Tag Archives: leaving Dickinson North Dakota

A Reader Asked Why Don’t I Leave Dickinson North Dakota

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post article that described a bad experience that I had with a local bank in Dickinson, North Dakota.  This was the third time that I had had problems with this local bank.  This was the third time that I had written a blog post article complaining about this local bank.

When I write blog post articles criticizing things that happen in Dickinson, often times I receive comments from North Dakota readers disputing that anything wrong, unjust, or unfair happened.  When I get comments like this, it’s like the same incident happening all over again, because another person can’t see that they are in the wrong, and it also demonstrates even more clearly that North Dakotans do not know U.S. law, or what normal behavior is.

Inevitably, when I explain things that happen in Dickinson, North Dakota that are bad, I get comments from North Dakota readers saying, “Why don’t you just leave?”  One answer is, why should I leave, why don’t you North Dakotans start acting right, that would be a better solution for everyone.

I will give two examples of what I mean.  I wrote a blog post article about some undercover Police Officers in Dickinson asking to play a game of pool with me at a bar in 2011.  Before long, they were asking me again and again where they could buy drugs.  I am not, nor have I ever been, a drug user or a drug dealer.  I have never been charged with any crime.

There are all kinds of local people in Dickinson who are known, repeat offender drug users and dealers, who get arrested again and again, and are never kept in jail or sent to prison.  However, me not being from Dickinson, and having no involvement whatsoever in drug use or drug dealing, the Police were trying to set me up as being a drug dealer.

Prior to me moving to Dickinson, I had received an academic merit scholarship to go to college, I graduated with a degree in engineering , I had worked as an engineer and been successful in other occupations, and I had never been in any trouble.  But the Dickinson people wanted to try to ruin my life because they have this perverse hatred for people from somewhere else, especially educated people.

The second example I will give, is about a small young man from Nepal, who came to Dickinson to work his way through college to become an accountant.  After working in convenience stores and assisted living facilities while attending Dickinson State University, he graduated with a degree in accounting and he got a good job after graduation.

Once this young man was out of school and had a good job, he was lonely and tried to meet women.  There is a great shortage of women in Dickinson for a number of reasons, this is well known.  He eventually began searching dating sites and elsewhere on the internet in order to find a woman to date.

The Dickinson Police placed a fake advertisement or fake profile on the internet, posing as a woman who wanted to meet a man.  The Nepalese man began communicating with this woman, and out of the blue the Police made up the fact that this fake woman was under 18 years of age.  The Nepalese man stated that he would never have a relationship with a woman under 18.

The Police persisted in contacting this man, trying different ploys to get him to meet this supposedly minor fake female.  He never did show up to meet this fake female, but the Dickinson Police arrested him anyway, and charged him with Commercial Sex Trafficking of a Minor, which carries a twenty year prison sentence.

Like me, here was this educated professional person, from somewhere else, who had never been in any trouble, and the Dickinson Police were trying to set him up, to completely ruin this man’s life.  The local Dickinson people just love this, they hate people who are from someplace else, especially educated people.

These are just two examples.  I have written nearly 1,000 blog post articles that are full of bad things happening and being done in Dickinson.  So when North Dakotans ask me why don’t I just leave, I feel like a better solution would be for North Dakotans to stop doing wrong.

What It Is Like To Return To My Home After 1-1/2 Years

I first left my home in Idaho to go to work in the oil field in Dickinson, North Dakota in the Spring of 2011.  Then I went to work in the oil field in Utah, then to the oil field in Texas.  In the Spring of 2013, I was back in Dickinson, North Dakota.  In the last six years, I think that I have lived in my home in Idaho for a total of less than one year.

My home in Idaho has most of my belongings: books, clothes, bikes, fishing poles, furniture, televisions, DVD players, stereos, vehicles, and trailers.  In 2011, I put a padlock on my home office door, and a padlock on the master bedroom and bathroom door, and allowed a friend of mine to stay in my home.  My friend was forty-five years old, a clean and tidy person, who mostly kept to himself.  He had worked for me in my business.  I said that he did not have to pay rent, just feed my two cats, and watch my house while I went to work in North Dakota.

