On this blog website, I have tried again, and again, to explain the reality of living in Dickinson, North Dakota, versus the lies.
Right now, today, there are advertisements and announcements on the radio about truck driving jobs in Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston with “paid benefits, housing provided, $3,000 sign-on bonus, and $6,000 sign-on bonus”. Yes, there are some truck driving jobs in Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston, but it is not like what is advertised or claimed. I want to give a recent, real life example.
In the Spring of 2018, at the older, low rent apartment building where I live in downtown Dickinson, there was a couple in their late twenties who moved into my building. This man and woman, appeared to be kind of poor, they drove a thirty year old luxury car that was worn out, with the rear suspension sagging. Later, it was found out, that this wasn’t even their car, it had been lent to them.
Everyone in the building remembers this couple moving in, because they made a fuss about someone being parked in “their parking space”, which caused at least a year long mutual agreement and understanding of the residents to be messed up, and a chain reaction of squabbles.
Mathematically, there are not enough parking spaces in front of the building for each apartment to have one parking space, without even considering that some apartments have two drivers and two vehicles. It came to be understood and established, that the mothers with children, and the women who were less mobile, had their usual spot where they parked their car in front of the building, and the men, who typically drove pickup trucks and were able-bodied parked on the street. It was a very practical arrangement, that worked very well, until this new young couple demanded “their parking space”, which then caused everyone to end up parking in someone else’s customary space.
This couple was from out of state, and the husband was a truck driver. I never saw very much of the husband, because he was always working. After about two months of living in this building, this couple bought a twenty-five year old Chevy pickup truck that was beat up, and they gave back the thirty year old luxury car that had been lent to them.
I remember this husband and wife fighting and squabbling some, on a regular basis, with their arguments and hostility being carried or continued into the parking lot, and hallways. Car doors slamming, shouting, yelling, fighting between the two of them about the other one not doing what they wanted, needed, or were supposed to do.
With their beat up truck, shabby, dirty, cheap clothing, and tired appearance, the husband always seemed to be coming from the position of working hard, working long hours, and the wife not doing what she was supposed to do, or not understanding that they didn’t have money. And the wife was disappointed and unhappy about everything, where they lived, what they had, and her not getting what she wanted.
This past week, five or six months after this couple moved into my building downtown, they are moving out. The husband lost his truck driving job, and they are returning to the state where they came from. All by himself, this poor, tired, worn out truck driver was carrying all the beat up old furniture from their apartment, and piling it in the back of their beat up $2,000 truck. The wife was no where to be seen, it looks like she split, too much disappointment and humiliation for her.
This husband was hardly ever home, because he was out driving tractor trucks. With the supposed high demand for truck drivers, high rate of pay, $3,000 to $6,000 sign on bonuses, why are people like this couple so poor? Why was the husband let go? Why did they have to pay for their own apartment? Why couldn’t the husband easily go get another truck driving job with a $3,000 to $6,000 sign on bonus, and housing provided?
I have lived in Dickinson, North Dakota for a little over six years now. What business owners, business organizations, and politicians claim, is a bunch of bullshit, hype, and propaganda which benefits them: To keep people coming here to rent apartments, rent homes, buy homes, keep real estate prices up, keep businesses going, to have an overabundance of labor, in order to keep labor pay rates low.
If you are from out of state and you come here, you may be able to get a job, but you will not be treated very well because you are not from here, you will be undermined by your local co-workers, not valued by your local company owner, used like migrant laborers, and let go. You may be able to pay your bills while you are here, but you will not get ahead financially unless you live almost like a homeless person or Mexican migrant worker to try to save some money.