Of all the people who write about Dickinson, North Dakota and all the websites that provide information about Dickinson, what I write is probably the most negative. Why I come across as so negative, is because I want to tell the truth that is not being reported, and I don’t want people to get into trouble.
What the people in Dickinson don’t know, understand, or care about, and what other websites don’t care about, is that most of the people who are considering coming to North Dakota and working in the oil field, are poor, broke, down-on-their-luck people who are not doing very well in life where they are currently living.
Most people would prefer to stay where their family and friends are, where they grew up, surrounded by the people and places that they know. When people’s lives become too difficult or impossible to continue on as they are, that’s when people make the decision to try to move someplace else. In other words, when people’s lives are good, they don’t decide to get up and move to someplace that they have never been and know nothing about.
I think that it is cruel, inhumane, immoral, and unethical to lure people to Dickinson, North Dakota with false, misleading information and a misrepresentation about what working in the oil field is like. This luring people here is done to keep real estate prices high, to sell real estate, to rent properties, to bring in customers for businesses, and to have a big enough labor pool to keep wages low.
The people who think that they want to come here, the people whose lives are not going very well where they are, here are some reasons for this: Economic crash in the community where they live, unable to earn enough money in the community where they live, unable to get a job, low education level, no job skills, criminal record, mental illness, health problems, behavior problems, addiction, low intelligence, or a combination several of these factors.
These people need help, not being tricked, not being taken advantage of. I am not saying that I like these people, I don’t like them. But it is cruel, inhumane, unethical, and immoral to lure, trick, mislead, and take advantage of these people.
So, here are some of the things that I need to warn these people about Dickinson:
- The real estate prices and rents here are still high.
- The real estate prices here are artificially high, buying a home here now you will experience your home losing its value and possibly being unable to sell it.
- There is no homeless shelter.
- If you do not have work experience in the oil field, or a skilled trade such as welder, mechanic, electrician, Class A CDL, or construction, you will likely not get a high paying job, or have an easy time finding employment.
- If you have little or no work experience, no job skills, or a criminal record, you may only be able to find low-paid employment in service industries such as fast food.
- If you are mentally ill, have health problems, behavior problems, or are an addict, you may not be able to find any employment at all.
- The Police in Dickinson try as hard as they can to stop motorists for any reason they can, in order to write enough tickets to cause people to lose their driver’s license and subsequently be arrested repeatedly.
- You can not go out to bars or restaurants and have even a few alcohol drinks because you will by stopped by the Police for DUI and have your license suspended.
- There is very little to do and nowhere to go in Dickinson. You will be stopped by the Police on your way home from Walmart.
- The ratio of men to women is 3:1. There are very few attractive women in Dickinson. There are no strip bars in Dickinson.
- Prostitution is not allowed in Dickinson. If you respond to a fake advertisement for a prostitute in Dickinson placed by the Police, the Police will later make up the fact that the fake prostitute was under 18, so that you can be sentenced to 20 years in prison for commercial sex trafficking a minor.
- If you take your vehicle to a car dealer in Dickinson, the dealership may “go to town” on trying to perform costly repairs that aren’t needed.
- The local people in Dickinson will treat you like a migrant worker because you are not from Dickinson.
- The local people in Dickinson will try to undermine you and sabotage you at work, by not giving you information that you need, not cooperating, giving you misinformation, blaming you for their mistakes, and mis-reporting on your work performance.
- There is a lack of competent, professional medical care in Dickinson. Watch out, they will put you on the $40,000 bankruptcy helicopter ride to Bismarck from the Dickinson hospital when they don’t have adequate medical staff.
Warnings to people about working in the oil field in North Dakota:
- Contrary to the rumors, most oil field jobs do not pay anywhere near $100K per year.
- The oil field jobs that do pay close to $100K per year, this pay is achieved by working more than 80 hours per week, for weeks at time, at hard physical work with no rest. Most people are not mentally and physically strong enough to work hard labor for twelve hours per day, every day, for weeks straight, outside in below freezing weather.
- The very few entry-level job openings to work directly on a drill rig, (less than 0.5% of oil field job openings, 1 in 200), these job openings will go to young, very healthy, strong men aged 19-28 who show signs of being able to handle the mental and physical stress. Most people are excluded, because they can not perform this job.
- The large international oil companies and international oil field service companies, such as Marathon, Haliburton, BJ/Baker Hughes, and Schlumberger seek to hire people with no criminal record, reputable prior oil field work experience, prior military service, or an engineering degree. They are careful, selective, and they don’t just hire walk-ins off the street.
- For people who have prior work experience in construction, as a mechanic, welder, electrician, equipment operator, CDL truck driver, who are able-bodied and show an eagerness to work, they can usually find employment with a smaller local or regional oil field service company.
- The smaller local or regional oil field service companies may seem incompetent, ignorant, mismanaged, inefficient, backwards, dangerous, and unsafe with the wrong people, unqualified people, uneducated people, alcoholics and drug addicts in positions that they shouldn’t be in….welcome to the oil field and North Dakota!
- Working in the oil field, you may find that you are being endangered at work by unsafe equipment, procedures, and people, people who have got something mentally wrong with them and are under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
- Working in the oil field, you will have to watch out for co-workers intentionally trying to get you hurt, cause an accident, or interfere with your work. Work interference can include the removal of tools and parts necessary for a job, or sabotage of equipment needed for a job.
- For those people with very little job experience doing anything, starting out at a construction company and working various construction labor tasks for a year would be enough work experience to gain employment at a small local or regional oil field service company: Relevant construction tasks such as carrying material, loading material and equipment on trailers, tying down material and equipment, hooking up trailers to trucks, driving trucks with trailers, using hand tools, using power tools, digging trenches, using job site equipment, operating heavy equipment, measuring and performing layout, erecting forms and scaffolds, assembly and installation.
- For people with health problems, mental illness, or behavior problems, you might not ever be employable in the oil field.