These days, there hasn’t been much humor floating around, especially for the oil and gas industry.
But one person, with over 40 years of experience in the industry, has managed to find humor in almost everything he’s been involved with over the years. And he put it in a book.
Jeff Miller, frequent contributor to the Energy Media Group has written An Oil Rig Is Not A Ficus Tree, the title inspired by an article he wrote for bakken.com several years ago.
“I’d been writing these humor pieces about our industry for EMG and other sites and publications for years, and my wife told me I should write a book, so I did,” Miller said. “It’s probably the quickest I ever agreed with her in 45 years of marriage.”
“I tell people when they are looking for it to just go to Amazon and type in oil, rig, ficus and tree and it comes up. Turns out there are quite a few Jeff Millers that are authors,” he said. “I was going to use the pen name DJ Trump, but it sounded too much like a rapper and it was already taken.”
Miller said the original title of the book was going to be What the Frack?, but there were several books on the market with that title.
Miller has written hundreds of humorous, insightful, and sometimes controversial articles about the fuel that powers America. With his signature wit, he takes a look at everything oil, from powering cruise ships with human gas from their buffets, to cars powered by sneezes, and even how the 2016 election turned some of the most conservative oil folks into closet liberals.
“I’ve always believed that you can find humor in anything,” Miller said. “Although the recent election really put that to the test. But in all my years in oil and gas, I found that even the stodgiest engineers find time to laugh.”
He has worked in all facets of the industry, including about half of his career on the downstream side. After writing everything from CEO speeches to brochures to corporate websites, he now freelances for a dozen or so energy companies.
Four years ago, he and his wife sold their home in Houston and moved to a lake house on Lake Livingston, about an hour and a half north of Houston, but far enough away from the big city that he can fish, swim, smoke cigars, and drink single malt Scotch without worrying about stray bullets.
“I talk a lot about my layoff history in the book,” Miller continued. “This industry is a roller coaster. But when I got into it, I had to make the choice between a merry-go-round career, doing the same thing every, or the roller coaster, which is a lot more exciting, albeit dangerous. I chose the roller coaster. It’s a choice I never regretted.”
His writing has won numerous awards over the years, and in addition to writing about oil and gas, he is also a playwright as well as a director/actor for community theatre.