Tag Archives: working in Dickinson North Dakota

Some Of The Flaws With Companies In Dickinson, North Dakota

I won’t be able to cover everything that is wrong with companies in Dickinson, North Dakota, but I want to point out some of the things that are wrong.  I hope that this will give company owners and managers in Dickinson some things to consider.  I hope that this will give people who are planning on moving to Dickinson some things to watch out for and be aware of.

The company that I recently worked for in Dickinson, starts most new-hires out as laborers, whether they are equipment operators or not.  They want to see if the new-hire can do physical work, if they can follow instructions, if they can get along with others, if they have sound judgment, if they are normal, and….so that they have enough laborers in order to complete the work.  This is not a bad idea, it works O.K., except some experienced equipment operators would quit before long, after getting tired of being a laborer.

When the opportunity arises at this company, a laborer can sometimes get in a piece of equipment and run it, in order to demonstrate his operating ability, and increase his chances of getting to be an operator in the future.  This is O.K. too.

When the need arises for a foreman at this company, they pick one of the equipment operators to be a foreman.  They do this because they believe that the equipment operator has enough knowledge and job experience to know what is going on, what needs to be done, and how to complete the work.  This is a problem if the equipment operator who is chosen to be a foreman is a bad person and unfit to be a manager.

Stop and think about this, why would you think that a person with no education, no management training, no management experience, who is not a very good person, would be a good manager?  This happens all the time in Dickinson, and none of the company owners or company managers ever spot this as being one of the biggest flaws in their company.

I will try to point out and explain why promoting equipment operators to foremen, and foremen who used to be equipment operators to superintendent, can be a very bad idea that hurts both the company and the other employees.

A company owner, or a company manager, often seek to hire the most competent and skilled employees.  As far as the company owner or the company manager are concerned, the more qualified, experienced, and skilled an applicant is, the better, they would be an asset to the company, with potential to move up.

To an equipment operator who was promoted to foreman, or to a foreman who used to be an equipment operator who was promoted to superintendent, a competent, skilled, qualified, experienced new-hire is not an asset, it is a threat to them.

An equipment operator without any education, without any management training, without any management experience, looks at someone who is a better equipment operator than them, a more experienced equipment operator than them, a more qualified equipment operator than them, a physically stronger person than them, a more intelligent person than them, a faster learner than them, a more likable person than them, as a threat to them.

A person with training in management, a person with higher education, a person with more broad management experience, a highly intelligent person, or a good natured person, would recognize a skilled, experienced, qualified new-hire, as an employee with potential, someone who could help complete the work, take more responsibility, be in charge of portions of the work, a person to depend on, a good example for other workers.  A good manager would utilize a new-hire in the most effective way to get work done.  A good manager would just use a skilled, experienced, qualified, talented, intelligent worker as a tool or resource to get work done, not look at them as a threat.

Perhaps the biggest problem with companies in Dickinson, is that they promote a person to manager, who is unfit to be a manager.  Yes, a person who has been with the company for a while, who has performed many aspects of the work, does probably know how to complete the work.  But many of the workers in Dickinson who have been promoted to manager, do not like workers who are more experienced, more qualified, more knowledgeable, more intelligent, a faster learner, quicker, stronger, or more likable than them.  They see them as a threat.

A good manager would look at a talented employee, and think, “Good, finally, thank God, now we can get work done, now I don’t have to watch someone all the time, this will make less work for me.”  However, the workers that get promoted to manager in Dickinson think, “I have got to get rid of this person, I have got to make this person leave, I have got to try to find a way to make them leave, I have got to get other people to help me make them leave, …or they will take my job.”

At this company that I recently worked for in Dickinson, there was a young man who was much quicker than any of the other workers, he had much more energy than any of the other workers, he was more intelligent than any of the other workers, he remembered how to do things more than the other workers, he was always coming up with ways how to complete the work quicker, and he was an equipment operator.  I didn’t like him at first, until I worked with him some, and then I had to hand it to him, he was quicker, faster, better, more intelligent, and more knowledgeable in the work that we were doing.

He was not treated very well by the foreman.  The foreman appeared to resent him, and not want him around.  This young man told me that the foreman had done a few things to try to get rid of him.  This foreman’s life would have been so much easier, if he would have given this young man a written list of work projects in the morning, told him to take the people that he needed, that he was responsible for getting it done, and to go do it.  More work would have been completed, and probably completed better, with less work required from the foreman.  Instead, the foreman didn’t utilize this young man like he could have, and tried to make him not want to work at this company.


