In the beginning, Lauder Nowers had no idea the hardships he would face as a roughneck in the oil patch. Later in life, he would fondly describe his earliest work there as "…a dirty, rotten, filthy job; and very, very hard…"
Despite the rude shock, Nowers found both the risk and the pay to be compelling reason to stay on. He was compensated handsomely for working with the dangerous and highly volatile Nitroglycerine used to "blow" wells in search of oil.
In the meantime, he boarded at the infamous Black Diamond Hotel, for a rate of $40 per month.
Nowers worked his way up from that position to Personnel Manager for the Western Producer Department with both Esso and Imperial Oil.