Tag Archives: Living in Dickinson, North Dakota

Housing, Employment, Culture, Night Life, Restaurants, Cost of Living, Police, Shopping, 58601

Truth About The Work Situation In Dickinson, North Dakota

In the past two weeks, I have written three blog posts about three different couples that I have seen moving out of the low rent older apartment building where I live in downtown Dickinson, North Dakota.  Each of these three couples had moved to Dickinson about six months ago, and now they are leaving Dickinson.

Every day there are radio advertisements from local companies in Dickinson about how they offer competitive wages, paid family health insurance, and $3,000 to $6,000 sign-on bonuses.  About once each week, there is a representative from North Dakota Job Services talking about hundreds of job openings in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson.  Yet when I log on to the North Dakota Job Services website and I search for jobs in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, there are fewer than forty current job openings in each of these towns, and one third of them are for medical professionals.

What is really going on?  To explain, I want to write about an experience that I had yesterday on Saturday November 10, 2018, in Dickinson:

I went to a gas station in Dickinson that I normally do not go to.  Working at the cash register, was a man that I had worked with in Dickinson seven years ago, back in 2011.  He is about 6′-3″, 300 lb, able-bodied, fairly intelligent, and he is from Dickinson.

In 2011, this man was the operations manager for the small oil field service company where I worked.  He was in charge of the crew trucks, equipment trailers, skid steers, backhoe, scissor lifts, snorkel lifts, lull, generators, compressors, compactors, and other tools.  He operated equipment in the company yard, and at the job sites where we worked.

This company where we worked constructed pump jack concrete foundation pads at oil field locations, salt waters disposal facilities, steel warehouse buildings, and performed work at several different refineries.  The operations manager ordered material for the work that was performed, and he sometimes supervised the work that was performed.

The operations manager did a pretty good job over all.  He worked at this small oil field service company for several years, before going to work for a supplier of oil field tools and equipment for several years.

Why is this big, strong, able-bodied, fairly intelligent, competent, local person, with ten years of experience working in the oil field, working as a cashier at gas station in Dickinson, if there are supposed to be hundreds of job openings in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson?

In my recent blog posts titled “The Truth About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota”, “Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota”, and “Even More Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota”,  I have tried to explain that business people, property owners, property managers, and oil field companies are trying to “keep things going” by spreading false information.  They want to keep people moving to Dickinson to do business, so that the value of their properties remain high, to rent or lease properties, and to have a large pool of skilled labor in order to keep wages low.

Advertisements

Even More Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota

Today, Saturday November 10, 2018, I am yet again watching a couple move out of the low rent older apartment building in downtown Dickinson, North Dakota where I live.  No, this is not an across town move, because they have a pickup truck and a U-haul trailer, and they are very carefully trying to fit absolutely everything they own into this truck and trailer, because they are leaving Dickinson.

In the past thirty days, I have written two previous blog posts about two other couples who were moving out of the older apartment building where I live in Dickinson.  Both the first couple, and the second couple, the husband was truck driver.  Both of these two couples moved to Dickinson about six months ago.

On the radio in Dickinson, North Dakota for the past several months, there have been advertisements from local trucking companies about how they need truck drivers, they offer competitive wages, paid family health insurance, and a $3,000 to $6,000 sign-on bonus.

Why is it that truck drivers come to Dickinson for work, then they leave about six months later?  No, they didn’t make so much money that they are leaving.  I talked to them, I saw how they were living, I saw that they had very little, I sometimes saw and heard these couples arguments that continued through the parking lot and into the building, the kind of arguments that people have when money is scarce.

Also on the radio in Dickinson during the past sixty days, I have heard representatives from North Dakota Job Service talk about the great need for workers in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, about several hundred job vacancies in Williston.  Yet when I log onto the North Dakota Job Services website, and search for job openings in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, I see that there are less than forty current job openings in Williston, and less than thirty current job openings in Watford City and Dickinson.  One third of these job openings are for Registered Nurses, Travel Nurses, and Medical Doctors, more job openings in the medical professions than there are in the oil field.

What is going on?  I know exactly what is going on, and what is happening.  Business owners, property owners, property managers, and oil companies want to “keep things going”.  The business owners want customers, the property owners want their property to continue to be worth money, the property managers want tenants, and the oil companies want to have a large pool of skilled trades people so that they can keep wages low, have the threat of easily replacing workers, and being able to replace skilled trades people like they were shop rags when they get worn out.

