Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Who's the minority now?

A bit more on not being bilingual.

I knew that I would be in the minority race for the first time in my life when I moved here. I have no problem with that, whatever, we're people you know? But I have to admit I DID expect that when I crossed the border into Texas each day that I would be magically transported into a land of english speaking people again. Not necessarily a land of white people but at least I figured most everybody would speak english. It's our country's #1 language and all.

What I didn't realize is, is that by crossing that bridge into the U.S. I'm merely changing to better roads and different police. A border guard told me that it's anywhere from 70 - 90% spanish here on the U.S. side of the border, and while I think that's a little high (thought), I AM for real shocked that when I go to the gas stations and stores that many of the clerks don't even TRY to speak english. HERE, IN the U.S. - I had no idea. In the bigger stores they are bilingual - and damn good at it - but in the smaller places I'm spoken to primarily in Spanish. It's shocking to go to a gas station everyday to buy the morning paper to look for jobs and be told my total in Spanish.

I find myself in the Office Depot (printing and faxing resumes) talking to the bilingual girl behind the desk and realizing that I've become one of "THOSE" people. You THOSE people who give perfect strangers too much information and out-stay their welcome by talking about crap that the clerk doesn't care about for too long. Yeah. I hate those people. I didn't think I would ever do that - even when I was OLD ! But I find myself desperate to speak to someone that understands me and I can understand in return. Besides the border guards. Gahhh.

Yes, I call my Mom and Dad and BFF but there is something about talking in person with someone that humans need. C. is wonderful but he's not always around and dang it girls need other girls to talk to you know? :P It's true. Boo-hoo and woe-is-me I want a girlfriend. God please give me a job soon, lol at least those people HAVE to talk to me, even if it's just work related.

Speaking of - I went for my first job interview last week and there in the waiting room were TWO other women OBVIOUSLY there for the same job as I. Awkward much? I mean REALLY??? I can't really stand that sort of thing so when one of them asked me the time I took the opportunity to open up some conversation between us.

We all got the big elephant in the room out and kicked him to the side. The first girl and I talked some about being new people in the area and my nerves - as well as hers I'm sure - really started to calm down. When she went in for her interview I started up a conversation with the other woman - God bless the always viable convo-opener of "I really like your shirt!" :p I did though, it wasn't a lie.

And like magic!? She and I started talking about allllll SORTS of things - ending up on the subject of MEN for heavens sake and me pointing my finger at her and lecturing her (a woman 15 years older than me) about how she shouldn't be pining away for an obviously crappy man that was treating her like shit. I told her that she was a princess - a QUEEN and should be treated so - and NOTHING less. EVER. She felt bad that she's divorced and older and is afraid that she's a spinster and I has all sorts of confidence-boost stuff to throw at her for that. :) I swear nothing gets me fired up more than a mistreated woman that's had her self confidence worn down to nil.

SO anywhoo, we had a great conversation and by the time it was my turn to be interviewed all ov my nerves were gone and I felt great. The INTERVIEW went great and the woman told me that I was her absolute first choice - that she would REALLY like to offer me the job - but I need to be more bilingual. She even went so far as to suggest that she might try to shuffle some people around to find a place for me! I was really flattered - she said I seem like "A real go-getter!" HA !! Who would have thunk it!

Anyways, the second woman I was speaking with was professional and actually lived a lot closer to the job than I - and was bilingual. I told her that she would be more suited for the job than I, just the Gods truth.

No worries though - today I have TWO interviews and I'm hopeful about both of them, I don't think the bilingual thing will come into play as much and am really hopeful.

Wish me luck! And thanks to you all who are still reading, I appreciate it, I feed off of it. Thank You :)


Krissie said...

I read, I read!

Ooh, good luck with job finding.

The bilingual thing doesn't surprise me. We are close to the Hungarian border and my grandma was born in a mostly Hungarian village here in Croatia and she didn't speak Croatian till she started school at the age of 7. She struggles with Croatian to this day.

Upstate Broad said...

When I was going thru the Customs academy we had an instructor from Brownsville, TX. His parents were both Mexican-born, so only Spanish was spoken in the home, but he was born in Texas and educated there, in the days before English-as-a-Second-Language. The result was that he could barely speak English (SOOO much fun trying to learn Immigration Law from him), but he couldn't read Spanish at all, only English. Poor bastard. Talk about an identity crisis.

On another note - please tell me you did the right thing and voted by absentee ballot. I'm not even going to ask for whom, just tell me that you voted.

jill said...

Good luck!! I think you are so brave to be doing what you're doing. C is lucky to have you! Can't wait to hear about your new job when you get it. I'm glad you're writing again.

Helen said...

Just wait. After a year, you'll probably be bilingual too! Seriously, if you're immersed in the language, you'll have no choice.

Good luck with the job hunt, and kudos to you on boosting confidence for women the world over. You're too cool, babe!

Lindy said...

Krissie - AND she's your GRAMMA ! Borders are weird, I had no idea. And thank you :)

Uptate - OMG RIGHT??? That's insane ! And I don't doubt you for a second! It's like the deaf mexican who was trying to learn English ASL with no concept of English - OR signing. Craziness dag gummit. And voting ? ........ I didn't really GET the whole absentee thing - I know, I know, terrible person and all that, I get it from my Dad too. But hey, my dude won so no biggie. Oh, were we not supposed to talk politics? Was I not supposed to say? WHY CAN'T WE SAY!?? Ah well, but next time - well next time who knows WHAT country I'll be living in, but I get it a little more, the whole you have to vote in the state your REGISTERED in THING now at least :P

Jill - Everyone says I'm brave and all I've felt like is a freaked out scared-as-shit-idiot. But not that I'm here and established some? I almost think maybe I AM brave, a little. But I don't like to be all "I'm so cool and great." So I'll just stick with that I'm a crazy girl. :P Thank You by the way, Thank you.

Helen - You're right about the immersion, I learn more every day it seems, well, no FOR REAL, but it's putting it togeter, and those DANG VERBS !! Conjugating is lllaaaaaaaaaaame. :P
I'm going to take classes as soon as I start work :) I need the motivation.