Tag Archives: working in Dickinson North Dakota

Businesses Closing In Dickinson, North Dakota

I want for everyone, local people, people from out of state, and people who are considering moving to Dickinson, North Dakota, to know what is going on here.  The oil boom is over in North Dakota, it was over by the end of 2014.  Since then, everything has become less busy with each passing month in Dickinson, North Dakota.

During the morning work rush hours in Dickinson, 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., traffic is not heavy.  From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., traffic is very light.  After 8:00 p.m. in Dickinson, the streets are almost empty.  After 8:00 p.m., there are only three to six people in each of the downtown bars on a week night.  After 8:00 p.m., it is the same thing in each of the grocery stores, only about three to six customers.

Outside of town in the industrial areas, there are many commercial buildings and warehouses that have become vacant.  In town, there are many commercial and retail spaces that have become vacant.

The Sears store has sold most of its inventory, there is hardly anything left in the store, and they are permanently closing in just a few days.  The Family Fare grocery store on highway 22 is closing in just a few days, much of their inventory is already gone.

In downtown Dickinson, there are two family owned businesses that were very rude to me, and several other people that I have spoken to.  I spent about $500 at one business, and about $1,000 at the other business, yet the owners were shitty with me when I came to their stores to buy more equipment.  I enjoy driving by their stores now at various times throughout the day, and I see that they have zero customers.

I am not going to list every tenant from every retail, commercial, and industrial building in Dickinson that has left, because it would take too long and it would be difficult to include every one.  In general, in buildings where there are five or more tenants, it has gone from one vacancy, to two, then three, and so on as the months have passed in Dickinson.  What I want for people to understand, is that more and more business will continue to close in Dickinson.

I have had a couple of discussions recently with two men who are my age, late forties, who have lived and worked all over the United States, who came to Dickinson right when the oil boom began in 2007.  They lived and worked through the housing shortage, and the worker shortage in Dickinson.  One of these men is an electrician who has had his hours reduced more and more, as other workers are let go.  One of these men is a roustabout foreman who has had his wage rate reduced by $7 per hour, as other workers are let go.  Both of these men admit to there being a scarcity of jobs right now, and every indication that things will get much worse in employment.

All three of us, do not like it when uninformed people in the area say things like, “Things are starting to pick up again.”, “The drill rig count is up.”, “Its starting to turn around now.”, and “People are going back to work now.”  These statements are absolutely not true, although the drill rig count may go up from time to time.  It is not helping anyone to give them false information, it is actually harming many people.

There are many people who have reduced work, have lost their jobs, or have been unable to get a job, who should do everything they can to plan on leaving North Dakota.  They need to look into what things are like in Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, what kind of job can they get there, where can they live, and how are they going to get there.

It is about to get cold again in North Dakota, and there will be a winter work slow down.  It is wrong, and it is harmful to mislead people who have lost their job or who have not been able to get a job, into believing that if they wait here, the oil field is getting ready to pick up again, it’s not.

It would actually be better for everyone in Dickinson to know and to say, “The oil field is not going to pick up any time soon.  More people will probably lose their jobs.  It’s time for people to start thinking about where else they could live, and where else they might go to earn a living.  It is not going to be good to encourage people to stay in Dickinson, there will end up being many unemployed people in Dickinson if some of these people don’t try to go someplace else.”

When It Costs $600 To Poop

I have been told, and I have realized myself, that my blog website becomes difficult to read when I have one negative blog post after another, back to back to back.  So I will tell when it costs $600 to poop.

When I became a superintendent for a construction company when I was about 29 years old, we were building communication sites in very remote areas like swamps and forests.  When it rained, even dual rear tire, four wheel drive trucks would get stuck on the way to the job site.  Many of the sites were too remote and hard to get to, to have a portable toilet company bring one out.  All of the workers were red-necks and hunters, so we all went to the bathroom in the woods without complaining.

When I came to work in the oil field in Dickinson in 2011, going to the bathroom in the bushes was not a problem for me.  I had worked in construction for many years, and I knew that you can’t take a crew truck with all of its tools and safety equipment away from a job site to drive 1/2 hour to a bathroom, and 1/2 hour back.  What if somebody needs a tool?  What if somebody gets hurt and it is a medical emergency and they need to be taken to the hospital?

