Tag Archives: what is it like in Dickinson North Dakota

How Has This Blog Website Affected My Employment?

I hope that the people who don’t like me or my blog website will read this post.

In the summer of 2014, I began working for a small, locally owned company in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I liked the work that I was doing, better than any work that I had done in the past.  When I started with this company, I was pleased with the money that I was making.  I made about $25,000 in the first six months.

Then, there came the winter work slow down.  The owner of the company had a talk with me in person.  He asked me if I would like to be the manager of the company, and I said that I would.  He explained to me that he planned on retiring in two years.  He said that if I could manage the company O.K. for two years, he would give the company to me.

I was contented with the money that I had been making at this company.  I was happy that I was asked to be the manager.  I didn’t know if I would be able to afford this company, even if it was given to me, because of the possibility of a customer not paying.  If a customer didn’t pay, and there was a history of a government customer not paying for several months, I would not have enough money in the bank to meet payroll for three months.  I didn’t know if I wanted to own this company or not.

January and February were lean months, but there was a good project in March where I made about $7,500 that month.  I liked the work, and I liked the amount of money that I was being paid.  The owner of the company was fairly nice, and he did not bother the employees unnecessarily.  The owner of the company left the employees alone to do their work.

This small locally owned company did various small projects each month.  These small projects were always in town.  The company did not make very much money on these small projects, and the employees did not make very much money on these small projects.  Nevertheless, the company owner liked doing them because he believed that they were good for business, these small projects could lead to bigger projects, it was good advertising, and it was good public relations.

The older, experienced, long-time employees, did not want to do these small projects.  They were a pain in the ass, they didn’t pay much, they interfered with working on bigger projects, and they were always “on front street” in town, where everybody could see what you were doing, and bother you while you were working.  Before long, I clearly recognized why the older, experienced long-time employees did not want to do these small projects in town.

What was actually happening, and I didn’t like it too much, was that the older, experienced, long-time employees who refused to do the small projects “on front street” in town, they were actually getting to work on bigger long-term projects outside of town, and they were making a lot more money than me.  Because I was the manager, I kind of felt that it was my duty to do these small projects in town, which were more for advertisement and public relations, than an opportunity to make money.

I tried to be professional and do a good job on these small projects in town, but the truth was, because I was doing these types of small projects regularly, it was keeping me from making very much money.  The big, long-term projects out in the middle of nowhere, that is where I wanted to be.

This blog post is mostly for the people that came to figure out or find out that it was me writing these blog posts about Dickinson.  Even before anyone knew or had any idea that it was me writing these blog posts about Dickinson, when I was working in town, people would sometimes bother me when I was working.  I don’t mean the casual, pleasant, polite conversations.  I mean when people come up to you, and you can tell that they are trying to instigate a fight or antagonize you, because of their disrespectful attitude, inappropriate familiarity with you, or leading and inappropriate questions.

I would try to avoid, discourage, and not be drawn into any kind of conflict while working in town.  The truth is, that I wanted to keep my job, and not lose my job by getting into some kind of conflict while working in town.  It was not that I liked working in town, I didn’t like working in town because these projects interfered with me making money.  I wanted to keep my job so that I could work on the bigger long-term projects outside of town.

Now, it looks like it is the case, that some people have figured out or found out that it is me who is writing these blog posts about Dickinson.  The people who don’t like me or my blog posts, have probably informed my employer, and have told him, “I don’t think that it is right for you to have him work here.”  Now my employer, considering the people who have voiced their concerns, has probably come to the conclusion that he can not have me working in town “on front street” because these small projects are all about good advertising, and good public relations.

It may be the case now, that the only place that my employer can have me work, is out in the middle of nowhere on some long-term project where there aren’t any people around.  This is what I wanted in the first place.

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Getting Treated Like Shit, in Dickinson, North Dakota, Part I

I will begin this story, in the middle of my stay in Dickinson, North Dakota, in 2014.  I had applied for a government job in Dickinson.  This would be my second job working for the government.  The application was very long, approximately twenty pages.  Employment history, education history, special qualification history, criminal history/disqualifiers.

I turned in my application.  I would be required to take an exam the following week, and undergo further testing after that.  On Thursday at approximately 4:00 p.m., an e-mail was sent from the human resources person in Dickinson, stating that I needed to provide my high school transcripts by the following Monday.  I happened to check my e-mail on Thursday at 6:00 p.m., and my reaction was,”What the fuck!  God damn it!  How the fuck am I going to get my high school transcripts by Monday?  I have one business day, I graduated from high school over twenty-five years ago, 2,000 miles away, I don’t even know if they still have my transcripts.”  I cursed some more, this was the Dickinson human resource’s way of disqualifying me from this job, by me being unable to submit all required paper work by Monday.  From my application they knew when and where I graduated, they knew it would be impossible for me to get my transcripts by Monday.