Warning To Mexicans About Speaking Spanish At Work

I recently worked for a construction/oil field service company in Dickinson, North Dakota.  There were a group of new-hires that started at about the same time.  This company usually starts everyone out as a laborer, whether they are an equipment operator or not.  They want to see if all employees are capable of doing physical work, if they are normal, if they can follow instructions, and if they can get along with everyone, before they put them in an operator position or a position of more responsibility.

The make up of the laborers was approximately 30% White, 30% Native American, and 30% Hispanic.  Two of the new-hire Mexicans were above average in just about every way: they worked harder, they worked faster, they had more common sense, they had good judgement, they had a lot of work experience, and they were good equipment operators.  One of the new-hires, Jose, could have or should have been a foreman before long, except for one thing, he kept speaking Spanish, and he didn’t know how much this was hurting him.  I will try to explain very clearly why speaking Spanish at work is a very bad idea, and how it hurts Mexicans.

When I was riding in the crew truck with two Mexicans, they would begin conversing in Spanish about personal and family things, and this would continue on to include talking about workers, about work, and about work plans.  As far as the discussion about work and work plans, I needed to be able to understand what they were talking about so that I knew what was going on, and they knew what was going on, because work instructions from the foreman and the superintendent changed about every fifteen minutes.

For instance, if they were discussing going and picking up a trailer, I would need to know this to be able to tell them, “No, don’t try to get that trailer, the trailer jack on that trailer is broken, go to the other yard” or “You will have to turn around and get the ball hitch back, they took the ball hitch off this truck and put it on another truck.”  If they were talking about removing erosion control straw bails, I might need to know this to be able to say, “We don’t have a sledge hammer in this truck to break the stakes, we need to get one off of the other truck before we leave.”

But what hurt the Mexican new-hires even more was this.  The foreman of the equipment operators had met a young man who was about 28 years old, who had received trades school training on operating equipment such as dozers, backhoes, skid steers, and excavators.  He had work experience operating equipment, and his father was a life-long equipment operator.  The foreman of the equipment operators liked everything about this young man, and told him to apply with the company.  He started out with the other new-hires, working as a laborer for two weeks, but then the equipment operator foreman intervened, and began putting him on equipment, because this it what they had planned for him all along.

When this young man was riding in the crew truck with two Mexicans, they talked on and on in Spanish, and he did not understand what they were talking about, and when they turned and looked at him and started laughing.  He did not like this, and he was sick and tired of the Mexicans talking in Spanish like this.

I did not like it, the new-hire who has now moved up to the next level and will be a foreman eventually did not like it, the equipment operators do not like it, and the foremen do not like it.  Just about everyone on the job site who is not Mexican, does not like it when the Mexicans go on and on speaking in Spanish, so they are certainly not going to be promoted, because no one likes this when they can’t understand what they are talking about.

In order to be able to complete the work without mistakes, and without re-work required, everyone needs to pay attention, and clearly let everyone else know what is going on:  Do not dig there, there is a fiber optic cable there;  Do not drive on that land, the land owner has already complained;  No one drive on the embankment, it is too wet and you will rut it;  Do not park there today, the scraper has to remove most of the dirt there today.  There are all kinds of things that people need to know throughout the day, and this communication doesn’t happen when the Mexicans keep speaking Spanish.  This is one of the reasons why the Mexicans are not promoted to equipment operator, or foreman, because they keep reverting back to speaking Spanish, and not everyone can understand Spanish.

Expect To Not Be Paid By Local Employers In Dickinson, North Dakota

One of the purposes of this blog website, is to inform people from out of state what living in Dickinson, North Dakota is like.  One of the most important things that I can tell people who are planning on moving to Dickinson, North Dakota, is to be prepared for local companies in Dickinson to not pay wages that are owed.

I am 48 years old, and I have worked in Florida, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and North Dakota.  The only time that I have not been paid wages owed, is here in Dickinson, North Dakota.

I have already written a couple of blog posts about my previous employer in Dickinson, a local oil field service company with about seventy employees, that had failed to pay me for all the hours that I had worked, which amounted to approximately $630 in unpaid wages owed by the time that I received my third pay check.  I had to contact the North Dakota Department of Labor, and then go and get the Small Claims Court paper work at the Court House to file a civil suit against this employer before they agreed to pay me the wages that I was owed.

