The CSR Diaries: Looking Forward

So me and my conglomerates (who shall remain anonymous) have learned our company is letting us go en masse some time in the not-too-distant future.  Suffice to say, as I consider my next day job, not only will I not pursue another CSR gig, but I may not even stay in Houston.

The great thing about being childless, unmarried, and not saddled with too many belongings is the ability to up and go when the mood strikes.  Here are some places on my mind:

San Diego, CA

Great year-round climate, got the ocean, got a LOT of brown people, and I'm sure if I played my cards right, I could find a mind-numbing desk job.

Rochester, NY

I know...random, right?  But I miss being up North.  I'm happy so long as a town has the resources to take care of itself during winter (*gives Huntington, WV the side-eye*).  Rochester has a decent cost of living, is the corporate headquarters of multiple Fortune 1000 companies, and has quite a few brown people than San Diego. Also...I'd be closer to WV.

Accra, Ghana

It would be really nice to be back on African soil again.  Fresh puff-puff and suya in the streets, warm weather year-round, being surrounded mostly by Africans, and I figure I could get a decent desk job there as well.  Not to mention, Ghana's economy continues to expand exponentially and I wouldn't mind being a part of that.

Shanghai, China

I have zero desire to teach, but Amaya got to go, so I want to go too.  *sniff*  I miss my girl.  Besides, Mandarin reminds me a lot of my own language, and China's economy is growing seriously.  I'm sure I could snag a dull desk job at a corporation, and don't get me started on all the new insights I'd have for the Blasian Narrative.


  1. Hi! Ive been reading your blog for a minute but I couldnt help but comment when I saw Rochester, NY! Born, raised and still going to college here! Let me know if you have any questions!

    1. Personally it all depends on where you want to live, are you willing to commute to work etc. There are hood areas in the real city part of Rochester, but the more artsy areas such as Cornhill, Park Avenue, University Avenue, Monroe Avenue as well as the 19th Ward that are in the city have gorgeous homes that can range from $500-800. Lots of black people and white people in these areas as well.

      Suburban areas such as Brighton, Greece, Henrietta, Chili etc, are only ten to fifteen minutes away so if you have a job in the city its not a bad commute as well. University of Rochester is one of the biggest job employers in the city and it ranges from business to hospital work etc.

      It does have a crime rate however, but usually if you stay away from certain areas of Rochester, you will be fine. Overall, a nice and decent place to live! Let me know if you want to know anything else!

  2. As far as San Diego goes, you might need two desk jobs. You can't get an apartment for less than $8-900 - not even a studio, not even in the hood. Food is pretty cheap, Mexican food is great public transportation is fantastic, and though San Diego county is mostly white, people are pretty friendly. The views are gorgeous, the freeways aren't nearly as crowded as Los Angeles, and the gas is some of the most expensive in the country.

    I lived around San Diego State, which is in a POC area, but right around the school is all white, kind of like DC. The white kids aren't nearly so seperatist, though, and aren't at all afraid to go where us coloreds are. At least the ones who went to that school weren't. There are quite a few asians both east and south, as well as latinos, but few blacks. Most of the POC in San Diego proper live off El Cajon Blvd, and the houses, though old, are pretty nice. Check crime stats; most places are fine, but some - Encanto, for one - are questionable. Kensington is also a nice area, and so is Normal Heights. The gays have a nice little community around Hillcrest, and lots of hipsters live there, but it's cool. Everybody smokes weed, so if you do, get some white friends to buy it for you. They won't get arrested if caught.

    I moved away to Indianapolis last year because I couldn't afford the rent, but I hope to move back one day when I have the green.

    Good luck!

  3. I vote for Ghana! Either way make sure you have a gig before you go to either location.

  4. I was listening to someone getting excited how they were able to finally find a job after two years of searching as a pharmacist assistant. It just goes to show you how jobs in the medical field aren't as open and plentiful like they once were .There is no such thing as having permanent jobs anymore.Long term maybe.. but permanent no.I've bee mentally preparing myself for it in case it shall happen.

    Definitely will agree with you about being single and childless. At least you don't have to worry about feeding a family. The only thing you just have to worry about is you and your own well being. Even if I wanted to have kids, I don't think that I would want to have them in the 21st century. The is too much red tape trying to find security and times have gotten extremely stressful.

