RAWLINS — Thirty five years ago, Barry Bluth began his first day for the Sinclair Oil Corporation. Now his final day with the company has ended.
Bluth began his career in 1984 and has continued in various positions until his retirement party on Tuesday. For his entire working life, Bluth has only received paychecks from Sinclair, making his 35 years spent with the green dinosaur unique.
From Oklahoma, to Missouri, to Colorado, to his final stop in the wide open spaces of Rawlins, Bluth traveled in pursuit of a career he was eternally grateful for.
Though he eventually retired a district manager, Bluth’s first professional job began as a simple terminal operator, one of the lowest positions in the organization. Bluth secured his first interview as his father-in-law had worked with the company’s executive in the past.
While he received his interview because of his family’s connection, he maintained a 35-year career due to his intense dedication to finishing any task laid before him. At the same time, Bluth finished every challenge using as little as possible and as cheaply possible, for he hates waste more than anything.
Because of his long, dedicated service, Bluth secured his final promotion to Rocky Mountain Pipeline District Manager more than 18 years ago.
“I know wherever I put him, the job will be done,” said Sinclair Oil Cooperation owner Carol Holding, quoting her late husband and long-time owner Earl Holding.
Current Sinclair President Ross Matthews simply said, “I haven’t had to talk to you much.”
Matthews explained that he never had any cause to discuss issues with Bluth, as his time saw no massive failure or inquiry that required the company president’s personal oversight. Matthews credited Bluth’s excellent leadership ability running a well-oiled collection of workers.
It was his former employees and colleagues that gave a clear picture of how that leadership style was put into practice.
“Barry’s thrifty, and that’s putting it lightly,” said Vice President Mark Peterson.
“Did he say thrifty, or cheap,” retorted Bluth’s replacement Chris Flack with a laugh.
Flack went onto describe the many long nights spent working out in the oil field, characterizing Bluth as hard worker with a random fact always on the tip of the tongue.
Another attendant declared Bluth’s future employment to be a Jeopardy! contestant, given his seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of every topic he brought up.
“We’d have a lot of good conversations on top of Ferris Mountain at 3 a.m.,” said Flack.
Flack continued that even when Bluth had taken vacation, he would often show back up to work, bored of sitting around.
Another long-time employee under Bluth, Randy Hall, laughed at his habit to routinely settle disputes using wagers, with a chocolate bar always the prize. As a light-hearted jab at all the bets he and Bluth had lost to each other, Hall gave him a five-pound bar of chocolate.
Once Bluth was given the floor to speak, he could barely contain his bittersweet tears.
“For 35 years, I have been grateful for a job,” said Bluth. “How lucky I have been to work for such a fantastic company.”
“I’ve learned so many things,” said Bluth, “but the three things I never learned was to hold my opinion, to delegate, or to stand back.”
The last point generated a round of shouts from several workers; all confirming Bluth had no ability to wait for someone else to do the job.
Bluth then thanked Carol Holding for her family’s generosity, and stated he prayed for God to bless both the Holding family and Sinclair for providing a job for his family over the course of more than three decades.