Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Role Reversals

I wouldn't go so far as to list this as an example of cognitive dissonance, but these changes certainly have been shocking to me.

Yesterday, Natalie and I got our visas to work in Mexico. It is official; we are leaving the United States to find work in Mexico. Five years ago, I never would have believed that statement.

I'm also happy to report that last week, after my freelance contract came to an end, I was able to come to terms with my old company to infinitely extend that contract, which, to paraphrase our all-knowing Veep, Joe Biden, "is a big effin deal!" Go read any other foreign service spouse blog, an inevitably there will be multiple posts about finding work.

(Speaking of work, before I left the office, I wrote an article about a young ophthalmologist running for the Republican nomination for senate from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I'm happy to say that Rand Paul, M.D., rode the EF'M bump to a primary victory and is now the front runner to win a seat in the Senate. But Dr. Paul, you'd do well to heed your father's advice: "Be careful, you could get elected.")

But our moving to Mexico to find better paying jobs is not an isolated incident. In January, Ford officials announced they were moving battery-production jobs from Mexico to Michigan, because, you know, the labor is cheaper.

Hermosillo has a Ford plant, though I can't say with any certainty that it is that plant that will be losing jobs. Ford has several Mexican plants. But months ago when I knew even less about Hermosillo than I know today (which still is very little), I said it was a combination of Texas from the cowboy, beef-producing aspect and Detroit from the Ford plant, but, I said the difference was this plant actually made cars, which means Hermosillo = Texatroit.

Well, if the Hermosillo plant is the plant losing jobs to cheap labor, my analogy will be even more true as an industrial city will be losing jobs to outsourcing.

Five years ago, I definitely never ever would have seen that one coming. Role reversals abound in the foreign service.

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