The Bismarck Tribune newspaper wrote an article approximately one year ago, stating that the Department of Labor in North Dakota has been overwhelmed with non-payment of wages cases, mostly from Western North Dakota.  This is why I realized that the Small Claims Court would be a quicker, surer way to get the money that I was owed.

Now, for my most recent employer, another local Dickinson company with about seventy employees, the person that hired me told me that I would be paid $20 per hour.  There was no negotiating or discussion, this is what I was offered, and this is what I accepted.  I was told that I would be working every day, for twelve hours per day, for approximately the next month.  This worked out to about $2,000 per week, and $8,000 per month.

The work was very hard physical labor.  I have had above average strength and stamina for most of my life, but I am 48 years old now, and I am not as physically strong as I used to be.  I did not know if I could hand dig, pound stakes with a sledge hammer, lift, and carry heavy things all day long, for twelve hours a day, day after day after day.  It was very difficult for me, but I did it, I wanted the $2,000 per week.

I received two other job offers shortly after accepting this job, but I politely declined both of these job offers, explaining that I had already accepted another job, and was sticking with it because it paid $2,000 per week, otherwise I would have liked to have worked for their company.

After working for sixteen days straight, I received my first pay check direct deposited to my checking account on this past Friday.  The check was for much less money than it should have been.  One of the reasons why it was less than it should have been, was because I was being paid at $18 per hour, not $20 per hour as I was offered and accepted when I was hired.

I was very, very angry about this, in part, because I was not paid wages owed by my previous local employer here in Dickinson, I had to threaten to take them to court to get all of my unpaid wages, and now this same thing is happening to me again.  I was angry because it was very hard physical labor for twelve hours each day, and I was expecting to be paid $2,000 per week.  I was angry because I had declined two job offers from other companies because I was expecting to be paid $2,000 per week at this company.

I do not yet know who/how/why I was not paid what I was told, what I accepted, and what I agreed to.  I considered not going to work Saturday morning, this morning, because I was so angry.  But I thought that perhaps it was a simple mistake, that the company would be willing to resolve.

I went to work this Saturday morning.  By 12 noon, approximately four of the ten workers present, left for the remainder of the day, with various excuses, whether they were legitimate reasons or not.  I was still so angry about not being paid what I was owed, that I thought that perhaps the best thing for me to do, would be to say that I was sick, and to go home for the remainder of the day, lest I lose my temper at someone, or over something.

At approximately 1:00 p.m., a foreman named Mike, who was not my foreman, who I had never met, and who I had never worked for, drove by my work truck and called me out on the radio, “Why are you sitting in your truck?!”  I replied, “I just got in my truck to move it forward, my foreman is on the loader behind me, watching me and what I am doing, are you my foreman, or is Jeremy?”  Mike replied, “We are all your foreman.”  My foreman who was one hundred feet behind me on the loader, and the superintendent remained silent, and didn’t object.

I could tell from foreman Mike’s demeanor, that he was going to try to assert some kind of master-slave work conditions on me for the remainder of the day.  I had worked for the past sixteen days straight, without complaint, mistake, mishap, or problems with my co-workers, foreman, and superintendent.  I tried to get along with these twelve people, to do what they wanted, to work in agreement, to work in cooperation, to keep up with them, to do as much or more of the work, and to help them in their work.  My co-workers, my foreman, and the superintendent were with me throughout the day, every day.  If anything needed to be done, I took direction from my co-workers, my foreman, and the superintendent.  I did not need, and it was not a good idea, for someone outside of this work group, who did not know me or anything about me, who was not aware of what I had been instructed to do, to drive by or drive up and get on me about my work.

I couldn’t believe, and I didn’t like, that I was not being paid what I had been told, and that my foreman and the superintendent were not sticking up for me when another foreman was trying to get on me about my work.  I told my co-worker that I was quitting, to get in the truck, I will drive back to the yard and that he could take the truck.  I told my foreman that I was quitting because I was not being paid what I was told, and that I didn’t like being fucked with by someone who doesn’t know me, who I have never met, and who I have never worked for.  I drove to the yard, and I told the superintendent the same thing.

