Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm not leaving

I got an anonymous comment on yesterday's post. I re-read the post and towards the end it sounds like I'm not going back to the RGV. I'm sure that anonymous will be disappointed, but I will be returning home to Mission, Texas. This is just a seasonal job. I expect to be going home by October. As much as I like Wisconsin, the area where I'm going is only an hour away from St. Paul, one of the coldest spots in America during the winter. There is a damn good reason why we have Winter Texans in the Rio Grande Valley every year. If you look in my 43 Things list, you'll see that freezing my ______ off is not listed. Besides, the valley is my home.
I haven't interviewed anybody, today. My mind was mostly on my job interview. I wound up having two interviews for jobs I had not considered. They are short-staffed in bus drivers, so I volunteered to get my Class B license so that I can drive the bus. This would be on top of my duties as a teacher, should I get the job. The funny thing is that I intended to interview for the teacher assistant position, but it was suggested I apply for the teaching position instead. So, I wound up having two interviews and could potentially end up having double duty, which is alright by me. I'll find out if I got the job or jobs tomorrow. I hope I do for the free weekends.
I want to point out a couple differences between the RGV and Oshkosh. There are tons of apartments leasing for $250 to $350 per month currently because all the students at UWOSH have left for the summer. Wal-Mart has a sign out on a table that says "Now Hiring", possibly for the same reason. If you're a young person trying to get into Wal-Mart back in the RGV, good luck. They have hundreds of applicants every week. It would be easier to apply and get hired outside the RGV and then transfer back home if you are interested in returning to the valley. You can come here or go to some other town or state up north. I'm not trying to get people to move to Oshkosh. Rather, I would like to persuade you, in case you are struggling in the RGV, to let go of your fear of leaving the comfort of the Magic Valley.
I guess I've learned the hard way that one must be willing to relocate. It doesn't have to be forever, just long enough for you to save some money and gain experience that would be denied to you in a flooded labor market. Go where there is work. Where there is more work than employees, there is opportunity to advance. Take advantage of the opportunities so that when you go back to the RGV, you have a good work history and a minimum pay requirement that is more than minimum. There are even companies that pay well and there is "no experience required, will train".
Mexican and Tejano culture is my culture too. I realize that suggesting to people in the RGV to leave their families and familiar surroundings behind to seek better opportunities and experiences is a lot to ask. Look at it this way. If you gave it your best outside the RGV and you are no better off than you were back home, you lost nothing and have at least gained the experience of living outside the RGV. If, on the other hand, do well for yourself, you will have raised the bar for the minimum level of pay you will accept. If geography doesn't constrain you, opportunities abound.
RGV Life Podcast

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