In my previous blog post, I found a short way to put it, if you are not from this area, you are treated like a migrant worker.  No matter if you have a college degree, management experience, or a great deal of work experience, if you are not from this area you are treated like a migrant worker.

What does this mean, being treated like a “migrant worker”?  It means that you will be followed more, stopped more, and treated with more scrutiny by the local city Police.  You are a good candidate for a DUI, a good source of revenue for the city when you pay your court fines, and how the local attorneys stay in business with the $3,000 retainer fee you will pay.

If you are not from this area, you will be treated like a migrant worker in many businesses, establishments, city, county, state, and federal offices in Dickinson.  At work, you will be disliked, mistrusted, mistreated, and undermined by your local co-workers, local administrators, local managers, and local company owners.

The truth is, that there are some job openings in Dickinson, and the wage rates are still above average, because no one wants to live or work in Dickinson.  The local people are unfriendly and hostile, the real estate prices are way too high, there is not a lot to do, there are very few places to go, and the local employers and the local co-workers treat out of state workers like shit.

More Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota

About ten days ago, I wrote a blog post article about a poor truck driver and his wife moving out of the low rent downtown apartment building where I live in Dickinson, to return to the state where they came from.  When they moved in six months ago, back in May of 2018, they arrived with a thirty year old beat up car that they had borrowed from someone.  The only progress they made financially during the past six months was being able to buy a twenty-five year old beat up pickup truck for about $2,000.

During the more than one hour drive that I have to and from work, and while I am at work, each day I hear on FM radio stations advertisements for truck drivers wanted in Dickinson, North Dakota, where the companies are offering sign-on bonuses of $3,000 to $6,000, and family health insurance plans.

How can it be, that even though this truck driver neighbor of mine worked long hours and I hardly ever saw him, how could this be that he and his wife were so poor?  How could this be that when he lost his truck driving job in October, he was unable to get another truck driving job and had to return to the state where he came from?

This same exact thing that I saw happening ten days ago, where this truck driver and his wife who arrived here six months ago were moving out of the apartment building where I live in Dickinson, happened again two days ago.  Another couple who arrived here six months ago, where the husband drives truck, they are moving to Bismarck.

I ask the readers to please stop and think about this, every day I hear on FM radio around Dickinson, advertisements from several different trucking companies about their immediate need for experienced truck drivers, where they offer competitive wages, anywhere from a $3,000 to $6,000 sign on bonus, and family health insurance plans.  Why do poor truck drivers from out of state move here with their wives and belongings into the least expensive apartment they can find, to take a truck driving job in Dickinson, never appear to get ahead, and then leave Dickinson after six months?

These truck drivers leave Dickinson because they were lied to, and were misled.  All out of state workers who arrive in Dickinson are treated like shit, both at work, and outside of work.  If you are not from Dickinson, you are treated like a migrant worker.  You will not receive fair treatment, or good treatment, the whole time you are here.

The companies in Dickinson, the Chamber of Commerce, and North Dakota job service will continue to put people on the radio talking about the great need for workers, the shortage of workers, and that companies are desperate for workers.  Yes, they do need workers, because they treat everyone like shit, and they leave.  This is why people will not come back to Dickinson to work.

Angry Women Competing In Miss North Dakota USA 2019 In Fargo This Weekend

For those of you who don’t know, I like Codi Miller.  Codi is from the small town of Amidon, North Dakota, population 20, and she went to a school that was so small, there were only 40 kids in the entire school, 1st through 8th grade.  In 2009, Codi was Miss North Dakota Teen USA, and in 2014 she was Miss Rodeo North Dakota.

I first laid eyes on Codi in 2014 at an event where she was making an appearance as Miss Rodeo North Dakota, and I thought to myself at that moment, how stern and unapproachable she looked, though she was very beautiful.  The second time that I saw Codi, it was in 2015, I was talking to a plain looking young lady wearing eye glasses, jeans, and a T-shirt, who I thought was a simple country mouse, and as I was talking to her I began to realize that she was very beautiful, and I thought that she didn’t know, because nobody ever told her.

As I continued to ask her about herself, because I was interested in her and I wanted to date her, if she was out of high school yet, she began to say that she had gone to college, etcetera, etcetera, until I said hold on, wait a minute, are you Miss Rodeo North Dakota, and she said yes, she was.