After three months of working in Dickinson, North Dakota, a friend of mine stopped by my house in Idaho and said that the front door to my house was wide open, no one was home, and my front porch had caught on fire.  I thought that he was joking,  but no, he wasn’t.  I telephoned the person who was living in my house, and he admitted that the porch had caught on fire, and that also, he had broken into my bedroom and had taken about $90.  I could not sleep that night, knowing everything that was in my house back in Idaho.  I left Dickinson at about 4:30 a.m. in the morning to drive back to Idaho to see what the fuck was going on at my house.  This caused me to immediately lose my $1,200 per week job in Dickinson.  The long time local Dickinson company manager could not understand why I would leave like this, even if someone had set my house on fire and was stealing from my house.

The person staying at my house in Idaho had picked up a stainless steel cook out grille at a thrift store.  It had many large vent holes in the bottom of it, and no screen or grating.  When the charcoals burned down, they fell through the vent holes and caught my porch on fire.  Apparently, no one was around, and the fire burned through some deck boards and went out on its own.  I could not care less about the deck boards being burned, I cared that my whole house and everything that I owned could have been destroyed.

Yes, I had insurance for the home and its contents.  In order to not feel so freaked out about nearly losing everything, I told myself that I would have had enough insurance money to replace the home and everything.  In a discussion with my Good Mormon State Farm Insurance Agent, he cheerfully informed me, “Had I ever collected any money from my friend for rent, even fifty dollars one time, State Farm Insurance would have had grounds to not pay any claim if my home was destroyed.”  I asked why, and my State Farm Insurance Agent said, because you rented out your home, at that point you needed commercial renter’s insurance, not homeowner’s insurance.  I argued that even if I did receive rent from a room mate, which I never did, he was a room mate, not renting my entire home.  My State Farm Insurance Agent said that once I left my home, and went to work in North Dakota, they would consider that I had rented out my entire home to him.

This whole episode of my porch catching on fire from the person watching my home, this person breaking into my bedroom to steal money, me losing my $1,200 per week job by returning home to handle this shit, and my State Farm Insurance Agent informing me that they would try to not pay any claim if my house and its contents were destroyed, ended me letting anyone stay at my house.  That is why my house sits empty.

From that day forward, I enjoyed my home much much less.  It is like it is not even mine anymore.  It and all of its contents can be taken away at any time, it’s not really mine.  I almost don’t even want it anymore.  What makes it even worse, is that I have only been able to live there less than one year in the past six years, so it’s like it’s not even mine.

For the past 1-1/2 years, I was not able to leave Dickinson, North Dakota to return to my home in Idaho.  I could not take enough time off from work to even have enough time to drive back to Idaho and then come right back to Dickinson.  I relied on my neighbors to keep an eye on my house and to telephone the police if someone tried to break in.  My neighbors do this not because they like me, but because they don’t want me to sell my house.  I’m not there, so it is like having a very quiet neighbor.  If someone else bought my house, the new family might start riding motorcross motorcylces on the motorcycle track on the property again.  This is why the neighbors sometimes take a loader and go take away a jump or a berm, partly because they need the dirt, and partly they don’t want that motorcross track there anymore.

This past week, the person who owns the house where I live in Dickinson, got on my nerves so bad, I finally finally accepted that I have to begin moving my vehicles and equipment back to Idaho.  I made the first trip back towing a truck on a car trailer during cold snowy weather, and it was a nightmare of a trip.  Plus, driving back I was worried about the condition my home would be in.  I didn’t even know if my well pump would still work after not being run for 1-1/2 years, I might not have any water.

When I arrived at my house, the yard didn’t look that bad because there were no tall summer weeds yet.  I got out of my truck and looked around to see how everything looked, and if there were any signs of someone having attempted to break in or having done any vandalism.  The neighbor’s brown horse and white horse came to the fence with their ears pricked up, and they both stood there staring at me.  I don’t know if they were surprised to see someone at my house, or if they remembered me.

The well pump did run, but there were problems with water flow inside the house.  There were no signs of anyone attempting to break in the house or doing any vandalism, I was grateful for that.  I walked through each room in the house, looking everything over.  There was no water damage, and only a small amount of evidence of mice activity.  I had left a box of mothballs in every room to keep the mice away, and mouse poison in case the mice did come inside.

I was astonished at how clean and tidy everything was in each room.  It did not feel like it was mine.  It seemed like a long time ago that I put everything where it was.  Some things, I forgot that I owned.  I forgot that I had bought a big printer to print out AutoCAD drawings.  I had forgotten buying a brown briefcase and a garment bag that were in a closet.

