Tag Archives: unfriendliness in Dickinson

A Different Side of Dickinson, North Dakota

Throughout this blog, I have mostly been negative about Dickinson:  property owners and managers had been excessively greedy and had taken advantage of everyone from out-of-state, local people and co-workers had been hostile and unfriendly, there is shortage of attractive women, the Dickinson police’s over aggressive pursuit of DUIs cause people to be unable to go out and enjoy drinks at bars and restaurants.  Living in Dickinson, I felt like an illegal immigrant migrant worker, because I was treated like one.  Even though I had a bachelor of science in engineering, and had worked as an engineer, estimator, superintendent, and project manager in several different states, owned a home and business in another state, I was treated like shit by the local ignorant, uneducated, never-been-anywhere people here in Dickinson, because I was from some place else, and they could get away with it, and their natural primitive instinct is to treat people badly.  I explained these things already in this blog.

I currently still recommend that people do not come to Dickinson, North Dakota, at this time.  I came here to make money, and it was easier to make money here, than it was in the state where my home was.  But now, about 60% of the oil field jobs have gone away due to the low price of oil, which has caused other jobs to go away throughout the western North Dakota economy.  I recommend that you do not come to Dickinson at this time not because the people are hostile and unfriendly, but because you would probably have a difficult time getting a job, and housing prices are still very high.

Because of a reduction of in work at my job, and because I did not want to be solely dependent on my employer for income, I brought some of my equipment over to Dickinson, to begin doing some self-employment work.  At first, the Dickinson residents that I offered to do work for, they were negative.  After about one month, I got one project.  I did a good job, three people saw that project, and I got three more projects.  Without doing any advertising, I got about ten more projects, and continue to get phone calls every week.

In my self-employment work, I saw a different side of Dickinson.  All of the people who called me and asked me to come and give them an estimate, they were successful people.  About one-third of these customers were business owners, about one-third were white-collar professionals, and about one-third were blue-collar workers, but they were all successful.  They were intelligent, polite, professional, fair, and often times paid me more than what I charged.

I tried to keep quiet and quickly do my self-employment work, but about one-third of my customers at some point would ask me what I thought of Dickinson and the people here.  I would try to not say anything negative and say very little, but the customers would come out and say to me, “I moved here twenty years ago, the people here have never been friendly to me and my husband, it has been difficult, I don’t have hardly any friends, I had so many friends back where we came from.”  So even though I tried to say very little in order to keep my opinions to myself to be non offensive to customers and potential customers, many of my customers just came out and said that they had had a difficult time in Dickinson because the people were unfriendly.  This was the first time that I heard people that were successful, long time residents, come out and say it.  It made me feel a lot better.  Also, this was the first time after having lived in Dickinson for almost three years, that I wasn’t treated like shit.  In all of the self-employment projects that I have done in Dickinson so far, about fifteen of them, the customers have been very nice to me, they acted like they were happy to see me, happy that I was there, complimented me on my work, thanked me, and most them paid me more than I asked for.  This was a side of Dickinson that I had never seen.

Unfriendliness In Dickinson, North Dakota

Several months ago, I loaned my truck to a neighbor for a couple of days because his truck had broken down.  I hate to let people borrow my truck because they think it is an old truck, and they can abuse it.  Even though their vehicle has broken down, mine is somehow running.  My truck is running because I have replaced the radiator, power steering pump, water pump, timing chain and gear, fuel pump, drive shaft universal joint, front drive universal joints and seals on each side, installed overload rear leaf springs, and bought four new tires.  All this cost me about $4,000 over the years that I have owned this truck, so it is not just my good luck that my old truck is running.

About two months ago, I asked the neighbor who I had loaned my truck to, if I could shoot my 9mm pistol on his vacant thirty acres, if I placed my target against the vacant one hundred acres behind it.  I explained that I had to take and pass a qualifying exam.  My neighbor said no, and that he did not want to allow me to shoot on his other 160 acre piece of property either.  I then had to drive seventy miles one way to get to a piece of public land that I knew that I could shoot on.  There are two shooting ranges that are about thirty miles away, but you have to go to the shooting club once a month meeting, apply for membership, and pay a $40 membership fee, which is what I eventually did.

About one month ago, I thought that I might have to move to an apartment in town.  I have an extra truck and a utility trailer that I don’t think that I could park in town if I were renting an apartment.  I drove to someone’s property that I have met before, his property is about 1/2 mile wide by 1/2 mile long.  He has several vehicles, several trailers, farm equipment, and other things on his property.  I asked him if I could pay him $75 per month to park my extra truck and utility trailer on his property.  He said no.

I then went to one of my neighbors who is about thirty-five years old, who has an older house on about one acre, with about eight cars, and four trailers on his property.  I told him that I might have to move in to town, that I didn’t think that I would have a place to put my extra truck and utility trailer, could I pay him $75 per month to park them on his property?  He said no.

I kind of understand, and I kind of don’t understand.  I own a house on five acres in a different state.  If one of my neighbors asked to park a vehicle and a utility trailer on my property because they had to move to an apartment in town, I would ask them for how long did they need to park it.  I would say that if it was just for a month or two, go park it way down on the north end, just off the dirt road.  I believe that if you do not collect any money from an individual, and that if they step in a hole on your property and break their leg, your homeowner’s insurance will cover their injury.  This type of thing can happen when anyone walks onto your property to go knock on your front door, this risk is always there.  If you receive payment from someone to use your property, you should probably talk to your insurance company about commercial or renter’s insurance or something.  If someone was offering me $75 per month to park a vehicle and a utility trailer on my property for more than a couple of months, I would find out what additional insurance I needed, because $75 per month is $900 per year.

Outside of Dickinson, there is more vacant land than I have seen just about anywhere else.  There is no shortage of vacant land, there is an abundance of vacant land.  There are farms where people once lived, but no longer live there.  I asked neighbors adjacent to the abandoned farms who owned the abandoned farms, I would like to find out about renting it, the neighbors replied,”Oh, that is so and so, they live down the road there, people have asked them before to rent it, they won’t rent it out.”

Up until about 1980, there were very few people who wanted to visit or move to North Dakota.  It is very cold and barren.  There isn’t a lot to do for recreation or entertainment, there hadn’t been very many things to do for employment.  The first oil boom in this area came in about 1980 and then went away.  During the first oil boom, property prices rapidly went up to a high peak, then went back down to a low price after the oil boom.  I don’t know if there is still some anger over this in and around Dickinson, I think that there is.  Some people sold their land at the right time, got rich, then were able to buy back equal or better land after the prices went back down.  Some people didn’t sell their land, remained poor, and later wished they would have sold their land. 

I think that there is a lot of anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy, and greed stirred up in these local people.  They have a hard time dealing with the amount of people that have moved here.  They have resentment and jealousy that some of their neighbors have sold their land and made money, or that some of their neighbors are getting oil revenue money.  They have resentment, jealousy, and anger that these people from out-of-state can come here and get jobs making anywhere from $15 per hour to $30 per hour, when they have lived here their whole lives and never made that kind of money, that aint right, that aint fair.  I think that this hatred shows up in the local people’s refusal to allow out-of-state people to rent or use the huge amount of vacant land outside of Dickinson.