I was having a discussion with my co-worker/supervisor about one month ago, and he said, “Now that is something that I didn’t know until I got to North Dakota.  I didn’t know, and I got into a lot of trouble for it.”  This is the story that he told:

It was my very first day of work, I mean my very first day on the job, literally.  I was driving this vacuum truck, and I had this kid with me.  We had to drive like one hour from New Town to get to this location that we were supposed to be at.  Not long after we arrived at this location, the kid said, “I need to use the bathroom, do you know where there is a bathroom?”  I said that I didn’t know, but that I kind of needed to use the bathroom too.

We got back in the truck, and we started driving, looking for a bathroom.  We ended up driving almost all the way back to New Town, we drove for like 45 minutes.  When we got back to the site, there was this supervisor yelling, screaming, and hollering at us.  He was yelling, “Where the hell were you!  You were supposed to be here two hours ago!”  I explained to him that we both had to use the bathroom.  What!!!!

The owner of the company called me and he said, “Look, that shit you took just cost me $600.  The truck and the two of you were being billed at $400 per hour.  You were gone for 1-1/2 hours to go use the bathroom.  Do not ever do that again.  Go shit behind a tank or something next time.”

I said, I’m not going to go shit behind a tank where some oil company man is going to come along and step in it.  The owner of the company then said, “O.K., the next time you have to use the bathroom, you call me, and I will tell you where the nearest portable toilet is.”

I couldn’t believe that story, and that the owner of the company was having to call his employees and come to an agreement and understanding with them, that you can’t have two workers and a vacuum truck pull off the job for 1-1/2 hours because somebody has to poop.

Second Criticism Of Local Companies In Dickinson, Nepotism

In my previous blog post I explained that when I first came to Dickinson, North Dakota in 2011 to work in the oil field, one of the problems that I saw in company management, was the failure to properly delegate work.  Existing companies could not keep up with the demand for work partly because owners and managers could not see or understand that they needed to delegate work to competent people in order to be able to handle the increased demand for work.  The second big problem that I saw was nepotism, the hiring of relatives and friends.

I will try to get right to the point, whenever I have worked at a company where the owners or managers hire relatives and friends, everyone else suffers and pays for it.  Ultimately, it costs the company tremendously, if it doesn’t cause the ruin of the company altogether, which I have seen happen, in Dickinson.

First, is it a good idea to hire someone for a position at a company, if you know that they would not ever be hired for a similar position at any other company, or that you would never hire them if they were not a relative or friend?  How could this ever be a good idea, to hire someone that you know is not capable of doing the job?

I experienced this at one of my first jobs out of college.  The owner of the company that I was working for, hired his much less capable brother to manage the estimating department.  In compiling estimates, it is most important to not leave anything out, and to total the costs as completely and accurately as possible.  The owner’s brother would waste everyone’s time with daily memos on the new required font type for weekly reports, who was required to use green marker pen, red marker pen, blue marker pen in making comments, who was in trouble for not using the most recent new required font type, etcetera.  After a while of causing problems and causing work to have to be repeatedly re-done in the estimating department, the owner’s brother was put in charge of the sales representatives instead.  He drove the sales reps up the wall, causing some of them to quit.  Eventually the owner’s brother irritated the owner himself so bad, that he had to let him go, but not before he had irritated and upset everyone at the company, causing more than several people to quit.

The hiring of relatives and friends of the owners and managers has occurred at every company that I have worked for in Dickinson.   The third company that I worked for in Dickinson, this caused the failure of the company.  When I first started working for this company in May of 2013, the company had a lot of intelligent, competent, skilled technicians and workers.  The main company that we performed work for, liked all of the technicians and workers because of their intelligence, ability, and work performance.  But then, the owners of the company hired one young lady who was a niece, and one young lady as a favor to a friend.

Neither of these two young ladies had any construction experience whatsoever.  Not even hammering a nail or digging a hole with a shovel.  Some of the technicians and workers who had been working in construction for ten years or more resented this.  Several of the best technicians left soon after these two young ladies were hired.  They resented that they were being paid within a few dollars of what they were making, that they weren’t any help, that they would have to show them how to do every single thing, and that they were not interested in construction, only the opportunity to get paid a lot of money by being present on the job.