On the second night back in my home, I got cold and I went looking for a blanket.  In a trunk I found a worn grey comforter.  It was so worn, I remembered that I got it when I was 18 years old, that was 3o years ago.  I had it all through college.  I remembered the different young girls that sat on it when they visited me in my dorm room.  I thought about what else I had in this bedroom.  The round wooden table in the corner belonged to my mother’s parents.  When I was about five years old, my mother and father got this round table to use as the dinner table.  I remember sitting at that table with my mother, father, and sister at dinner, and getting hit for knocking over my glass of milk.

At the other end of the house where I am using a bedroom as an office, I am using another dining room table of my parents as a desk.  This dining room table had belonged to my grandmother’s sister.  I remember when I was about eight, driving to either Deland, Florida or Sanford, Florida to get this dining room table, chairs, buffet, china cabinet, and mirror.  At this table that I am using as a desk, is an office chair that I got when I was an engineering student at the University of Florida.  On this desk, there is a glass beetle that I got from my mother when she was in Venice, Italy.  There is some kind of ceramic taper/turtle/fox that my mother got when she was in South America or Central America.

An ebony wood figure a girlfriend got in Africa, she was the secretary to the U.S. ambassador in Paris, and very beautiful.  A package of assorted dinosaurs that an employers red haired daughter gave to me.  A Russian to English translation book that belonged to a famous person’s mistress, his autographed biography to her is in the book case.  Many of the pencils, pens, rulers, that I used when I was in college.

It was quiet, completely silent.  I thought just briefly, once again, about how bad things had turned out, having to be over in North Dakota.  Rather than reflect on how bad North Dakota is, I knew that if it wasn’t for the oil boom in North Dakota, I don’t know what me and everybody else would have done the past six years.  I knew that in a day or so I would have to drive back to North Dakota.

Getting Gouged And Getting Helped In Montana

On Sunday March 5, it was a warm and sunny day in Dickinson, North Dakota.  It warmed up to almost 70 degrees.  I sat out in the sun on the back deck for about half an hour.  Then I went to the grocery store to get something to cook out on the grill.

Driving through town, I passed by the Paragon Bowling Alley & Bar.  I thought to myself, why would anyone want to be inside drinking today, it is so nice outside.  At the grocery store, I decided that I would just cook hot dogs outside and make chili dogs.

When I got back to the house, I asked my room mate, the person who owns the home, if he wanted any chili dogs.  He said no, he didn’t think so.  I was happy cooking the hot dogs outside, making chili dogs, and eating them.  My room mate was yelling about political news on television.

There was no reason for my room mate to be yelling, I was ten feet away, and I was eating, not disagreeing with him.  There was no reason to be yelling, no one else was there.  No one else is ever there to listen to my room mate, and he is not welcome in anyone’s home, any social gathering, or any bar because he gets too loud and too carried away, to the point of being offensive.  I could not stand it any more.  I went to my  bed room.  It was only 5:00 p.m.  I thought to myself, this is why people are at the Paragon Bowling Alley & Bar drinking in the afternoon, they have to get away from where they live.  But I am not going to drink at bars all afternoon and through the evening to get away from home.

My room mate continued to mutter to himself and rant in the living room, though there was no one else there.  The problem is, I can hear him.  If another person, police officer, nurse, counselor, or psychiatrist witnessed this, they would start to ask him a series of questions to see if he needed to be taken to a hospital for psychological evaluation to determine what level of help and intervention was needed, due to the nature of what he is saying and how he is behaving.

It would do me no good to ask my room mate, the owner of the house where I live, if he has got something wrong with him, because we both know that he does.  Not long ago, I had a private discussion with a family member of his, to ask if my room mate has ever needed help in the past or has been treated in the past.  The family member said, I don’t know that there is anything that can be done about it, it runs in our family, our father did the same thing.

I could not stand going to bed at 5:00 p.m. on this nice, sunny, warm Sunday afternoon in order to avoid listening to and being around the owner of the house where I live.  I had taken a four hour drive on Saturday to get out of the house, and I was not interested in taking another four hour drive.  I had had many days like this in the past three years, living in this house in Dickinson, and I finally had enough.

I had been unable to move someplace else in Dickinson, because I had four trucks, two equipment trailers, two kayaks, and many mountain bikes.  This was it, I knew this day would eventually come, I would have to move all of this shit back to Idaho.  It would take about four round trips.  I had better get started, on starting over.

