The job that I wanted in DC isn’t right for me because they won’t take 15 years of experience over a Bachelor’s degree, but that’s ok. I have found plenty of tech jobs where that’s not a problem. No one in my department at Alert Logic had finished college, but they can administer servers, program anything, etc. They started on the job in college just like I did, and made more money than we thought could be made and fuck college, that’s how. I do not want to tell you why I left college, because it’s a long, tragic story that will take me 15 years to finish. I have other things to work on, mostly a resume that showcases exactly what I’ve done to say that I have this much experience with computers.
My background is academic technology, and if a job came open at a university, I’d go. It’s the best place to be the most well-rounded at work. The computer support is basic, and the benefits of working for a school are obvious. Like, hashtag obvious. More days off than everyone else, more benefits than you can use, etc. It was stupid to follow Kathleen to DC because I could have stayed at University of Houston until I retired. However, following her to DC was a choice I needed to make because it was the first time that I was living on my own with no parental involvement at all. I wandered around the city, even the bad neighborhoods that I was told to explicitly ignore because more than one person said I wouldn’t come back. They were wrong. I have met more friendly people in Anacostia than I ever did in Alexandria. Because here’s where the rubber meets the road- poor people need each other more than everyone else. We survive by banding together, and in DC, that never meant anything racist. Girl, we are all poor together.
So today I went to the shittiest apartment complex I’d ever seen and walked around in amazement. There were construction workers all over the place in beautify mode. I am interested in apartments where they keep the grounds looking nice, and there’s a pool and a playground on the “campus.” Everyone speaks Spanish, but that wasn’t a thing. I went up to a stranger and said, “Donde esta la offcina?” (Where is the office?) He told me and I walked totally in the opposite direction. I went back and said, “Lo siento, mi espanol is muy mal. Repite por favor, y habla despacio.” (I’m sorry, my Spanish is very bad. Could you repeat it and speak slowly?”) They were so kind to me in my broken Spanish that a man dressed as a vaquero walked me there himself. We chatted and he said, “It’s ok, my English isn’t very good, either.” I want to move into this complex, if for no other reason than in a year I’ll be fluent. My Spanish IS bad right now, but I had two years in high school and multiple mission trips to Reynosa. I am EXCELLENT at speaking Spanish when I am dropped into immersion mode. In order to speak Spanish well, you have to be able to think and dream in Spanish, too. That happens in immersion mode. When you don’t have the choice BUT to speak Spanish, it’s amazing how quickly you adapt.
Plus, who doesn’t want to live with Mexicans? Seriously. Why the hell would you want to live in a community where no one knows how to fix things themselves? The minute your car breaks down, you’ve got three Tios and two Primos with the hood up, telling you what’s wrong and all the aftermarket stuff I can add (whoa there, cabron…. you know it’s true…). The Mexican people as a whole just make me happy, and I want to say it out loud. Of course we have people from different Central and South American countries, but let’s face it, in my neighborhood it’s all Mexico all the time. You can tell by the futbol flags. You can root for Mexico, or you can move. There’s really no other option.
But at night the abuelitas will sit around and tell you stories and feed you until you think your guts are going to explode and then say, “it’s time to fix dinner.”
The apartment itself is a one bedroom with den for $710. It’s more than I want to pay, so I have to keep looking. I just don’t want to. This one is perfect.