Neither my foreman or the superintendent cared very much.  They could not care less.  This was not much of a surprise to me.  Nor will it be much of a surprise to me when the person who hired me, fails to acknowledge that he told me that I would be paid $20 per hour.  This is why I will file a Small Claims civil court case against the owner of the company for the wages that I am owed.

When I file a Small Claims civil court case against the owner of the company personally for wages that I am owed, there will be a permanent record of the case for everyone to see and look up.  The owner of the company will be served the court papers at his company office by a Sheriff Deputy, and his reaction will be, “What the fuck is this shit?!”  Then, the “I could not care less” attitude will stop, and be replaced with “I wish that I would not have done that.”

The owner of the company can appear personally on the court date and defend himself against my claim for unpaid wages, and hear what happened to me, which is fine with me.  Or, the owner of the company can hire an attorney to represent him in court, which will cost him at least $750 in attorney’s fees, plus the unpaid wages that I am owed, which is fine with me.  Or, the owner of the company can not show up in court, not be represented by an attorney, and I will be awarded a default judgement for the unpaid wages that I am owed, which is fine with me.  In all three scenarios, there will be a record of the judgment against this employer for everyone to see and look up.

If you come to Dickinson, North Dakota, I advise you to be aware that the local companies here in Dickinson will attempt to not pay you the wages that you are owed.  I recommend that before you accept a job with a local company here in Dickinson, that you look up the owner of the company on the North Dakota Court Record Repository, “NDCourts” to see what kind of person they are.  I also recommend contacting the North Dakota Department of Labor to ask how many complaints the employer has for nonpayment of wages.

In A Way, I Finally Got The Job That I Always Wanted In Dickinson, North Dakota

When I first came to Dickinson in 2011, I was looking for a very high paying job in the oil field that would allow me to quickly build up money in savings, pay down my credit cards, pay my biggest recurring bills like property tax and homeowners insurance, and return to my home in Idaho by Christmas.  It didn’t really work out that way.

I did return home to Idaho just before Christmas, but with less money in the bank than when I arrived in Dickinson in May, and with a very injured back.  Working for a construction company in Dickinson, I had repeatedly lifted things that were too heavy for one person, and I kept doing it day after day, while my back got worse and worse.  This was the first time that my back did not recover, and I had not known that it wouldn’t.

By December I could hardly stand and walk.  I quit my job and returned to Idaho.  The first chiropractor that I went to in Idaho was young and he did not know what he was doing.  After about five or six chiropractor visits, he could not even diagnose what was wrong with my back.  If I had had health insurance, I would have probably been assessed by doctors as needing back surgery and hip replacement.  Thank God I didn’t have health insurance.

The second chiropractor that I went to was the oldest in town, and he immediately knew what was wrong with my back, it was called “antalgia”, which means “leaning to one side”.  If you have an injured area on a vertebrae or disk, you will lean away from the injured area to prevent the intense pain or nerve pinching.  After about six, one hour chiropractor visits, my back was much better.

Over the following year, at first I could only walk about one block with a lot of pain and effort.  I kept trying to walk further and further each day.  Within a few months I could walk 1/2 a mile.  I did back and stomach exercises every day.

What had been the cause of my problems, was that my arms, shoulders, chest, and legs were very strong from going to the gym for many years, which allowed me to lift and carry very heavy things all day long at work, but my back muscles and my stomach muscles were not nearly as strong, this was my weak point in my body, and my back became inured.

It took me over one year to recover to 90%.  In early 2013, I was talking to a woman who had broken her back, and she told me that what had helped her to recover was the supplement glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine with chondroitin.  She told me that if I took this supplement, I would notice a difference in one week.  I did, I did notice a difference in one week.  Taking this particular supplement during the following several months helped me to recover to 100%.

In the Spring of 2013, I returned to Dickinson, and I got a job as a foreman for an underground utility construction company.  This job required a lot of physical labor and digging for about 10 hours each day, Monday through Friday.  I did this job, and I did not have any back problems, to my surprise.

During the past four years in Dickinson, I have had several other jobs, some of them I have written about on this blog website.  Some of these jobs have paid well, for a while.  A couple of weeks ago, I was offered an oil field/construction job in Dickinson, working 12 hours per day, every day.  I don’t mean 12 hours per day, every day, for one week or two weeks, I mean every day, with no days off.