The company owners’ response to several lead technicians quitting within a few weeks, was to move their niece right up to driving the service truck and taking the lead.  The company that we did the work for did not like this, nor the did the end users.  It was obvious to everyone that the twenty year old niece had never done any kind of construction whatsoever, and that this was not an acceptable replacement.

At this same time, the second young lady that was hired, she came to work with the crotch of her jeans missing, a hole about the size of a dinner plate.  I figured she was going to try to have some kind of sexual harassment claim if anyone said anything to her.  The company that we did the work for, several of their employees complained to the owners of my company about this.  What is wrong with her, and do not ever have her come to work for us like this again.  The work that had already been awarded to the company I was working for was completed, and they never got any more work awarded to them, ever.

The most recent company that I worked for in Dickinson, the effects of hiring relatives and friends was very noticeable.  There were people in management positions that probably never would have been placed in a management position at any other company.  There were people that were hired, that would not have been hired most other places.  There were people working there, that would have been let go a long time ago anywhere else.

The net overall effect of all these relatives and friends working there was very bad.  There were areas of responsibility that no one was taking responsibility for, or even paying attention to.  There were people not showing up for work, without any preparations having been made to cover their absence.  No one was very concerned about anything, because they were not in fear of losing their jobs.

This most recent company that I worked for in Dickinson, I have seen the very beginning signs of bankruptcy, and I think that this will become common knowledge within about one year.  The failure of this company might not have occurred if the owner would have hired experienced managers with degrees in business administration, accounting, economics, finance, or construction management, instead of relatives and friends with little experience and no business education.

Criticism Of Local Companies In Dickinson, Failure To Properly Delegate

Ever since I first came to Dickinson, North Dakota in 2011 to work in the oil field, I noticed that the local Dickinson companies had a strange and different way of doing things.  I will start out by giving the following brief example.

During my first month of working for an oil field service company in Dickinson, the manager of the company would come out to the job site to operate a crane.  During the rigging, lifting, positioning, and connecting of very heavy steel, the manager would routinely answer his telephone and talk on the telephone while operating the crane.  This should have never, ever happened.

When I was about 27 years old working for a tunneling company, it was explained to me that I could not talk to the tunneling machine operator while he was working. This was explained to me by the crane operator, who was in charge.  The crane operator explained other operator positions where the operator could not talk while working, sometimes mandated by law, such as the elevator operator in mining, because of the loss of life that could occur if the operator was distracted.

This oil field service company that I was working for in Dickinson, had one of the highest injury rates.  And, while I was working there, this manager did have an “at-fault” operator error while operating the crane that caused a significant injury.  Then my co-workers discussed aloud, “Maybe we should hire a crane operator, to just operate the crane.”

Although the manager of this oil field service company was knowledgeable, hardworking, honest, and fair, he wasn’t “managing” very well.  Prior to the oil boom that began in 2007 in North Dakota, this oil field service company had much less work, and fewer employees.  Prior to the oil boom, this company did not have enough calls for work, to require this manager to stay in the office all day.  To maintain profitability, this manager also performed work in the oil field.

Now in 2011, this manager needed to stay in the office all day, and deal with the customer calls that came in.  No more going out into the oil field and working.  There was a wait list or backlog of work, where work requests that were called in, could not be gotten to for six to eight weeks.  This company needed to expand, but it didn’t.

One of the reasons why this oil field service company did not expand was because the company owners and the manager did not see or understand how to delegate work properly.  The manager could no longer receive from the workers every request they had for a tire, wrench, hydraulic hose, grease fitting, leaf spring, lifting strap, bolt, belt, etcetera; go look up every one of these parts in a catalog; place the order for every one of these parts; receive telephone calls from the work crews explaining and describing their problems;  think about, solve, and explain problem solutions to the work crews; and receive telephone call work requests from every customer describing their problems and what they want done.  This was too much work for one person to do, and too much work for one person to do well and handle completely.

The manager needed to have someone serve as “field superintendent”, “project manager” or “operations manager”.  The easiest way to do this in the case of this oil field service company, would have been to appoint one of the most knowledgeable and competent workers that they already had working there.  Out of several possible candidates, the decision might have come down to how easily that particular person could be replaced on their work crew.

