Archive for the ‘work’ Category


September 25, 2007


I am now the proud possessor of a shiny new FM-3 visa. It’s good for one year (renewable up to 5) and I am free to work at my current job, open a bank account, put the electric bill in my name and get a cell phone with a plan (instead of the pay as you go kind), among other (not very) exciting things that happen when you are not a tourist.

(If you are wondering, I am very much aware of my privilege and that this process is not possible in reverse – Mexico to US instead of US to Mexico.)

We are going to celebrate this weekend, as we are both too exhausted from our working schedules to celebrate in the moment.

A very good day

September 11, 2007

Here are the good things that have happened so far today:

1. I received a call from the lawyers at the U and I now have a letter from immigration stating that I am authorized to work. This is not the same as a work visa, but we are on our way and the work visa should arrive in the middle of next week. This call came about 3 days BEFORE I was expecting it, which means, in the bureaucracy games it’s US – 0, Mexico – 1.

So, I may be able to go to work as early as tomorrow and will be in the office on Monday at the latest (pending HR difficulties).

2. I went to the grocery store this morning, before I got the call from the U, and I found the turmeric! I saw these little knobby things next to the ginger and I thought – that looks like fresh turmeric. I asked the guy stocking the veggies if he could tell me what it was (just to confirm) and he said, confidently, “That’s saffron.” Umm… It was most definitely not saffron, but I recalled that my dictionary had listed the translation for turmeric as both cúrcuma AND azafrán. I said, “Are you sure it’s not turmeric (cúrcuma)? And he said, “Here we call it saffron,” end of discussion.

I thought, well as long as they don’t charge me for saffron, I’ll be happy. When I got to the check out, the check-out-girl asked me what was in my little bag. I said, “I believe it’s turmeric (cúrcuma) but the guy told me it’s saffron.” She asked the girl at the next checkout what the number was for ginger! I could have cared less. In fact, surely it is cheaper to buy fresh ginger than to buy fresh turmeric, right?

3. And, while we were eating lunch the buzzer rang and there was a deliveryman with a bunch of my books from California (I had accidentally left), a computer program for Adolfo and my new Cook’s Illustrated! Yea to Adolfo’s brother and mother for coordinating the shipment!


August 30, 2007

This afternoon, I raced around the city collecting and filing paperwork and standing in bank lines. I was finally able to submit my documents and payment in order to get my visa changed. This is good. I haven’t been sleeping well because of all the waiting for paperwork business and I hope this will help lower the stress level.

The lawyers tell me that they hope it will take less than 10 days for my visa to be changed and then we have to submit more paperwork and pay another fee to get the work permit. That may take an additional 10 days. The slow pace is killing me!

I’ve been finding myself getting angry, again, at the stupid US passport agency. Had I been able to apply for the visa in the states, I would only have to apply for the work permit now. RAR! And yet, I appear to be unable to change the past. (“Let it go,” says the chorus in my head.)

So, realistically, I may not be back at work until October.

I think I’m going to buy a Yoga book at the books store. That will solve all my problems, right? (“Buying more books always helps,” says the chorus.)


Update on the Job Front

August 20, 2007

I’m out of work until my visa gets straightened out. I am very much wanted at my office and they are helping me with everything they can in order to expedite the request.

However, the university lawyers (who are going to help me submit my paperwork) advised us all that I am better off waiting at home until the visa comes.

This afternoon, I turned in all the paperwork for the lawyers to revise before submitting the visa application. My office tells me that they are hopeful I will be back to work by the 15th of September.

Stinking government

August 14, 2007

Yesterday was not a very good day.

I have been trying to get my paperwork in order so that I can apply to change my visa status. I am not able to work or get paid until this change happens. Luckily for me the university is on vacation for 2 weeks. So, I have until the 20th when everyone comes back from vacation to get my papers together for my office to submit them to the lawyers. And, try to get myself back to work as soon as possible. They told me at the office they would wait for me, but I need to get this stuff worked out fast, fast, fast.

The first step in this process is for me to send my diplomas to their respective states in order to get them stamped, notarized and apostillized (if that’s a word). My mother helped with my undergraduate degree and it went very smoothly. My master’s degree has been a whole different matter.

It took me longer to get the process worked out and once I finally sent off the paperwork, I started calling (thank goodness for Skype!) the office where it was sent to check on the status. They seemed to not be able to tell me anything and so I waited a day and called again. Still, no information. I was told to call back once the “5 business days” for processing had passed. I called again on the 4th day and was finally able to speak with the person who processed these requests and she informed me that she didn’t have my documents and they had never crossed her desk!

So, I gave her the information from the UPS site about when, where and by whom the packet was received. She then told me that she was in a different city from the one where my documents were received! Although I had been calling the phone number listed for the smaller office (where I send my documents), the call was transfered (without anyone telling me) to the bigger office.

She told me she would ask them about my papers and I took down her e-mail address. Fifteen minutes later, I receive an e-mail from her saying that they did receive my papers and they did not receive my payment, so they returned the documents to me by regular mail to Mexico. (I proceeded to have a minor heart attack.)