This job that I was offered that involved working every day for 12 hours per day, paid $2,000 per week, every week, so I took it.  As I was told, and as it turned out to be, it was hard physical labor from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  We worked in the rain and snow last week, (Yes, it snowed for quite a while through the morning one day last week), and then we were soaking wet and cold for the next 8 hours of work.

This is about as hard physical labor as I have done in my life, it doesn’t get much harder than this in construction.  Most of the crew workers are twenty years younger than me.  Anyone who slacks off, it is noticed immediately, and complained about immediately.  Unless you want to be let go soon, you don’t stop working, sit down, or take a break.

Everyone tries to keep up and keep going, but some can’t on some days.  Two of the new hire workers who are in their late twenties, who are experienced oil field/construction workers, complained to the foreman about two of the older workers who were not working as fast, who were tired out.  Yes, the two older workers were tired out after 8 hours, but they have been working for this company for several years, and they do make it through the whole 12 hour work day, and come back the next day.  Soon, one of the complaining twenty-year-olds was having back problems.

About 70% of the workers are having back problems of some kind.  Myself, and my co-workers, recognize in everyone who is working, in what they are doing and how they are doing it, and in what they try to get out of doing, what kind of injury or physical problem they are dealing with or trying to hide.  Sometimes we can see that someone is out of breath, light headed, dehydrated, sick, weak, worn out, tired out, or inured.  If the sick, worn out, or injured person finds something they can do, and keeps working, complaining from co-workers is minimal.  If someone frequently stops working, or is not doing enough, everyone turns against that person and complains about them to the foreman.

Having to physically compete every minute of a 12 hour work day, every day of the week, with experienced oil field/construction workers who are 20 years younger than me, is a ridiculous position for me to be in, considering that I have already been a foreman, superintendent, project manager, engineer, manager, and business owner, but people and employers in North Dakota don’t give a shit, and they could not care less.  I think about this some, but mostly I just want to make it through each day and make this money for as long as I possibly can.

An Unethical And Underhanded Business Decision In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have been working for a locally owned company in Dickinson, North Dakota for a little over three years.  Sometimes this company is busy, and sometimes it is slow.  About two years ago, I was promoted to manager of this company.

Myself and some of my coworkers, have had second jobs, and third jobs, outside of working for this company.  The owner of the company that I work for, and my co-workers are generally calm and mild-mannered.  None of us want to quit working for this company, because each of us are left to do our job with very little interference, each of us is treated pretty fairly, and we are fair with each other.

Last week, myself, a co-worker with two years experience, and co-worker with five years experience were scheduled to perform work for a new customer in Dickinson.  There was another long time customer that requested work last week, that one of us three experienced workers could have done, and allowed a new hire to be the third person on the other job for the new customer.  The owner of our company said to me, “No, this is important, and I want the three of you to go.  Tell the other customer that we don’t have anyone available.”

Myself, and my two co-workers, had to put aside whatever personal and work activities that we had planned, in order to go perform work for this new customer.  When we arrived at this business location, I introduced ourselves, and I asked to speak to the manager.  After about three or four minutes, the manager walked up, she was a lady who myself and my co-workers knew from other work that we had done.

The manager said, “I never got a contract back, we never signed a contract, we don’t need you.”  I was very taken aback by this, but I didn’t react in proportion to how I felt.  I said, “Oh, O.K.”  I realized that it probably was true that someone didn’t sign a contract or get a contract back.  I realized that in the lobby of this business was not the place to have an argument at this moment, especially since I didn’t know about the contract not being signed or returned.

I apologized to my co-workers, and I told them that I would telephone the owner of our company to explain what was happening.  I tried repeatedly to telephone and text the owner of our company, but I could not get in contact with him.  After about half an hour, I told my co-workers to go ahead and forget about doing this work for today.

I was very angry about what had happened.  Ever since I was about 26 years old, I had been responsible for scheduling contractors, equipment, and material.  I always tried to be very clear with all contractors and suppliers about what was needed, when it was needed, and if there were any changes or anything else that they needed to know.  It would not do me any good, my company any good, or anyone else any good, to allow a mistake to happen.  In fact, making a few costly mistakes would have resulted in me losing my job.

