Monday, June 12, 2006

The good and the bad

We had the opportunity to meet the executives of UMOS today. We learned about the history of the organization and some challenges. Very interesting stuff. It was followed by more training. Today we were joined by support staff, which made our group bigger. In addition, UW-Oshkosh is hosting some summer camps. The campus is flooded with high school kids. We did have the good fortune to find Uncalendars. I got hooked on them at UT-Austin.
Tomorrow, I officially interview for my job after a day of training. It's a formality of sorts, I'm practically in already due to the shortage of workers. In case anybody is interested, the Migrant Head Start program needs bus drivers and other personnel for the schools. If you don't mind relocating, there is work for you outside of Texas. This brings me to a related subject that popped up today.
While we were fighting to stay awake during the training, my wife wrote me a note asking if we could come to Wisconsin again next year. I'm all for it. I checked the weather last night. Back home, the temperature is up at 100 degrees. Yikes! We're cold most of the time up here. Of course, my answer is yes; we can come again next summer.
We then started talking about our choices over the past 11 years of our marriage. We are thinking that it's about time that we let go of our safety zone in the RGV. It's easy to blame the Rio Grande Valley and employers there for not providing a decent living for us. In my moments of frustration, I have begrudged the lack of good opportunities back home. The truth of the matter is, it's our own fault. Whenever unions and other pro-labor groups start bitching about jobs going overseas, they are being whiney-assed like me. There is plenty of work in America. The problem is that the people who complain, like me, don't want to make the effort to learn a new skill or to relocate to where there are good jobs. Of course, Democrats and other vultures are quick to blame big business for being cold and heartless, bordering treasonous. It's easy to find a scapegoat rather than take responsibility for the outcome of your life.
My wife and I have long known the disadvantage of living in the RGV: jobs pay less than their equivalents in other parts of the country. But, we chose to stay. We unrealistically expected good opportunities to come to us rather than us go to them. For a long time I accepted what I could get with the lie that if I could make it in the RGV, I could make it anywhere. I'm so foolish sometimes. I've decided to let go of the RGV crutch and to seek opportunity wherever it is. In the lottery of life, the rule is simple, you have to play to win.
RGV Life Podcast


Anonymous said...

Why are you blaming democrats because you can't find a job in the Valley? Good for you and your family that a fortunate move up north has given you an opportunity to succeed, but it's not the democrats fault you couldn't find a decent job in the Valley. I'll admit that it is both parties' fault for letting good manufacturing jobs leave the country for cheap labor. I guess this is what one can expect from a migrant republican. You know, Shaine, you may have started a new movement for the republicans now just like the logcabin republicans!!

So are you going to change the name of your blog to Oshkosh Life?

Writer said...

Hey anonymous, thanks for reading. I don't blame the Dems for the lack of good jobs in the RGV. I should, because Dems have run things and there is STILL poverty in the RGV. But I choose not to do that because it's not the point.

I believe the point I made was that Dems are quick to blame "big business" and republicans for our companies moving jobs overseas. The overarching point is that people who are laid off can use the opportunity to try something new or move to a place where there is work rather than stay put where there isn't.

Assuming I accept your premise that jobs are being sent overseas where labor is cheap, explain to me why there are illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. to earn low wages. Are there jobs or not? The immigrants are moving where there is work, why can't Americans?

I don't get the logcabin republican reference.

Finally, no. There will be no Oshkosh Life blog from me. Just because I can't find a decent paying job in the RGV doesn't mean that I don't consider it home. I'll be back. There is no place like the Magic Valley.

Writer said...

thanks for reading. I still have not been able to get a hold of a Pabst Blue Ribbon or an All Natural beer. There is a beer not too far from here that is sold at the Indian reservations that I want to try. I hear that a couple of those will get you in good spirits right away.

I won't have time to go around visiting town during training. Perhaps some weekend before I go back to the RGV.

I checked out your blog. I'll add it to my list as soon as I have a better Internet connection.

Anonymous said...


The jobs leaving America are mostly manufacturing jobs done at a much lower wage then acceptable here in our country. Most of those jobs require skills, and if Big Business isn't willing to train, then they'll send those jobs overseas. Immigrants coming across our borders are doing jobs that don't necessarily require too many skills, i.e., landscaping, construction, highway maintenance, busing tables, fry cooks, etc. Aparantly most unemployed Americans don't want to do those jobs, so employers are willing to give them to whoever wants it.

Logcabin republicans are gay republicans. Although the GOP abhors homosexuals, yet they formed a caucus within the party. The same could be applied to migrants who, for some reason, are alligned with republicans rather then with democrats. You could be their leader, Shaine. It's a good opportunity for you to get migrants on your bandwagon of republicanism and form a caucus. Who knows, maybe republicans would be more attentive to migrants, that is if they aren't illegal!!

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