From that day, I liked Codi very much.  I wrote her a couple of letters, but she did not write back.  Either because I looked up and read about Codi, or because I heard or saw that she was competing in the Miss North Dakota USA pageants, or because she did not respond to my offer to send her some opossums,  I began writing blog post articles about Codi, such as “Meeting Miss Rodeo North Dakota”, “What It Would Be Like To Marry Codi Miller”, and “What It Would Be Like To Be Married To Codi Miller”.

Because of my avowed interest in Codi, various people tried to arrange for the opportunity for me to meet Codi again, where she would have difficulty in getting away from me, because she was supposed to be there.  They offered to do this for me, because of how much I liked and admired Codi, but also because of the entertainment value in seeing what would happen, like watching some Pepe Le Pew cartoon where a skunk is in love with a cat.

I didn’t want to upset or bother Codi, so I didn’t make any effort to see her again, though I would like to see her and be with her again.  Also, many times I thought what would I ever do with Codi?  It’s not like I could take her to an all-you-can eat Barbeque restaurant, or take her to look for Bigfoot on the Fort Berthold Reservation, things that I like to do.

So about a week ago, I saw on my Facebook Page that Codi was near the top of my “People You May Know”, which happens when Codi is up to something.  So I looked at Codi’s Facebook Page to see what she is doing.  It is that time of year again, the Miss North Dakota USA pageant in Fargo, North Dakota.

This will be about the third year that Codi is competing in the Miss North Dakota USA pageant.  She had some words for me in one of her Facebook comments, that went something like this, “I was reading something that was written by a man that I don’t know…that he wishes that I would stop competing in beauty pageants, and be just plain Codi, not rodeo queen Codi,.. I want people to know, that I am me, all the time, and these pageants have been such a positive experience for me…..”.

When reading this comment, I was thinking, do you not know me because you don’t remember me, because you want to pretend to not remember me, or because you want to give a disclaimer that you have had nothing to do with the things that I write?  All three of these things can be true, as far as I am concerned, because now that I know where I stand, I know that I can only ever be Codi’s “Back Door Man”, which I like the sound of, and there are way less duties and responsibilities.

As Codi is getting older, more experienced, and more confident, it is more natural for her to express herself, her thoughts, opinions, goals, ambitions, what she likes, and what she doesn’t like, she is finding her voice.  What also might have inspired her to speak her mind, whether she knows it or not, was meeting Miss North Dakota Cara Mund, who became Miss America Cara Mund, who became very outspoken, unprecedentedly outspoken, about her mistreatment by Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson.

From this point forward, Miss America Cara Mund, will be known as the “Honey Badger”.  There is no need to even mention her name, just referring to her as “Honey Badger” will suffice, and people will know or figure out who you are talking about.  For instance, a television reporter from KFYR in Bismarck could say, “The Honey Badger has returned to Bismarck to speak to area students about the importance of standing up to bullying.”  You see, the honey part, is like she is nice and sweet, but then the badger part is like she is mean and ferocious, and there are some other qualities there too that I don’t want to get into right now.

The other reason why Codi is speaking her mind and being confident, besides finding her voice, is I suspect that she thinks that she can win this time.  So I went and looked at the photographs of all the contestants in this year’s Miss North Dakota USA pageant, and yes, this is the case.  I don’t see how she wouldn’t win this time.  I myself might even have been able to place in the top five this year if I had known soon enough in advance to get ready and enter.

At the bottom of this blog post, I will include a link to the photographs of the entrants in this year’s Miss North Dakota USA pageant.  Several of these young ladies look angry, like they are ready to file their first sexual harassment/discrimination/hostile-work-environment lawsuit already, even before the pageant even starts.

The angry looks on some of these pageant contestant’s faces doesn’t come as that much of a surprise to me, because young women have been given the impression that this is the way to go.  “If you’re not accusing someone of mistreating you and initiating a lawsuit, you’re not trying”.  So rather than looking fresh, eager, energetic, optimistic, excited, or happy, they look like they are ready to tell their side of the story, on how they have been wronged and mistreated, just like Miss America chairwomen Gretchen Carlson did to get her $20 million lawsuit settlement from Fox News.

Good luck to all of the young ladies in this year’s Miss North Dakota USA pageant, this will be about the last year that people will put up with women’s shit anymore, the pendulum has swung about as far as it can go.

http://www.missnorthdakotausa.com/nd-contestants-miss.html

The Tragedy Of Dave’s Auto Repair In Dickinson, North Dakota

I am a big believer in taking Fords to the Ford Dealer, Dodges to the Dodge Dealer, and Toyotas to the Toyota Dealer.  The mechanics in each of these dealerships have worked on hundreds of F150s, Ram 1500s, and Toyota trucks.  These mechanics have done the repair that you need on your particular model vehicle, dozens of times.  They know the easy way to do it, without damaging anything else, and the additional parts that can’t help being damaged that will have to be replaced too.