This lady manager, who I am tempted to refer to as “this fat bitch” for the remainder of my story, could have sent one text message, one e-mail, or made one phone call to the owner of my company a month ago, a week ago, or one day ago, stating, “We don’t need you after all, sorry.”  However, the way she chose to handle this, was to not inform the owner of our company that anything was wrong or that they didn’t need us, and to allow us to put this work on our schedule, to decline other work, and to show up with three people to perform this work.  She seemed kind of pleased with herself, and snarky when she said, “We never got a contract back, we never signed a contract, we don’t need you.”

The owner of our company has had this business in Dickinson for twenty years.  The overall manager of the business that we were going to perform work for, has been the manager there for twenty-eight years, and she has known the owner of our company for that long.  The corporate sales manager who did this underhanded thing, has been at this business for less than two years.  I don’t know why or how this lady felt that handling this the way that she did helped her or benefited her in any way.  I would expect that she will have negative consequences from this, though I don’t think she ever thought of this, or she would not have done it.

Though this kind of thing can happen, especially when one or both parties is trying to be sneaky, treacherous, or underhanded, it had never happened at this company that I work for in Dickinson, or with any other project, contractor, or supplier that I have dealt with.  However, now that I think about it, about half the time women do do things like this.

Background Check On Employers In Dickinson, North Dakota

You read that correctly, Background Check On Employers In Dickinson, North Dakota.  I recommend to everyone, that if you are going to apply to work at a company in Dickinson, North Dakota, you perform a background check on your employer.

There is a fairly large company in Dickinson, where I applied to work once in approximately 2014.  Though I was well qualified, or perhaps over qualified for the position that I applied for, I did not hear anything from this company after I applied.

Employers anywhere, have their own personal beliefs and preferences for who they would like to hire.  Some employers want employees who stay at the same job for many years, other employers want employees who show ambition.  Some want employees who are family men, who don’t drink, don’t get into trouble, and have no criminal record.  Other employers want men who are risk takers, rough, not afraid of getting hurt, or putting others at risk.

In Dickinson, employers seem to favor local people, and North Dakotans, over people from out of state.  This is probably a combination of a feeling of obligation or loyalty to local people, comfort in dealing with people from a similar background, discomfort in dealing with people from a different background, and people from elsewhere having different beliefs, values, and ethics.

I have had the experience in Dickinson, where my life experiences, work experiences, education, beliefs, values, and ethics, were so different from my employer’s, that I had problems.  As an example, a company that I recently worked for in Dickinson, had the practice of not paying employees for the hours that they worked.  The owner and his wife, would look at employees’ time sheets, and pay them for less hours than they worked, based on their opinion of how much work was completed.

When I sought to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, I found out that there were four previous complaints against this company for failure to pay employees wages that they were owed.  I found out from local people in Dickinson, that this practice used to be fairly common in Dickinson.  I also found out that this company owner owed a lot more than four employees money, after looking him up on the North Dakota record of active and completed court cases, NDcourts.

The company in Dickinson that I had applied to in 2014, and never heard back, I saw that they had another job advertisement for an engineer in August, so I applied again.  I didn’t expect to hear back from this company, because I don’t think that they liked me or my resume.  And again, I didn’t hear back from them.  I wondered what it was about me, that would make me so unacceptable to this company.  I have a good education, a great deal of work experience, and a completely clean background, what is wrong with me as an applicant?

I decided to look up the company owner to see what kind of person, HE is, since he is judging me, and I am not suitable for his company.  One of the court cases that he was involved in, involved a dispute over child support payments.  At about the time he was starting his company in Dickinson when he was in his early twenties, he became married.  He and his wife had three children.  By the time he was in his early thirties, he became divorced.

His company was organized as a corporation.  As his company was doing well, he paid himself a salary of $60,000 per year.  The extra money that his company made, was held as retained earnings.  Though the retained earnings grew to $700,000, he continued to pay himself a salary of $60,000 per year.  The child support that he paid, was based on his salary of $60,000 per year.

His ex-wife, and his ex-wife’s attorney, tried to explain to the court, that the child support that he was paying, was based on his $60,000 per year salary, but look at how much money his company was making, this isn’t right.  I believe that the court in North Dakota decided that there was no law saying that the company owner had to pay himself more money, or receive more of the retained earnings of his corporation.  So, his child support payments remained the same.

Ha, ha.  He outsmarted the courts, his ex-wife, and his ex-wife’s attorney, in not having to pay more money in support for his children.  It’s hamburger helper, macaroni cheese, and Wal-Mart for them.

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.”