The “field superintendent” could then take over the responsibility of assigning work orders to the work crews, making sure that they had proper instructions, material, and equipment, and receiving all the telephone calls about problems from the work crews.  The manager then could have handled all calls from customers requesting work, discussions with the company owners, purchasing additional or new equipment, hiring, counseling, and firing workers.

This particular oil field service company never expanded, and its wait list and backlog of work increased.  The oil companies like Continental, Marathon, Occidental, and Whiting needed to have their work done more quickly than this.  Other existing oil field service companies had similar problems to the ones that I just described above.

In Dickinson, out of nowhere and overnight, the two oil field service companies Titan Oil Field Service and SM Fencing & Energy Services were formed by owners in their twenties, and they quickly grew to where they each had over fifty employees and millions of dollars in equipment.  The reason for their creation and their rapid growth was that the existing oil field service companies in Dickinson could not keep up with the demand for work.

Dishonest And Disreputable Companies In Dickinson, North Dakota

In the beginning of June I started a new job in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I thought that this was going to be a good job, with a good company.  When I arrived to work at this oil field service company at 3:45 a.m. on a Monday morning, one thing after another went wrong.  No supervisor showed up until 4:30 a.m., my supervisor was out for the week and he had left no instructions regarding me and my work.  After phone calls were made, it was determined that I was supposed to drive a crane truck to a location two hours away, but the keys were missing, the crane truck was a mess and in no condition to drive, and the equipment on it that was needed that day was broken.

My instinct and my gut feeling was that I should say right then, “Hey, I don’t want to work here.”  I could barely keep myself from telling the company that I had decided not to work there.  It appeared to be so disorganized and unprofessional, with no planning or accountability.  I needed the job, and the money, so I hung in there.

I got along with my co-worker/supervisor at the job site location two hours away.  Within a couple of days, he was letting me do all the work on my own.  His intention was that he would do the paperwork, and that I would do the physical work.  This led to my co-worker/supervisor arriving at job locations a few hours late in the morning, and leaving a few hours early in the evening, because he was only doing paperwork, and I was doing the physical work which took all day.

It was hot, dirty, and tiring physical labor, and I would have liked some help, sometimes feeling like I was close to getting heat stroke.  I was not supposed to be doing this work by myself according to the oil company safety rules.  I did the work by myself, and I operated the crane truck on days when the wind was well over 30 mph, the cut off point to stop work.  I broke these rules on many days in order to get work done.

I didn’t know that this oil field service company in Dickinson was not going to pay me.  I had to wait for the two-week pay period to end, and then wait another ten days for a pay check to be made.  On my second pay check, I was shorted 8-1/2 hours of overtime pay.  I wrote a letter to the company payroll person, listing my hours, and explaining that I was shorted 8-1/2 hours of overtime pay.

My co-worker/supervisor telephoned the payroll person while I was sitting in his truck, and he went over the hours that I was shorted.  Later that day, my co-worker/supervisor received a response from the payroll person, she said that the owner of the company had crossed out my hours, and wrote fewer hours, because he did not think that enough work was completed.

The owner of this company graduated from Dickinson State University with a degree in Business Administration, and he should know that it is illegal and unethical to not pay employees for hours worked.  This says something about the owner of this company, Dickinson, Dickinson State University, and North Dakota.  I have worked in Florida, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho, and I have never ever before had a company refuse to pay me for my work hours.

My co-worker/supervisor then had a fairly long telephone conversation with the owner of this company, and he believed that he had agreement from the company owner that everything would be taken care of, that I would be paid for the 8-1/2 hours of missing overtime pay.  Because I was expecting to be paid this money, I continued working for this company.

This past weekend I received by e-mail, a work hours summary for my third pay check, and it was 12-1/2 hours short on overtime hours!  I couldn’t believe it!  Not only was I not being paid for the 8-1/2 overtime hours that I was already missing, they were taking away another 12-1/2 hours of overtime pay!