I also like the fact that service departments which are part of a car dealership have so much assets, that if a repair is ever done incorrectly which requires it to be redone or results in damage to your vehicle, they can afford to redo the repair or compensate you for the damage done to your vehicle.  They practically have to handle an incorrect repair in the most customer friendly way in order to maintain a good overall reputation.

I estimate that in the past six years in Dickinson, North Dakota, I have spent $2,000 at the Ford Dealer, $1,500 at the Dodge Dealer, and $1,200 at the Toyota Dealer getting vehicle repairs done.  The work was done well or just O.K., but it was expensive.

My Ford F150 for instance, the heater core had a hole in it, and the entire dashboard needed to be removed in order to replace the heater core.  A repair garage in Idaho, and the Ford Dealer in Dickinson both read to me the man-hour estimate for removing and reinstalling the entire dashboard, and it was something like eight hours.  Because of the large number of hours, and the high hourly shop rate at the Ford Dealer in Dickinson, this repair cost me about $1,200.

My Dodge 1500 for instance, the headlight switch quit working.  The Dodge Dealer mechanic said that he had done this light switch repair many times, and that it wasn’t just a matter of replacing this switch, the wiring harness plug for this switch was notorious for melting, and he was able to show me on my truck that this wiring harness plug had in fact melted.  In order to splice on a new wiring plug onto the wiring harness, it required the dashboard to be removed and reinstalled, and this repair cost me $500 due to the amount of man-hours and the high hourly shop rate at the Dodge Dealer in Dickinson.

At the Toyota Dealer Service Department in Dickinson, not only did I look at their nice looking women employees in their service department, and their nice looking customer women who were waiting for their vehicles to be repaired or serviced, I wrote about it.  I may not be very welcome in the Toyota Dealership Service Department in Dickinson, so for this reason, and for the reason of the car dealership service departments being so expensive, I needed to find a good, less expensive, independent mechanic in Dickinson.

In the past several years in Dickinson, a few local people had recommended Dave’s Auto Repair to me.  This repair garage is located behind Runnings, in the same building as the car wash, which has the large sign that reads “Four Seasons Auto”.  I had stopped at this garage once before when they had a Lexus for sale.  It was an inexpensive Lexus, but the paint on the hood, roof, and trunk had its clear coat worn away, and the paint was beginning to oxidize, and at the time I needed a nicer looking vehicle with no oxidized paint.

About a year ago, the engine oil pressure gauge quit working most of the time on my Dodge 1500 truck.  This didn’t bother me too much, because there was still a low oil pressure warning light that was separate from the oil pressure gauge.  Three months ago, 35 miles into my drive on the way to work, the low oil pressure warning light came on in my Dodge 1500 truck.  I pulled off the side of the road, added one quart of engine oil, started the truck, and the low oil pressure warning light did not come back on for the rest of the drive to work.

In the following days, the low oil pressure warning light on my Dodge 1500 truck came on, and stayed on.  Me, and two of my co-workers doubted that there was no oil pressure in this truck, my two co-workers said that it was most likely a bad oil pressure sensor sending unit.  One of my co-workers who I had worked with for almost a year, who was very practical, level headed, and cheap, recommended Dave’s Auto Repair in Dickinson very highly.  He said that he had been taking all of his vehicles, even his new vehicles to Dave’s Auto Repair for the past fifteen years.

My co-worker explained to me that Dave, the owner, did the work, along with his two sons.  He said that Dave was very honest, and very reasonable on the cost of car repairs.  In a few days I went and met Dave to make an appointment to have my Dodge 1500 engine oil pressure tested, and then replace the oil pressure sensor sending unit if it was faulty.

When the work was done on my Dodge 1500 truck in approximately August of 2018, Dave’s son did the repair, and I talked to him a little bit when I came to pick up my truck and pay for the repair which cost about $150.  I had met Dave’s son a couple of years ago when I went there to see about the Lexus which they had for sale.  This repair to my Dodge truck was fine, it didn’t cost that much, and I liked Dave and his son.  I planned on getting a lot more work done at Dave’s Auto Repair, especially getting the front drive shaft CV joints and seals replaced on this Dodge 1500 truck.