At about 5:30 p.m. I began taking all of the equipment off of a flat bed car trailer.  The Ford truck that was going to pull the trailer had a dead battery because it had gotten so cold this winter.  I got the Ford truck started.  The trailer hitch on the car trailer was frozen and stuck in the locked position.  I got the trailer hooked up.  I got a Toyota truck loaded on the car trailer.  It took me a while to get the Toyota truck tied down to the bed of the trailer with six ratchet straps.  I got the entire bed of the Ford truck loaded with equipment.  I packed a small duffle bag with clothes.

All four tires on the car trailer were low.  It was now about 8:00 p.m. and dark.  I drove to the County Line Truck Stop to get air in the tires, fuel, and cash out of the ATM machine.  I was tired and angry.  What had started out as such a nice peaceful day, had turned into me having to unload a trailer, load a trailer, and drive 750 miles unexpectedly.

You aren’t supposed to drive when you are angry.  It doesn’t help when the truck and trailer you are hauling weighs 6,500 lbs, and the truck you are using to pull it weighs only 4,000 lbs.  If you make any sudden movement on the steering wheel that unsettles the trailer, the trailer “wag” will cause the truck to crash within a few seconds.  The trailer can develop a “wag” all on its own, and quickly amplify, to cause your truck to crash within a few seconds.  On Interstate 94 heading back west to Idaho, I found that I could only safely drive about 55 mph to 65 mph because the trailer would get a “wag” going about every fifteen minutes.

I was very tired by midnight.  It began to snow.  I was just beginning to get into a mountainous area of Montana.  I had not planned this trip.  I had only thought that it would be O.K. to make this trip at this time of year because it had been so warm and sunny in Dickinson.  I was also angry, and I just went ahead and did it.  My Ford truck is only two wheel drive, it weighs 4,000 lb, and the load that I am hauling weighs 6,500 lbs.  I became worried that I was going to have all kinds of problems.

I parked in a rest area for the night.  When I woke up at about 5:00 a.m., there was about three to four inches of snow on the ground.  I thought that the interstate would be plowed.  I barely, barely made it out of the rest area onto the interstate.  The interstate was not plowed.  There were just a few tire tracks in the right lane of the interstate.  Within about ten miles, there was a steep uphill.  My tires were spinning and I was losing speed.  Just before I came to a complete stop going uphill, I pulled over to  the shoulder in order to not be stuck in the middle of the interstate.  It was difficult to even get over and not be stuck in the middle of the road.

Several hundred feet ahead of me, a tractor truck had been unable to make it up the hill and had slid off the side of the road into a ditch.  When I pulled over to the shoulder, my truck and trailer had started sliding sideways toward a deeper ravine.  I called 911 to give my location and ask for a tow truck.  The tow truck driver called me and said, “$115 to hook up, then $2.50 per mile.”  I just needed to get moved 18 miles to the nearest town to get off the interstate and figure out what I was going to do.

I realized that I had to get my Toyota truck off the car trailer, which I hated to do because it had taken me about 30 minutes to get it onto the car trailer and strapped down.  As I was having difficulty getting each of the six frozen tie down ratchet straps untied and unratcheted, I realized that the Toyota truck could pull the empty trailer.  I just needed the two wheel drive Ford truck moved 18 miles to the nearest town, then a ride back from the tow truck driver to the Toyota truck and trailer.

By the time the tow truck driver got to me, three or four snow plow trucks had gone by.  I said to the tow truck driver, just pull my Ford truck away from the shoulder with this tow strap, unhook me, and let me follow you to the nearest town, then give me ride back to my Toyota truck.  Twenty minutes later, it was $350 for the “tow”.  The tow truck driver had not told me he was going to charge me $2.50 per mile all the way from where he had come from, and all the way back to where he had come from.

I rode back east on the interstate with the tow truck driver, got out and climbed through a snowy ravine to get back to the west bound lane and my Toyota truck.  In the small town where I left my Ford truck and car trailer, I saw a Ford dealership.  I went to the service department and explained how I had gotten stuck on the interstate, I would not be able to continue driving on the interstate until it was plowed and it warmed up, could they please replace the brake pads on my Ford truck?  They agreed.