The company owner had left a week earlier to go on a two-week hunting trip in South America.  This made me believe what my co-worker/supervisor and I had already suspected, that it was actually the company owner’s wife that was shaving work hours off my pay, claiming that I was not getting enough work done.  The company owner is on a two-week hunting trip in South America that probably costs $15,000 to $20,000.  The company owner’s wife is trying to steal $570 of my pay, because she thinks that I don’t deserve it.  She and her husband are better than me, and I don’t deserve to be paid.  The truth is that I have been doing all of the work by myself, and have been breaking the safety rules on many days to get the work done.

I looked the owner’s wife up on Facebook, and I saw that she attended the Catholic college in Bismarck, the University of Mary.  Not only do the Catholics not learn right from wrong in the Catholic Church, they don’t even learn basic right and wrong, ethical and unethical, legal and illegal when the go to their University!  It is illegal and unethical to not pay your employees for hours worked.

I looked on the North Dakota Department of Labor website on how to file a complaint against an employer for not paying wages.  It wasn’t too much of a shock to me, that the North Dakota Department of Labor wants for employees to “ask for your wages”, and that they will later act as a “mediator”.  The North Dakota Department of Labor should be a government regulatory agency that enforces law in North Dakota, not a mediator.  Because the North Dakota Department of Labor is so easy going toward employers, there is a huge back log of cases.  There is a recent Bismarck Tribune newspaper article that says people who filed a complaint against an employer in 2014, had to wait two years, Two Fucking Years!, for a case worker to even be assigned to their complaint.

North Dakota has got to be the most corrupt and backward state.  Of course employers are not going to pay employees wages when they know that there is a two year wait before the complaint is even looked at.  I telephoned the North Dakota Department of Labor, and there are four previous complaints for non payment of wages against the company that I work for.  In other states, this might be grounds for revocation of business licenses, but in North Dakota, the company instead gets glowing and gushing newspaper articles about them from the Dickinson Press.

Dickinson could not be more proud of this husband and wife entrepreneur couple.  The Dickinson Press newspaper has written several articles about them, how wonderful and successful they are.  They believe that they are so wonderful and successful, that they don’t even have to pay me for the hours that I worked.

I went to the courthouse in Dickinson to find out about filing a small claims civil suit against the owner of this company for nonpayment of wages.  I thought that I could win this case if the owner of this company had to personally appear in court.  However, I was told at the courthouse that in North Dakota the defendant in a small claims case is allowed to be represented by an attorney, and not even appear.

I already know what this means, an expensive attorney that has practiced law for twenty years in Dickinson will be hired, a long time colleague of every judge in Dickinson, and I am just an out of state oil field worker, nobody.  Just like my employer believes I am so insignificant that I don’t need to be paid my wages, the court judge will feel the same way in deciding between what his long time attorney colleague says, and what I say.

It has been my experience in Dickinson that the police are only successful in harassing people, not solving crime, the local courts do not work, the state courts do not work, Federal agencies like OSHA, the Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Employment don’t even function in North Dakota.  North Dakota has got to be the most corrupt and backward state.

I am very angry about not being paid, and there is not any legal way for me to do anything about this in North Dakota.

The End Of A Work Week In Dickinson, North Dakota

If you have been reading my blog posts for the past couple of weeks, you will have read some descriptions and details about how things have been going at my new job that I started five weeks ago.  I was very let down and disappointed that what I thought was going to be a good job at a good company, turned out to be the exact opposite.

Besides complaining about the company that I started to work for, I very nearly could not work because my eyes swelled up to where I could not see due to allergies.  I made it through that, but just barely.  My co-worker/supervisor for a number of reasons, did not want to help me do the work, and began to come to work less and less, to the point that he did not come to work at all yesterday.  The company that I work for, is unaware of this, but the oil company that we are doing the work for, is aware that I have been working mostly by myself, though I am not supposed to be.

I have been working out of town, two hours away from Dickinson.  There is an even greater shortage of women, restaurants, stores, and things to do where I am working, than in Dickinson.  On the drive home to Dickinson this Friday, there is nothing that I was looking forward to in Dickinson.  There are no friends or prospective girl friends that I was looking forward to seeing, no where that I was looking forward to eating, nothing that I wanted to buy, and nothing that I wanted to do.