In September, I believe it was, I was getting my hair cut in a barber shop, when a young man came in and said to the barber that he had to get his van off of the garage property by the end of the day, because they were having an auction at the garage the following day.  The barber asked this young man if he was buying his father’s tools, and this young man said something like he would have bought them prior to the auction or he didn’t want to bid on them at the auction, because he wanted the auction to bring as much money as possible.

I thought about what this young man and the barber were talking about, it seemed like this young man’s family’s repair garage or service company was unexpectedly going out of business, which was very sad, because this young man was employed at this business.  He might have expected to own and operate this business one day, or be employed there for the rest of his life, but that wasn’t going to happen now.

After he left, I asked the barber what was going on, and he said that Dave’s Auto Repair was closing, and that they were auctioning off all of their tools and equipment.  I misunderstood what the barber said, because I thought that there was no way that the repair garage that I had just gone to was going out of business.  I said, you are not talking about Dave’s Auto Repair behind Runnings, at the car wash?  And the barber replied, that yes he was.

I couldn’t believe this, what were Dave and his two sons going to do now?  Hadn’t he been in business at that location for something like twenty years?  I telephoned my co-worker who had recommended this garage, who had been taking all of his vehicles there for fifteen years.  My co-worker said that he and a bunch of people that he knew asked Dave what was going on.  My co-worker heard from his friends, that the owner of the building where Dave had his garage, had told Dave that he was going to triple his rent.  Dave supposedly said to the owner of this building, that there was no way that he could make enough money to stay in business if he tripled his rent, so that he would have to close his business.

I was very sorry to hear this, and my co-worker said that he and his friends were all going to go over to the owner of this building where he lived and drag him out of his house, but Dave would not tell them where he lived.  This is very, very typical and well known in Dickinson, that the greed of the property owners is so great, that they expect successful business owners to hand over most of their money to them, so that as business owners they would be left with about $10 per hour to pay themselves.

Now Dickinson no longer has one of the most honest and reasonable independent repair garages in town.  Dave no longer has the satisfaction and freedom of being self employed, running his own business, and providing a good place to work for his two sons.  His two sons no longer have the pride, security, and future of working in a successful family run business.  All because of the evil greed of the property owners in Dickinson.

Cats And Kittens For Adoption At Woofta Pet Store In Dickinson, North Dakota

About ten days ago I took home a stray six week old Siamese kitten from the job site where I work.  On the drive home and on the first night at my apartment, this kitten was very well behaved.  On the second night, and thereafter, this kitten was overactive in biting me and climbing on me when I was trying to use my computer, eat, and sleep.

I thought that this kitten did not have enough to do, so I went to the Woofta Pet Store in Dickinson to buy him some toys.  I had not been to the Woofta Pet Store in Dickinson for about three years.  I remembered that they had some pets for sale inside their store, but I had not remembered that they had so many cats and kittens in their store that were up for adoption.

Right when I walked in, they had the largest cat that I have ever seen in a cage all by himself.  He was larger than most wild Bobcats.  It looked like he weighed at least thirty pounds, and his hind feet were larger than most dog hind feet.  He appeared to be about ten years old.

I asked the manager of the pet store what kind of cat this was, and she said that they didn’t know, he had been a stray alley cat that someone had caught.  He didn’t look up, move, or pay any attention to me.

The next cat that I saw, was the 2nd largest cat that I had ever seen.  He was a very healthy looking orange cat, with bright green eyes.  He came over to the bars of the cage he was in, and looked at me.  I couldn’t believe that someone put this cat up for adoption, he was such a nice looking, big, healthy cat.

I went and looked at the other cats and kittens in the cages throughout the store.  A few of these cats, had slight injuries, like a couple of toes missing.  I would have liked to have taken four or five of these cats with me, and I certainly could have if I was back at my home in Idaho on five acres.  But at my apartment in Dickinson, I was not permitted to have any animals at all in the building where I lived.

I told one of my friends about the cats and kittens that I had seen, and he would have probably wanted to adopt one of them, but he already has a dog and a cat that were abandoned.

I had intended to go back to the Woofta Pet Store sooner, to ask to take a video of the largest cat that I had ever seen, and the second largest cat that I had ever seen, but I did not get back there until today.  Both of these cats had been adopted.  I was sorry that they weren’t there, but I was glad that they both got adopted.

I had intended to make a video of these two particular cats, to get people’s attention about what cats they had at the Woofta Pet Store in Dickinson, but since they weren’t there, I made a video of the other cats and kittens: