly hard on the kids, too, our toddler. Jeff's an amazing dad, best dad ever, and she really didn't want to be away from her dad. So she would cry every day. And that was really hard for me."

Trina Dingman knows lots of other women whose husbands are back home, but unlike Jeff Dingman, not all of them are back by choice.

"It's an interesting world, and us wives try to stick together," she said.

For now, Jeff Dingman is catching up on home improvement projects around the house, but after that, he has a new job opportunity in a different sector: working for Trina Dingman's online fitness business.


To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: To be with family, Kelowna man gives up rarity: a job in the oil patch