I got my Toyota truck back onto the car trailer and strapped down.  I drove the Ford truck and car trailer to the Ford dealership, and unhooked the car trailer.  My brake appointment was at 10:30 a.m.  I was thinking, I already paid $350 for the tow, I had already been quoted $485 for the brake work at the Ford dealer in Dickinson, I wonder what will happen with the brake work here in Montana.

I thought, this could have turned out much worse.  I could have slid down the road shoulder embankment into the ravine with my Ford truck, Toyota truck, and car trailer, damaging or totaling each of them.  What would have the tow fees been like on that?  What if I had made it up to the top of the hill, what would it have been like going on a steep downhill that had not been plowed yet with 6,500 lbs pushing behind you.

I called State Farm Insurance, and they said yes, my Ford truck had tow insurance, State Farm Insurance would pay for the $350 tow charges since I got towed to the nearest town.  When I got my Ford truck back from the small Ford dealer in Montana, it was only $265 for replacing all four brake pads.  In Dickinson, the dealer had quoted me $485, which is why I put off having it done.

At this point, I talked to this small Ford dealership in Montana about getting the CV joints replaced on my Dodge truck.  They said parts and labor, $500.  I had been quoted by the Dodge dealer in Dickinson, $785.

Besides all the bad things that happened, State Farm agreed to pay for the $350 tow charges, and I saved $220 on the brake repair.

Is Dustin Monke Leaving The Dickinson Press?

In the first week of October 2016, I read on the website Indeed.com, a job advertisement for managing editor of the Dickinson Press newspaper.  This is Dustin Monke’s job, and I was kind of shocked.

I don’t like Dustin Monke because Dustin Monke doesn’t like me.  But Dustin Monke has done a very good job, an excellent job, running the Dickinson Press newspaper.  I imagine that Dustin is moving on to a larger newspaper someplace else.

I like reading the Dickinson Press newspaper.  The reporting is very straight forward and accurate.  I have never seen any bias, favoritism, or unfairness in the reporting of the Dickinson Press staff.  The Dickinson Press newspaper covers everything that needs to be covered, pretty thoroughly, whether it is local politics, the police blotter, schools, sports, community events, community controversy, business, industry, development, accidents, tragedies, deaths.

The Dickinson Press newspaper reported on the several different scandals involving Dickinson State University, the mishandling of the Trinity High School fire investigation that led to an out of court settlement, the very suspicious and unexplained death of Eric Haider, and other local news stories that made Dickinson look bad, but the truth was reported and not hidden.

The managing editor job at the Dickinson Press requires that you live your life for the newspaper, every hour of every day. You have to be the manager and director of the six reporters in all aspects of their jobs, their regular schedules, emergency assignments, covering for other reporters, deciding what can and can not be reported, proof reading and editing stories.  Overall responsibility for content, layout, and meeting deadlines.  And, the managing editor is always, always, a representative of Dickinson and the newspaper, he is always on duty in that respect.

I hope that everyone will wish Dustin Monke well before he leaves Dickinson and thank him for the excellent job that he did.  Dickinson was very lucky to have Dustin at the newspaper during this past oil boom.

Entering A Recession In Western North Dakota

Many people will groan or curse as soon as they see the title of this blog post.  I want to be very vocal about the Recession that western North Dakota is about to enter into.  I want to warn as many people as possible, as soon as possible.

It is very clear now that oil drilling operations are not going to increase in the next six months, maybe not in twelve months, maybe not in twenty-four months.  The only things that could cause a sudden demand for increased U.S. oil production would be a war, or an oil embargo by the Middle East.

There are very few job listings in newspapers and on internet job sites.  I have seen the wage rate decrease by several dollars per hour for some of the jobs that are listed.  The rents advertised by the recently completed apartment buildings decrease every month as people move away, vacancy rates increase, units become harder to rent, and people are being paid much less money due in part to no overtime being worked.

Driving around Dickinson, Belfield, and Watford City, there is much less traffic, very mild traffic in morning and evening rush hour, and hardly any traffic at all at night.  Very few people are going to restaurants and bars.  Wal-Mart and the grocery stores are not very busy.

