Germ War wrote:Mandroid - what's up, you're considering moving here?
Yes, among a handful of other cities which I am also considering. The Bay Area isn't working out for me for a number of reasons, most importantly the lack of prospective jobs and the cost of living.
I moved out here last July thinking that I'd be able to find some sort of receptionist or administrative assistant position, get some health insurance, work that position for a couple of years for the experience and then perhaps go back to school. As it turned out, those positions are tough to come by in non-temp form and the ones that are available are so unreasonable with the amount of prior experience required that I'm not even considered due to my inconsistent resume (I've worked A LOT of jobs, usually for under a year due to school schedules).
I thought about getting some experience in the food industry, but the same goes for those positions--"must have worked 3 years at an upscale dining establishment/fast-paced restaurant/banquet hall/etc." I refuse to be a server because I know that I'd be awful at it for a number of reasons and so many of the lowly kitchen positions require a bilingual employee, which I am not (took Spanish and Russian in high school and college and I've since forgotten most of it). I've applied for a number of restaurant positions (including flipping burgers) and never even gotten a rejection letter. In fact around here, you're lucky if anyone even bothers to tell you that you haven't gotten a job after you show up for an interview.
After a year of submitting resumes for full-time jobs that a normal, responsible adult would want and having approximately five interviews that went nowhere, I bit the bullet and took a part-time retail job at a clothing shop a few blocks from our apartment. I save money through not having to commute but I only make $9/hour, 20 hours a week average with no benefits. Ben and I live in a small one bedroom apt. with a garage space and pay $900/month, no utilities included. There's no way I could afford to live alone here in the Bay Area, even with another part-time retail job and roommates. I mean, I guess it would be possible but not remotely comfortable.
I miss my parents and friends. I haven't made a single friend of my own in 16 months of being here. How would I? It's not like I can afford to go out and you don't meet new people sitting at home. Three or four drinks at a bar and a day's wages are gone, and the drinks are usually so weak that I may as well drink soda instead, which usually costs what a mixed drink would cost in Wisconsin. My friend Carla moved back to Baltimore last spring just as we were starting to hang out more often.
I get to see my parents once a year because airline tickets to Green Bay are usually $600-800 round-trip. This means that when I do
go home, it's not for a short visit. I can't just drop in for a few days or show up for a holiday or wedding. I pay the massive fee for airfare and am in Wisconsin for two weeks losing my wages because I don't get vacation (neither does Ben, though he does at least have health insurance).
I love being near the ocean and so much gorgeous scenery, I enjoy the lack of snow and freezing temperatures, and there are many areas of California that I would very much like to live. Unfortunately, most of those areas are not cities and finding a job in a small coastal town (much less one that pay well) is no small feat.
Minneapolis seems to be relatively inexpensive, is within 5 hours of my parents and most of my friends, has a major airport, is home to many school should I choose to finish a degree, is close to oodles of fishing/camping/boating opportunities, and seems "comfortable" if that makes any sense. It guess it reminds me of where I grew up more than most cities tend to, so I feel at home there. Even looking at the Craigslist job ads for Minneapolis is one thousand times less infuriating than reading the ads here. They're all blunt, reasonable, and not so snobbish or filled with pages of extraneous information and impossible requirements. In order to qualify, one doesn't have to to be a responsible, self-motivated, career-oriented multi-tasker with 5-10 years of experience working in the fast-paced, office of a professional contortionist. The Minneapolis version of that ad is, "Receptionist opening. Hours: 9-5 M-F. Please email cover letter and resume to _____."
Anyway, that's the reasoning behind my wanting to move and why I'm considering Minneapolis. I don't see much of a future for myself in the Bay Area, I'm broke all of the time so I rarely get to enjoy what the Bay Area has to offer in terms of entertainment, I'm lonely and miserable, and I miss my parents and the good friends I've known for the last 10-15 years. I feel completely alien and out of place here. There's this lack of common sense and a general self-centered attitude among most Californians that drives me up the wall as a Northern Midwesterner. Despite all of their talk of being "locavore" and not patronizing evil globalist companies and being "green," people around here are rarely self-sufficient enough to devise a way to wipe their ass if they were to run out of their premium toilet paper.
Basically, I miss everything about the Midwest other than A) winter B) the flatness of the landscape C) lack of taco trucks.