“Getting Treated Like Shit in Dickinson, North Dakota, Part II”, is a continuation of the previous post. It is not absolutely necessary for you to read the previous post, but it would help.
Just before I returned to Dickinson in 2013, after having lived in Texas for a year, I looked at the North Dakota Job Services website and saw a job listing for an estimator and an AutoCAD drafter at the same manufacturing company in Dickinson. This looked promising because I had several years of experience with different companies working as an estimator, and several years of experience with different companies doing AutoCAD drawings, plus, I was an engineer. I e-mailed this company. The contact person e-mailed me back warning me that it was tough to find a place to live in Dickinson, did I have a place to stay? I said yes, I did, I could stay on a friend’s property in my camper. I don’t think that they liked my friend’s name, or that I was going to stay on his property in my camper, because they didn’t contact me back. I was just being honest about where I was going to live.
I arrived in Dickinson and got a job. About ten months later, I saw the same two job advertisements again for an estimator and an AutoCAD drafter at the same manufacturing company in Dickinson. When you see the same job advertisements come up again after a short amount of time, you know that the employee didn’t work out, and they left either by their own choice, or the company’s. The person who owned the property that I was living on, said to me, you don’t want to work at that company, my cousin is the vice-president, they pay very low wages, and they don’t treat people very well, they have been like that for many years. I said to him that I would be working as an engineer, not as a laborer, it would be different for me. My friend told me, you’ll see.
I contacted the manufacturing company, e-mailed my resume, and an appointment was set for an interview. At the interview, I brought a variety of good, detailed AutoCAD drawings that I had made for several different companies, all of these companies had given me pay raises because my drawings were good, the most recent one in 2012.
I had a preliminary interview with the contact person for about fifteen minutes, then he introduced the vice-president of sales, and the head of the estimating department. They interviewed me for at least an hour. Then the contact person interviewed me for another ten minutes. Then I had to take about a twenty minute IQ and personality test.
I was kind of pissed-off, and insulted. I had a degree in engineering from a very large, well-known, University, with a very difficult engineering program. At this University, those who were admitted to the college of engineering after their sophomore year, only about 40% successfully made it through the program I was in. The education that I had was more than what was required. I had been an estimator for several different companies. In my late twenties, I was completing several $200,000 estimates each week. At the next company I went to, I was completing million dollar estimates. Then I became a superintendent over several $100,000 projects running simultaneously. Then I became a project manager over larger projects.
What the fuck is wrong with these people in Dickinson? Look, I completed a degree in engineering from a good school, I have had a great deal of experience estimating and producing AutoCAD drawings, at this point, what the fuck difference does my IQ make? At this point, when I am in my forties, and have had twenty years of work experience, and much of the work experience has been at a higher professional level than this job, why can’t they understand that I am somewhat over qualified for this job that they have?
Obviously, obviously, I am not that fucking brilliant if I am in Dickinson, applying for an estimator job and an AutoCAD drafter job, any person that is really fucking brilliant is probably working at Microsoft, the NSA, Lockheed, Batel, Bettis Labs, Bechtel Marine Propulsion. I can’t believe this, the pay they are offering is $18 per hour, 40 hours per week, that’s $720 per week. Neither an engineer, nor a good AutoCAD drafter, nor a good estimator would work for $720 a week, yet I am all three of those things, and they think that they need to give me an IQ test to see if I am up to this $720 per week job. Oil field laborers are being paid about $18 per hour, 70 hours per week at this time in Dickinson. I can’t believe this.
I have said it before in this blog, in Dickinson, they will like you more and treat you better if you did 4 years in prison rather than 4 years in college.
The manufacturing company that I interviewed with, every six months, I see the same job advertisements for estimator and AutoCAD drafter, again and again. From my experience interviewing with them, they treat people like shit.
There are several manufacturing companies in Dickinson. For one of them, about every two months, I see the same job listing for welder and electrician, welder and electrician, again and again. I talked to a welder and an electrician who worked at that company, he said they were assholes.
The other large manufacturing company in Dickinson, I keep reading job advertisements that they have for a manufacturing engineer, again and again. I read the job responsibilities and duties. The job responsibilities and duties are so extensive and numerous, that these would be what an engineering department with four engineers would handle, not one individual.
I can make the general statement, that you do not want to work for any manufacturing company in Dickinson. There is a history in Dickinson, of the manufacturing companies not paying people well, and not treating people well. For just about every manufacturing company in Dickinson, I see the same job openings advertised again, and again, and again, especially in the areas of engineering, estimating, and drafting.
From my personal experience in Dickinson, the people at the manufacturing companies have resentment, jealousy, and contempt for people with an education, especially an engineering education. There are about three manufacturing companies and one engineering company in Dickinson that are having difficulty filling an engineering position right now, because I keep seeing the job advertisements. I am not going to apply. For some reason, people from outside this area are not applying either. Dickinson must have a bad reputation, it is well deserved. I think that the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, should let people know, that the manufacturing companies in Dickinson do not pay very much, they treat people badly, they especially treat engineers badly.