Not everyone is going to be able to remain in western North Dakota.  There will not be enough jobs to go around.  The highest pay jobs will be mechanics at the car dealers, and nurses at the hospitals.  A few city government, state government, and federal government employees will lose their jobs here locally, government workers will lose some jobs.  It will come to the point in about a year, that there will be so many people here locally seeking any kind of work, that all the retail jobs will pay about $9 to $10 per hour, and the fast food jobs will pay about $8 per hour, and people will be competing fiercely for these jobs.  There will simply not be enough jobs to go around, and the wage rate will drop.

Heavy equipment mechanics, mechanics, equipment operators, electricians, plumbers, and welders that can’t find work in western North Dakota, should be able to find work elsewhere in the United States where they are building, possibly some place like Denver.  These workers already know this.

Retail workers and fast food workers, there might not be high wages anywhere else in the U.S., but there are places where the cost of living is less, and it is warmer.

All the crazy, mentally ill, trashy women that came to North Dakota because they couldn’t get a job where they came from, I believe that they will probably stay here in North Dakota, because they have no money, no where to go, and no body wants them.  They know, they know that even if they could get hired at Dennys or Cracker Barrel in a different state, the managers, co-workers, and customers wouldn’t put up with their meth addict demeanor and attitude for five minutes.

If You Have To Leave Dickinson Or Watford City To Go Work Out Of State, Part II

I am writing these two blog posts, Part I & Part II, about having to leave North Dakota and go work or look for work out of state because this information is necessary now.  There are very few job openings in western North Dakota right now.  I spent this Labor Day weekend in Watford City, and it was like a ghost town.  On Sunday and Monday, the long drive into town on 25 mph Hwy 23 Business, I might have seen one or two other vehicles

In my previous blog post, Part I, I wrote that I recommend taking a truck or SUV out of state instead of a car if you are able, because you will be safer in a larger vehicle.  I wrote that you should have some kind of sturdy trunk or lock box, chained to a car seat.  You are going to need to take your social security card, birth certificate, laptop computer, check books, firearm, and extra cash with you, so you had better have a lock box to put things in, and one that a thief can’t break your vehicle window and take.

I also wrote in my previous blog post, Part I, that you should plan on sleeping in your vehicle while you are traveling to get where you are going, rather than trying to stay in a motel every night.  Once you get to where you are going, you had better be constantly observing what kind of neighborhood you are in.  Before you get to where you are going, you need to look at a map closely and make note of all the little towns that surround where you are going.

For instance, surrounding Dallas there are the smaller suburbs of Euless, Richland Hills, Westlake, White Settlement, Watauga, and many others.  Some of the areas around Dallas are really bad, and you needed to know where they were so you could avoid them, or if you drove into a bad area accidentally, you would know how to get back to a safe area.  At first, not knowing my way around Dallas, I stayed in an extended stay motel about twenty miles north of Dallas in the smaller college town of Denton.

If I ever have to go to work in a big city again, I would try to stay at an older mom & pop motel a good ways outside of the city.  The new extended stay motels that have been built in and around cities for workers that are just arriving or only staying for a couple of months, they cost about $700 per week, $2,800 per month, which is too much, especially if you don’t have a job.

An older mom & pop motel outside of a city will probably cost less, and if you explain to the owners or managers what you are trying to do, and you do what you said you were going to do, find a job, the owners understand that you are not there to party or deal drugs, and can be very reasonable on weekly rent.  I stayed at a mom & pop motel owned by a Korean husband & wife in Colorado for several months, and at a mom & pop motel owned by a Mormon husband & wife in Arizona for several months.  The motel owners were always there, they knew what was going on, who everyone was, and it was very safe, secure, and inexpensive compared to new extended stay motels, or apartments.

Yes, I stayed at older mom & pop motels for months.  I really enjoyed staying there.  I was in a new city, I didn’t know what the city was like, what the people were like, where I would find a job.  But I didn’t have to worry about high rent, rent deposit, a lease, or utilities.  When I did start a new job, I knew when managers or co-workers started acting pushy or crazy, “O.K., start acting crazy, I don’t care, I’ll just leave.”  And I could just leave.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that you do not want to bring your wife, girlfriend, or children with you when you go to work out of state.  At first while traveling, you will be sleeping in your vehicle to save time and money.  Then, when you get to where you are going, you need to find an older mom & pop motel, and explain to the managers or owners what you are doing, your family is back home, you are by yourself.  Your wife or girlfriend would not want to stay in an older motel outside of a city.  Your wife or girlfriend may think that you need to get an apartment.  No!  Absolutely Not!

