Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Really Great Day

The industry I work in has changed my life because it has provided me with such wonderful employers that have given me the opportunity to learn and grow and take pride in what I do. When I left Arizona, I was devastated to leave my job. Not only because I loved my co-workers, but because it was in that position that I really began to understand who I was as a person and who I wanted to become. I never thought, not in a million years, that I would love this new company so much. Really love doesn't begin to describe it. I could not be more proud to work here and today was a great example of that.

Today the president of the company came to go over some new service protocol. El Paso has never been very profitable for them. They're far away from the other branches and more noteably, they have never had employees who were truly invested in their careers. That's all changed. When I do something, I do it. I love it, I live it, it's me. I am passionate about what I do. It's just office work? No. That's bullshit. This is my life. This company? That's how they feel. They invest millions in training and want nothing more than their employees to change the lives of those they touch. Too big a feat? No way. Changing people's lives is easy. It's about being a postive person, carrying yourself with integrity and taking pride in your work.

Big things are happening in our office and I couldn't be more excited about it. My manager shares my attitude and we both know how much we can grow this branch. I don't know how someone could not be as pumped as us. Because I have been licensed in Arizona since 2007 I am the only person in my office who is qualified to be the CA here. My exam is on March 31st and if I pass it, not only will I get a raise, but I will get some recognition for the last few years of hard work. Maybe that sounds vain, but honestly, a little recognition is nice in the work place, especially when you've earned it.

The down point of the day was picking up lunch at a local barbecue joint in El Paso. The boss wanted BBQ, I ordered BBQ. Simple right? Not so much. The person who took my order was pleasant on the phone, no problems. When I went to pick up the order, a man said, "Are you Emily? Did you order all this food? Come here!" I walked over to the man who then said, "Next time you place an order, try to be a little more considerate and order the day before, not 3 hours before. You see all those people out there eating chicken? No. That's because you ordered all the chicken and it's in your bag." His attitude was seriously so offensive, I was literally about to cry. How in the hell was I supposed to know they only made 2 lbs of chicken at a time? I was slightly shaking, but managed to say, "Don't worry Sir, there won't be a next time." To which he responded, "No, that's not what I meant, I am just trying to nicely tell you that you need to order earlier. It's pretty rude to have all these buffet customers come in without the full menu available." Inside I was screaming a lot of four letter words, but whatever. Then he proceeded to hand me a little plastic tray (like the kind at fast food restaurants) that had everything I had ordered, enough food for about 15 people. Instead of handing it to me he sort of shoved it into my arms, causing the food to come out of it's tinfoil packages and sliiiide down my shirt.


So there I was, with meat fat and barbecue sauce dripping down my shirt at 11:30 am on my way to a meeting with the president of my company. Embarassing? Uh, yeah. I quickly thought about running to Walmart and buying another shirt before I remembered that I don't have any money. No dice. And so I went back to the office, explained what had happened, and that was that. Mr. President even used my stained shirt as an explaination of poor customer service. Nice.

The meeting was amazing. It further solidified my opinions of this company and made even more grateful for everything that has come my way since we moved to Juarez. This is where I am supposed to be. This is where I am going to thrive and become the best version of myself. So even though I smelled like brisket the whole car ride home, I couldn't help but stop to think, "Today was a really great day."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trabajando Por Fin

He. got. a. job.

I could not be more elated. We weren't dying without the money. We don't face the same struggles that many of my friends who are living in the interiors of Mexico face. Yes we only have $1.46 in our bank account right now and are $1400 in debt not including student loans, but all of our bills are paid and we are fed, with a roof over our head. We have been insanely blessed throughout this journey because I was able to find a good job right away. But damn, a man needs to work. They need to feel like they have a purpose. They need to contribute. I don't think I fully understood all the "bringing-home-the-bacon" stuff about men until recently. My husband is far from the traditional Mexican macho but after 5 months in the house he was well on his way to... well I'm not sure where he was going but it was annoying the crap out of me.

Anyway, that's all in the past. He found a job in a near by factory making car seats and harnesses for electric cars. He will make 620 pesos a week working 3:30PM-12:30AM Monday through Friday. With today's conversions that is $51.66 US dollars. Shitty, I know. How do Mexicans live you ask? I haven't figured that out yet. Insert beans and tortillas? Luckily, it's enough for us, and $200 extra each month is welcomed with open arms.

Other than the pay and late hours there are a lot of great things about the job. He is on "contrato" for 2 months. If he does decent work and does not miss a day in that time period he will be on "planta." Being on planta basically means you are less likely to get fired and you have more benefits. He will have government medical insurance, 1 week paid vacation after 1 year, 4 days paid vacation plus 1,000 pesos for a marriage, 1 week paid vacation if we have a child, 4-8 days paid bereavement depending on the location of the funeral and 500 pesos additional each month if he returns to school (including prepa/high school). In addition to all of that a bus picks him up and drops him off for work at the main road of our neighborhood and they feed him 2 meals during his shift.

Yesterday was his second day on the job. All he wants to talk about is the delicious food. He is after all, my husband. He came home after his first interview, which was on Monday, talking about amalats. Hell, I didn't know what he was talking about until last night. Omelets. The cafeteria makes omelets and he can pick whatever he wants to go inside. The man went on and on about cheese and broccoli and ham. Again, he is the man I married. Quite entertaining. I could talk about food for hours.

After his first full shift he came home with so much to talk about. He wishes he was on a different station. The girls that work there seem slutty. Great. He doesn't think the line supervisors were as helpful as he was when he was a line supervisor when he was a teen working at the GM factory in Parral. He feels slow right now but in a few months he'll be working at the speed of lightening like "kashoo-shoo-shoo" (his words not mine.)

Anyway it's so refreshing for him to come home with something to talk about, something to complain about, whatever. I am so excited for my husband. My trabajador is back!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poor Man's Heater

I have invented something. The Rice Sock. Maybe it needs a more schnazzy name?

It it pretty cold here right now. At least to me. Cold enough to snow, cold enough to have ice on your windshield, cold enough to have to wear a scarf and gloves, cold enough to need to turn on the heater. We turned on the heater twice, for maybe a total of 30 minutes each time. It kind of heats the downstairs. As for upstairs? No dice. And of course natural gas is super cara here and that month's bill came in at an astounding 998 pesos. Enteeeer... THE RICE SOCK!

Yes, it's literally a sock full of rice. No confusion there. You heat it up for 2 minutes in the microwave, throw it under the covers, and presto, a warm and toasty night! Yes, your bed may smell like popcorn, and it may scare your pets or children, but your teeth will stop chattering.

Now please don't burst my bubble and tell me this has already been invented. I am aware that this is an under-glorified heating pad. I don't care. IT WAS FREE. I can't find a heating pad for less than $15 US and this, my friends, cost me less than $1 US to make. And it's not going to give me second-degree burns unexpectedly in the night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year!

Yes I'm aware that it's already January 10th but I'm pretty sure we all know now that I'm a slug.

We had a wonderful Christmas, but New Year's was even better! Jello shots and Jenga and nausea and sparklers! Plus, it snowed! Having moved here from Phoenix, this was a big deal to me. Fireworks and snowflakes. What more can a girl ask for? I was all ready to post my video of my ride to the grocery store to buy tequila on New Year's Eve Eve but it's taking way too damn long to load.

Long story short, it snowed, I got tequila, all's well that ends well. Oh wait, it looked a little like this, but in motion:

As much as I complain about the gas bill, I really am loving this colder weather. Yes I know it's no Minnesota winter, but it's definitely not the Valley of the Sun that we came from. It's nice to be able to accesorize with scarves. Can you say one size fits all?