I will begin this story, in the middle of my stay in Dickinson, North Dakota, in 2014. I had applied for a government job in Dickinson. This would be my second job working for the government. The application was very long, approximately twenty pages. Employment history, education history, special qualification history, criminal history/disqualifiers.
I turned in my application. I would be required to take an exam the following week, and undergo further testing after that. On Thursday at approximately 4:00 p.m., an e-mail was sent from the human resources person in Dickinson, stating that I needed to provide my high school transcripts by the following Monday. I happened to check my e-mail on Thursday at 6:00 p.m., and my reaction was,”What the fuck! God damn it! How the fuck am I going to get my high school transcripts by Monday? I have one business day, I graduated from high school over twenty-five years ago, 2,000 miles away, I don’t even know if they still have my transcripts.” I cursed some more, this was the Dickinson human resource’s way of disqualifying me from this job, by me being unable to submit all required paper work by Monday. From my application they knew when and where I graduated, they knew it would be impossible for me to get my transcripts by Monday.
I graduated from a state in the Southeast, twenty five years ago. I telephoned my high school at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, Dickinson time, it was 9:00 a.m. back East. My high school said that I needed to telephone the county archive office. I listened to the county archivist phone recording which gave their website address. I looked at the county archives website. I understood the instructions about the request for records process, but they needed to receive a payment by check or money order by mail to complete the process. I called the archive office back, and left a polite but desperate voice mail, quickly explaining my situation. I sent a polite but desperate e-mail with my completed application for high school transcripts. About one million people live in the county that I was dealing with. The archivist woman had to go out to a warehouse, locate the high school records, find my high school, find my year of graduation, find my records, go scan them, e-mail them to me, without receiving any payment.
The human resources lady in Dickinson, was trying to disqualify me from the job because I was from out-of-state. There was no chance that I was going to get my high school transcripts from twenty-five years ago, in one day. The archivist lady back where I was from, dropped what she was doing, dug out my records, scanned them, and e-mailed them to me by 1:00 p.m., breaking the rules, without receiving payment. They do things like that in the South.
I was grateful that I got my transcripts on Friday, in plenty of time to deliver them. But I was surprised at what I got, I got about thirteen pages. I don’t know if this was supposed to happen, but I got everything. The first three pages were grade reports, but I had never seen them in this format. Rather than reporting grades by quarter, they were reported by course and final grade for the year. 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, every course was an “A”. There was an official stamp, “Rank 1 out of 290“. Mother fucker! I was the salutatorian, I gave the salutatorian speech at graduation. They lied to me! I was actually the valedictorian, well how about that. They fucked me out of that, oh well.
What were these other ten pages? They were a psychological assessment and evaluation. In 10th grade, the school system did a personal evaluation, which I somewhat remember. There were test results, explanation and interpretation of results, scores plotted on a chart. The first two types of intelligence testing, my IQ was 124, 125. The third type of intelligence testing, verbal/vocabulary, my IQ was 134. The fourth type, awareness/socialization, my IQ was 118. The last, I believe was math, my IQ was 125. My overall IQ was 126. The assessment explained that 126 IQ was classified as “highly intelligent”, that 130 IQ was classified as “gifted”. The concluding recommendation was that I should be taken out of advanced classes, and placed in the “gifted” program.
Well, that explained a lot. I had read when I was about thirty years of age, that in order to be an engineer, you needed to have an IQ of more than 130. No wonder that I had had such a hard time passing my engineering classes, I didn’t have a high enough IQ. It also explained why I wasn’t working as an engineer, I found it tedious, frustrating, and difficult. It explained why I wound up in Dickinson. If I had my wish, if I would have been able to make enough money, I would have liked to have lived in a home on the water in Florida. I did not have a high enough IQ, hence, I am in Dickinson.
I turned in the grade reports only, to the human resources department in Dickinson on Friday. The following Monday, I took the exams and got an 82%, 93%, and 93%. I only needed to get 70%, 70%, and 70% to pass and be eligible. I thought that I did really well at the interview, there were four interviewers. I did not get the job. I decided, fuck them, that is the last time I will ever apply to any government job in Dickinson.
About four months later, I applied to a job at Dickinson State University. The job did not pay that well, but I was very much looking forward to being eligible to take tuition-free, or reduced-tuition classes at Dickinson State University. DSU had had my completed application for more than a month, when the human resources lady sent me an e-mail requesting that I send them my resume before Monday. The DSU human resources lady waited until the end of the day on Thursday to send this request by e-mail. I was furious when I checked my e-mail on Saturday. I had been working on a construction site out of town. When I tried to send my resume first thing Monday morning, I already had an e-mail in my in-box from DSU, stating that the position I had applied to, had now been filled.
The point of this blog post is this: When someone from out-of-state applies to a job in Dickinson, these local people here will do whatever it takes to try to make sure that you don’t get the job. Both of the employment examples that I have given in this post, these two jobs were not advertised very well, they were practically hidden. Both of theses jobs were not advertised in the newspaper, North Dakota Job Services, Indeed, CareerBuilder, or Monster.com. Both of these jobs were advertised for a very short period of time. The local people here in Dickinson, they wanted to tell their friends, tell their relatives about a job opening in the government or Dickinson State University, and make sure that there would not be any competition from better qualified candidates from out-of-state. When an out-of-state person did apply, the human resources people tried to wait until the last minute to request additional paper work, so that the applicant would be unable to submit the required paper work in time, and be disqualified. I later met the individual that was hired for the position that I had applied to at Dickinson State University. He had far less qualifications than I did in both education and experience, but he was from Dickinson.
I stated in a previous post, that I wanted to beat the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, North Dakota, that I wanted to tell people the truth about Dickinson. I want to tell people from out-of-state, that though the Chamber of Commerce wants to paint a pretty picture of Dickinson, if you come here, you will be treated like shit.