When you have to go to work away from home, your financial outlook is probably not good.  You need to quickly find a job, spend as little money as possible, and start saving money.  When you begin a new job, management and co-workers may not like you.  You may not be smart enough, knowledgeable enough, quick enough, good enough, or well liked.  You could lose your job in a week, or a month, and not ever see it coming.  So save your money, spend as little money as possible.  Do not sign an apartment lease!  You have no idea what is going to happen with your employment.  Let your wife and children stay back in North Dakota if at all possible.  Depending on what happens in the first city that you try, you may have to try to find work in a different city, or in a different state.

If You Have To Leave Dickinson Or Watford City To Go Work Out Of State, Part I

For the past seven months while working in Watford City, I have seen several of my neighbors move out and move away each month because they lost their job. During the past several weeks I have been looking at the internet job site Indeed.com, and the North Dakota Job Services website, for job listings in Watford City and Dickinson, and there are very few jobs.  Yes, there is a similar job advertisement for Registered Nurses that gets repeated over and over, but there always is.  Lately there is usually a job listing for a heavy equipment mechanic, an electrician, a welder, and a truck driver, and I mean one listing for one position.  The amount of jobs advertised for Watford City and Dickinson is probably the same as, or less than Bismarck, Fargo, or Billings.  At this time, more of the out of state workers will have to return home, start over again in some other city away from home, and maybe even some local Watford City and Dickinson residents will have to leave and go to work out of state.

I want to give some recommendations and warnings to people who are not experienced in having to leave home and go to work out of state, and give some reminders to those who do have to have to look for work out of state from time to time.

I can not warn North Dakotans strongly enough that it will not be easy or safe going to look for work out of state.  When I went to look for work in Dallas, Texas in 2012, the very first night that I was there in a motel, someone took a utility knife, shoved the blade in my truck tire and broke it off.   I believe that it was this angry black guy, who somehow didn’t like the Idaho license plate on my truck, thinking that Idahoans were racist.  People in Texas don’t even know where Idaho is on the map.  If you recall from the national news in July of this year, a black man shot six white police officers in Dallas.  You had better believe me that in Dallas and Houston, which are about 40% Black, that they don’t like Whites, and that they will rob you and assault you as if you were in Somalia, especially, especially because you are White and have a North Dakota license plate.

You need to obtain a concealed weapons permit while you are still in North Dakota, before you leave to go to try to find a job in states like Texas, Arizona, Colorado, or Florida.  Most states honor other states’ concealed weapons licenses.  Traveling in an area with an out of state license plate, being unfamiliar with the area, is very dangerous.  When you are driving, at a gas station, at a restaurant, or at a motel, you are very likely to be the victim of robbery or a theft.  If you are from North Dakota, I don’t know how I am going to make you understand how prevalent crime is outside of North Dakota, and how likely you are to be victimized while traveling out of state.  You need to have a firearm on your person, and in your vehicle, but you need to have a concealed weapons permit because you are more likely to be stopped by the police and have your vehicle searched with an out of state license plate.

When you go to work or look for work out of state, I recommend that you take a truck or SUV instead of a car if possible, bigger is better up to a point.  There are several reasons for this.  One, when you are in traffic and unfamiliar with the roads and highways, people will let you change lanes and try to stay out of your way more when you are in a larger vehicle.  Two, when you are unfamiliar with roads in an area, and you make a mistake, with a larger vehicle people make an extra effort to move out of the way and not get hit with your vehicle.  Three, if you have an accident, with a larger vehicle you are more likely to have a vehicle that has survived the accident and you can continue trying to find work, rather than having a car that is destroyed and having to take a bus back to North Dakota.

What I have done for the past fifteen years, whether in the backseat of my truck or the backseat of my SUV, I have a large sturdy trunk which has a padlock, and the padlock has a chain which locks the trunk to a seat frame.  A thief would have to break my vehicle window to unlock the door, but the thief could not carry away the trunk because it is chained to the seat, and it would make a lot of noise and take a while to beat the trunk open.  What crack heads and meth addicts are looking for, are certain items that are easy to grab out of vehicles, typical items in plain view:  pocket book, wallet, check book, CD collection, radar detector, laptop computer, briefcase.  I try to keep valuables and things that I don’t want to get stolen, locked in the trunk in the backseat.