When I got home in Dickinson, I checked my e-mail.  There was nothing too important or alarming.  I had an e-mail that my on-line pay check record could be viewed.  I looked at my net pay check, and it was disappointingly low.  Looking at it some more, I saw that my company had shorted me 8.5 hours of overtime pay.

I wrote a letter to the company pay roll person, writing down the hours that I worked each day, and my total hours.  I planned on dropping this letter off on Saturday or Monday.  Also, there was withholding for “New Hire”, which I did not understand.

As I thought about it some more, I realized that the company was going to try to not pay me for drive time, which began to make me angry.  I have to wake up at 2:00 a.m. on Monday, to leave at 3:00 a.m., to drive two hours until 5:00 a.m., which is 6:00 a.m. in that time zone, and then work until 5:00 p.m. in that time zone, which is 6:00 p.m. in Dickinson.  In other words, I start driving at 3:00 a.m., and I don’t get done with work until 15 hours later, that’s right 15 hours later.  On my time sheet, my supervisor writes down 12 hours for Monday, but the accounting women and the owner’s wife, just assume that because it is a two hour drive, they will just go ahead and take two hours off that 12 hours.

I could inconvenience the company owner and his wife by filing a small claims suit or a complaint with the Department of Labor, for the money that I am not being paid, but I would probably lose, because this is North Dakota.  The company owner and his wife have a lot of news stories about them because they are so amazingly successful, benevolent, charitable, and run everything so well.  I am seeing and experiencing the exact opposite.

I have to weigh out what I want to do.  Saying or writing what I would really like to do, would only cause me unnecessary problems and not get me anywhere.  The only smart and rational thing for me to do, would be to find another job.

I looked at North Dakota Job Service, Indeed, and LinkedIn, to try to find another job.  There are very few jobs in Dickinson now, very, very few jobs.

I write about things like this in blog posts, because I am frustrated, but also to write what is actually happening.  If anyone came to Dickinson, they would experience the same thing, and perhaps even worse.  Most people would go to the liquor store or to the bar on a Friday evening like this.  This is why most out of state workers get a DUI in Dickinson.  It sucks here so bad, but you can’t drink, or the police will get you.

When A Blue Collar Worker Becomes A Supervisor In Dickinson, North Dakota

The title of this blog post also could have been “When A Red Neck Becomes A Supervisor In Dickinson, North Dakota. ” There are other words besides “Blue Collar Worker” or “Red Neck”, that could have been used.

I started a new job in Dickinson five weeks ago, and I would not have lasted a day, had it not been for the fact that my co-worker/supervisor was my age, and he was from the South like me.  He has many years of work experience in the oil field, and he has worked with several oil companies in this area.

My co-worker/supervisor wanted and intended that I would drive and operate the crane truck,that I would do the physical work, and that he would do the paperwork.  There is a lot of oil company paper work.   He wanted to sit in the air-conditioning in his crew truck doing paperwork, while I would do the physical work.  This is not normally how a two-man oil field crew would operate, especially if the paperwork does not take all day.

The paper work does not take all day, so my supervisor/co-worker would leave the job site location to go and do other things.  Basically, he would head for home at 2:30 p.m.  Hey, that’s what supervisors do, isn’t it?  Even though my co-worker/supervisor was supposed to be helping me do the actual work, in his mind, since he was in charge, he was a manager, and managers can go home when they want, can’t they?

Because the paperwork does not take all day, and my co-worker/supervisor had assigned himself the paperwork only, my co-worker/supervisor began texting me on most mornings, “Got to take care of some things, go ahead and start without me.”  He wouldn’t arrive on location until about 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m., he would sit in the truck and do paperwork for three to four hours, and then he would leave to go home at 2:30 p.m.

The oil company that we are doing the work for, has all kinds of supervisory oversight on what is going on at their locations, safety supervisors, security & operations supervisors, maintenance supervisors, automation/controls supervisors, production supervisors, and so on.  For the past four weeks, all of the oil company personnel have seen just one person doing the work, and there are supposed to be two of us doing the work.

There are supposed to be two of us, because the oil company is paying for a two-man crew, and it takes two people to do the work, especially for safety reasons.  There is not supposed to be just one person on these remote locations, doing this type of work.