I graduated from a state in the Southeast, twenty five years ago.  I telephoned my high school at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, Dickinson time, it was 9:00 a.m. back East.  My high school said that I needed to telephone the county archive office.  I listened to the county archivist phone recording which gave their website address.  I looked at the county archives website.  I understood the instructions about the request for records process, but they needed to receive a payment by check or money order by mail to complete the process.  I called the archive office back, and left a polite but desperate voice mail, quickly explaining my situation.  I sent a polite but desperate e-mail with my completed application for high school transcripts.  About one million people live in the county that I was dealing with.  The archivist woman had to go out to a warehouse, locate the high school records, find my high school, find my year of graduation, find my records, go scan them, e-mail them to me, without receiving any payment.

The human resources lady in Dickinson, was trying to disqualify me from the job because I was from out-of-state.  There was no chance that I was going to get my high school transcripts from twenty-five years ago, in one day.  The archivist lady back where I was from, dropped what she was doing, dug out my records, scanned them, and e-mailed them to me by 1:00 p.m., breaking the rules, without receiving payment.  They do things like that in the South.

I was grateful that I got my transcripts on Friday, in plenty of time to deliver them.  But I was surprised at what I got, I got about thirteen pages.  I don’t know if this was supposed to happen, but I got everything.  The first three pages were grade reports, but I had never seen them in this format.  Rather than reporting grades by quarter, they were reported by course and final grade for the year.  9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, every course was an “A”.  There was an official stamp, “Rank 1 out of 290“.  Mother fucker!  I was the salutatorian, I gave the salutatorian speech at graduation.  They lied to me!  I was actually the valedictorian, well how about that.  They fucked me out of that, oh well.

What were these other ten pages?  They were a psychological assessment and evaluation.  In 10th grade, the school system did a personal evaluation, which I somewhat remember.  There were test results, explanation and interpretation of results, scores plotted on a chart.  The first two types of intelligence testing, my IQ was 124, 125.  The third type of intelligence testing, verbal/vocabulary, my IQ was 134.  The fourth type, awareness/socialization, my IQ was 118.  The last, I believe was math, my IQ was 125.  My overall IQ was 126.  The assessment explained that 126 IQ was classified as “highly intelligent”, that 130 IQ was classified as “gifted”.  The concluding recommendation was that I should be taken out of advanced classes, and placed in the “gifted” program.

Well, that explained a lot.  I had read when I was about thirty years of age, that in order to be an engineer, you needed to have an IQ of more than 130.  No wonder that I had had such a hard time passing my engineering classes, I didn’t have a high enough IQ.  It also explained why I wasn’t working as an engineer, I found it tedious, frustrating, and difficult.  It explained why I wound up in Dickinson.  If I had my wish, if I would have been able to make enough money, I would have liked to have lived in a home on the water in Florida.  I did not have a high enough IQ, hence, I am in Dickinson.

I turned in the grade reports only, to the human resources department in Dickinson on Friday.  The following Monday, I took the exams and got an 82%, 93%, and 93%.  I only needed to get 70%, 70%, and 70% to pass and be eligible.  I thought that I did really well at the interview, there were four interviewers.  I did not get the job.  I decided, fuck them, that is the last time I will ever apply to any government job in Dickinson.

About four months later, I applied to a job at Dickinson State University.  The job did not pay that well, but I was very much looking forward to being eligible to take tuition-free, or reduced-tuition classes at Dickinson State University.  DSU had had my completed application for more than a month, when the human resources lady sent me an e-mail requesting that I send them my resume before Monday.  The DSU human resources lady waited until the end of the day on Thursday to send this request by e-mail.  I was furious when I checked my e-mail on Saturday.  I had been working on a construction site out of town.  When I tried to send my resume first thing Monday morning, I already had an e-mail in my in-box from DSU, stating that the position I had applied to, had now been filled.

The point of this blog post is this: When someone from out-of-state applies to a job in Dickinson, these local people here will do whatever it takes to try to make sure that you don’t get the job.  Both of the employment examples that I have given in this post, these two jobs were not advertised very well, they were practically hidden.  Both of theses jobs were not advertised in the newspaper, North Dakota Job Services, Indeed, CareerBuilder, or Monster.com.  Both of these jobs were advertised for a very short period of time.  The local people here in Dickinson, they wanted to tell their friends, tell their relatives about a job opening in the government or Dickinson State University, and make sure that there would not be any competition from better qualified candidates from out-of-state.  When an out-of-state person did apply, the human resources people tried to wait until the last minute to request additional paper work, so that the applicant would be unable to submit the required paper work in time, and be disqualified.  I later met the individual that was hired for the position that I had applied to at Dickinson State University.  He had far less qualifications than I did in both education and experience, but he was from Dickinson.

I stated in a previous post, that I wanted to beat the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, North Dakota, that I wanted to tell people the truth about Dickinson.  I want to tell people from out-of-state, that though the Chamber of Commerce wants to paint a pretty picture of Dickinson, if you come here, you will be treated like shit.