I hope you know that you are going to have to sleep in your vehicle mostly when you are going to work or looking for work out of state.  When you are driving a long way, it is better to pull into a rest area and sleep for a while when you get tired, and when you feel like driving again, drive.  Planning on staying in a motel while trying to get somewhere is like planning on wasting time and wasting money.  If you try to get your money’s worth out of your motel, you are just wasting time there.  It doesn’t matter that you are wrinkled when you are trying to get where you are going, and if you look a little rough it probably actually keeps people away from you when you are traveling.  You do want to get cleaned up as much as you can before you meet people regarding your employment.

I didn’t say anything about it, because I wasn’t thinking about it because I am not married, you don’t want to bring your wife or girlfriend with you when you are going to look for work out of state, because it will not be fun or pleasant.  If your family’s financial outlook is bad enough to where you have to look for work out of state, you don’t want to take your wife or girlfriend with you and try to make it a pleasant trip, because it will cost you about four times as much: stopping at restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; staying at a “nice” motel every night.

I will cover this in more detail in Part II, but you absolutely need to leave your wife and children behind when you go to work out of state, and for at least several months after you begin working.  If you don’t do it this way, you will very likely end up worse off than if you hadn’t gone to work out of state at all.

A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota

I have stated several times that the purpose of this blog is to provide useful, truthful information about Dickinson, North Dakota, so that people from out-of-state will know what Dickinson is like, and so that people in Dickinson can see what other people think about Dickinson.  Later, one of the things that I was trying to accomplish with this blog, was to point out some of the bad things about Dickinson so that they might be changed.  Then, I just went ahead and started trying to change things myself by writing some blog posts such as “Helpful Advice to Women in Dickinson”, for instance.  I was trying to be helpful, I am trying to be helpful.

I found something that probably everybody in the United States should read, the WordPress website titled “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”.  I mean it, not just people in North Dakota, or people thinking about moving to North Dakota, everybody in the United States should read it.  The reason why I say this, is because this website explains the historical relationship between the demand for oil, the price of oil, the exploration for oil, and the production of oil in North Dakota.  The creator of this website collected the most insightful and accurate newspaper articles about oil production in North Dakota from the past 65 years.

“A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota” does not contain speculation, or opinions from the website creator, it presents articles from the past, that were recording what was happening at that time, or what had already happened in North Dakota.  There have been three different boom periods of oil production in North Dakota: the exploration and discovery boom in the 1950s, the oil price boom of the late 1970s, and the technology boom beginning about 2005.

The articles in the website explain at particular points in history, what the price of oil was, what oil exploration was going on, what oil production followed, the wealth that was created, the influx of people that occurred, and then the eventual decrease in oil production.  Again, I want to reiterate, the oil boom and bust occurred in North Dakota in the 1950s, then again in the late 1970s, this is completely documented by the newspaper articles in the WordPress website “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”.

The old newspaper articles state that the oil boom in North Dakota in the late 1970s came to an end because the price of oil dropped.  The oil prices are given through that time period.  Other old newspaper articles tell about the population of Dickinson, North Dakota going from 16,000 to 22,000, the struggle to build housing and infrastructure, and then the population going back to 16,000, leaving Dickinson with $25 million in debt.

I was surprised and amazed to see that the newspaper articles from the 1980s, that describe the boom and bust that occurred from about 1978 to 1984, describe almost exactly what happened here from 2005 to right now.  I didn’t know.  Nobody told me.  Who else knew?

I guess I am not the smartest person.  But how in the world did Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Occidental build these huge buildings in Dickinson in 2012, and not know that they were at the end of the boom to bust cycle?  How did all of the large property developers that built about 1,000 new housing units in Dickinson in 2012, 2013, and 2014 not know that they were at the end of the boom to bust cycle?

I believe that I wrote somewhere in my blog, about being at the right place, at the right time, like Phoenix in the 1970s, or Tampa in the 1980s, where there was uninterrupted growth and expansion for the next thirty years.  Who knew?  I guess that there were some people that saw things clearly: warm climate, year-round activity, inexpensive property, easy to develop, vast amount of land available, no limit to expansion.  I thought that I would have liked to have arrived in Williston or Dickinson in about 2007, that would have been a great time to get here I thought.  After reading the website “A Brief History of Oil Production in North Dakota”, I realized that not only did you have to get to North Dakota at the right time, you would also have to have known when to get out.