I didn’t complain because I wanted to keep my job, I wanted to get paid, no one was bothering me, and I was being left alone all day to do the work.  I didn’t think it was right for my co-worker/supervisor to show up at 10:00 a.m., stay in his truck the whole time with the air-conditioning on, listening to the radio, snacking and drinking, while doing the paperwork, and then leaving to go home at 2:30 p.m.  On many days at 2:30 p.m., I was just about to the point of heat stroke.

I am sure that all of the different personnel at this oil company have mentioned and discussed that I am there by myself doing the work, that this is not supposed to be like this, not what they paid for, and not safe.  It has been mentioned to my co-worker/supervisor by the oil company manager a couple of times recently that he is supposed to be there with me.

This morning I waited for my co-worker/supervisor to show up at the oil company yard at 7:00 a.m.  I received a garbled text message from my co-worker/supervisor that he had some business to attend to this morning, without giving me any work instructions.  I texted him back that I would go to the truck stop to get fuel in the crane truck.  He knows that I would have to use my own money, he has the company fuel card.  I wanted to act like we were starting work, I didn’t want the oil company to know that my co-worker/supervisor was no where around, and that I didn’t have any work instructions.

I waited at the truck stop after fueling the crane truck, to hear back from my co-worker/supervisor, but I didn’t hear back, and he didn’t answer his phone, it was now 8:00 a.m.  I drove for one hour to the area that I thought we were supposed to be working in, and I sent a text message to my co-worker/supervisor telling him where I was, and asking for the site location name, it was now 9:00 a.m.

At 10:00 a.m., I was trying to decide whether or not to call the oil company to ask them what site I was supposed to be working on.  This would lead to them asking me where my supervisor/co-worker was, which I didn’t want to explain, and they wouldn’t like it.

Shortly after 10:00 a.m., my co-worker/supervisor called, and he was very angry about all of the missed calls he had, blaming me, but I only called him twice.  He was acting like everybody was causing him problems and bothering him.  He told me what site location to meet him at.  It took me about twenty minutes to get to that site location, and I started work.

The oil company manager called me to ask me what was going on.  In order to call me, I believe that the oil company manager probably had to call the company that I work for to get it, which probably involved him explaining why he had to call me, he could not reach my co-worker/supervisor.  The oil company manager told me to have my co-worker/supervisor call him when he arrived at the site location where I was working.

At about 12 noon, my co-worker/supervisor called and asked me if I had found the site location.  I told him that I had found it, and that I had completed the work.  He told me that he would meet me at the next location.  I went to the next site location and I completed that work.  My co-worker/supervisor called me and he wanted me to go back to my previous location to get some information which would allow him to complete the inspection paperwork.

I informed my co-worker/supervisor to not turn in the completed inspection paperwork without having been on that site location, because the oil company manager knows that he has not been on that location.  At this point, my co-worker/supervisor said that he was not going to drive to work, it was too late in the day now.

My co-worker/supervisor was supposed to be working right along with me, all day, every day.  He began to believe that since he was in charge of he work, that makes him a manager, he was the manager of me.  He began to believe that since he was a manager, he could arrive at the work location at 10:00 a.m., and leave to go home at 2:30 p.m., a 4-1/2 hour work day, not leaving the air-conditioning of his truck.  Today, he planned on turning in a time sheet for 12 hours, just like every day, and not even come to work at all.

It would have been easier for me, if my co-worker/supervisor would have sent one text message to me this morning, stating that he would not be coming to work today, and letting me know what work site locations I had to go to.  However, because he knows that he is not really a manager, that he is an hourly oil field worker, that is supposed to be there working with me at each location, that he would have to try to act like he was going to meet me at each location throughout the day, act like he was right there the whole time, to turn in a time sheet for twelve hours today.

Today, it may have come to the point that the oil company that we are performing work for, has had enough.  This will be especially true if my co-worker/supervisor tries to turn in inspection check sheets, when the oil company knows that he was never on those site locations today.  With my co-worker/supervisor having gotten into the habit of 4-1/2 hour work days, the oil company would reasonably believe that they are not getting what they paid for, that they are being short-changed.  This work for the oil company will likely come to a halt soon, over dissatisfaction with work performance, and I will probably be looking for another job.