I was quite shocked by this (and I did include a check with the mailing, I don’t know what they did with it), and fired off an e-mail to her asking why they would return my documents to Mexico, when I paid (addressed, stamped envelope) to have them returned to a friend in the same city where the office was located.

I also proceeded to investigate the possibility of re-ordering my diploma and how long that takes (about 2 weeks if all goes well), since it has been taking almost a month for regular mail to arrive from foreign locations.

She responded saying that the other office told her they returned the documents where ever I had wanted them sent, whatever it said on the envelope.

So, now my friend is on ‘high alert’ for my documents and promised to race them back over to the state office with the measly $3 fee (!@*#&@*#$) and try to get them processed as soon as possible. (update: I called and finally talked to the small office this morning and they did indeed return my documents to Mexico. They were sent Thursday, so I’ll look for them to arrive in September. My wonderful friend now has a copy of my diploma and is working on getting it notarized so that the notarized copy can be apostillized.)

Adolfo is stunned that I continue to have so many problems with the US government (this time at the state level). He had been promising me that the Mexican bureaucracy was much more difficult. He hasn’t been making that claim so loudly in recent days.

So, this all happened in the afternoon. In the morning, I went to see my vegetable guy and get some provisions. While I was parked in front of the market, someone hit my side mirror on the driver’s side and almost took it off the car. So now, my mirror is broken (not the glass, just the plastic).

One of our friends also called in the morning to say that he wasn’t going to be able to meet up with Adolfo, because as he was driving to work, he was hit by a bus! He was fine and miraculously, so was his car.

RAR! What a stressful day!

Guadalajara, moving at the speed of light…

July 28, 2007

I really thought things were supposed to move slower here. I planned for that.

After being here for a week and a half, I had my first interview for a job. That same day I received a call offering me the job, which I took. I start on Monday.

I thought I was going to be unemployed for a couple months. I was lining up projects in my head. I packed extra books to read, I was going to drink tea in the afternoon.

Now, I’m starting a scary/thrilling new job, which will use all my brainpower. I will need to really buckle-down with the Spanish. I’m really excited and stunned that it happened so fast.

So, I’m making more of an effort to speak Spanish with Adolfo and I need to find the radio news on the local stations instead of plugging the computer into the stereo to listen to NPR. We purchased two Spanish/English dictionaries today at the bookstore.

On the food front, I’m gaining independence and am able to get to the markets by myself. I also found the tofu or ‘queso de soya’, which I think doesn’t sound as good. Today we had a Japanese curry for lunch! We also went to buy more tortillas this morning.

We found an excellent tortilleria, thanks to Adolfo’s father, and we bought 2 kilos of fresh hot tortillas very soon after we arrived in town. My household of two has already eaten 2 KILOS of tortillas, and we had to return for more, today.

I have to get enrolled in a gym soon!

By the way: When I returned to the vegetable stand by myself a couple days ago, the vegetable guy remembered who I was and asked after my friend (Adolfo). We discussed many things over the vegetable stand, including how difficult it is to speak another language, what San Diego is like, what a good guy Abraham Lincoln was (the veggie guy is a fan). It was a fantastically bizarre conversation and I will be returning for more (conversation and vegetables).

June 4, 2007
I am back from the conference and all went very well. I was able to talk to about six different directors of offices in Guadalajara. I hope to grow these relationships and be able to use them to gain a foothold in my field in there. I gave out about 3/4 of the business cards. And, people seemed to like them. I received many positive reactions when I handed my card to people and I hope this also means I will be memorable.API and I worked on packing over the weekend and had previously survived the family invasion and the pillaging of furniture and other household items. We purchased a trailer for the car and I am working on getting the registration worked out so we have titles for the car and the trailer. We hashed out a driving plan and are still discussing with his mother if El Paso is the right place to cross.

Now I need to book a hotel in Vegas, send follow up e-mails to the people I met with last week and tag the kitchen with tape on the things that go into the yard sale.

April 28, 2007

I got the business cards and they look really nice. I’ve already given out many and had a moment today of wondering if I had enough to take with me to Minneapolis. The backs of the cards have photos we took in Mexico from API’s Flickr site.

We have changed directions on the moving project and now are pursuing a more reasonable plan of selling off all the stuff we can and taking the rest in my car (along with a car top carrier, which we hope to buy used). I think we can do this and save a ton of money.

Next, I need to finish updating the resume in English.


April 19, 2007

Today I met with the boss and gave her my resignation letter.

To complicate things, API e-mailed me to tell me he met with his bosses and they gave him a $7000 raise. crap. Now what? Well we are going out to dinner to celebrate an eventful day.

I feel incredibly good to get this off my chest and out in the open. API and I will have to discuss the repercussions of what the raise means and if it will affect our departure date.

Next step: get the international movers to come over and give us a quote.

April 17, 2007

I ordered business cards in anticipation of the MN conference. I’m very excited about this conference and seeing all the people in the field and old friends, perhaps a cousin or two.

On other fronts, now I need to begin researching the move. How do I move our stuff from here to there?