    1. @M

      I think (not in the medical field so what do I know) its the type of job you go after in that field. Pharmacist jobs I see a lot, but an assistant never. I agree with you and Ankh not having kids and a family helps with moving around, but I have found most people won't. Even if they do not have the constraints. Plus you can forget them looking for work outside the U.S. You might as well tell them to apply for work on Mars. People need to start planning for when the shoe drops that much I do know.

    2. @M, yes, it depends on what kind of medical job you are looking for. There are fewer people in the areas that require the most schooling (so pharmacists require a PharmD, which is usually about 7 years of school, doctors have to do 4 years of med school plus residencies of 3-5 years, plus fellowships of 1-4 years if you have a subspecialty). RNs have 4 year degrees and frequently masters plus specialized training. But if you are an assistant anything (with the exception of physician assistants), you are talking about jobs that probably require less than a 4 year degree and that are heavily marketed, esp. at for profit schools. It's the whole barrier to entry thing.
      Rural area have less coverage so there are premiums for doctors and nurses to go there (even if temporarily).
      Three of my aunts and two cousins are all RNs, one with a PhD and another as a nurse anesthetist and another specializing in neonatal care, and another is an ER nurse. My sister is a doctor(and I went to med school but hated it and moved on to something else). Finding jobs has never been an issue.

    3. In the case with this woman, she was only looking for a Pharmacist Assistant job.She was trained to be a pharmacist assistant. She went to a technical school. I recently seen her again and she was happy with her new job, but is considering a higher degree in pharmacy.

      Just the other day my cousin discussed his frustration about his work as an LPN. Though he love his job, most of the nursing assistants and some of the LPNs was laid off. He said that they are being overworked because of the lack of staff not being able to get to every patient as quickly as possible. It's a shame. You would think that every part of medical field,they would not make cuts in theses vital areas.

    4. Lor,

      I'm convinced of that. Although this woman was able to acquire that job,she s now considering a higher degree.

    5. @M

      My aunt is an LPN and got laid off last year. She didn't work at a hospital, but some type of private medial facility. It took her until March (she was laid off in October) to find a new gig and its only as a caregiver for an elderly man. I get a little mad because when I was younger she always talked about going back to school to become a RN, but her husband talked her out of it. Now she is in her 60s and he is disabled so its a struggle. I tell young girls don't put your dreams on the back burner.

    6. @M, I think they are quick to cut them b/c they know they'll be available when they need them, and they don't have a problem making the people who are left do more work. It's about power and privilege, b/c they can't do it to the doctors or pharmacists, b/c there are a limited number of them and they'd be nicely situated again.
      It's just kind of a given that no matter how much we depend on them, support staff suffer the brunt of the cuts in any industry. Wrongly or not, they are seen as easily replaceable.
      Nurses are so in demand that they can do roving contract jobs and live all over the place if they want. I know some doctors who prefer contract work like that for the same reason.
      Anyone who can swing it should try to use education to move up the latter into being more of a specialist . B/c like I said, none my relatives are actually RNs have ever had this problem and nurse anesthetists do really well b/c they are much cheaper than anesthesiologits.

  5. How do you feel about college towns? The cost of living in most true college towns is pretty good, some are not TOO far from metro areas, and since you are well educated you could possible try for a job at a large university with good benefits, good work-life balance and good pay that still allows you time to write. More intelligent people, and the populations are diverse and the cultural offerings are pretty plentiful when compared to similarly sized non-university towns.
    So I feel as if you get a lot of the benefits of city life without the problems or the costs.
    So since you are cool with winter (as I am, although I currently live in place without it), I'm going to plug my former town (not hometown, but was there long enough that it will always be a place I miss), Ann Arbor, MI. It has the advantage of not being in the middle of nowhere like some other cool college towns I've visited, like Charlottesville, VA, Burlington, VT, or others that I haven't been to but that are either kind of expensive I think (like Chapel Hill) or too far from the world (Madison, WI although I have always heard nice things).
    I also feel like if you want to converge with other creative minds, you could easily find writer's workshops too.
    I've only been to San Diego once and didn't care for it. Another friend (single and black female as well) spent a year there as a resident and didn't like it either. And I'm frankly surprised at the quote of $800/month for rent. It sounds low. I had a friend who lived there for many year (Naval officer) and she said that without her stipend she'd have been hurting. And everyone else I know has been there forever before the prices exploded or makes a LOT of money (like couples where both people are doctors or lawyers).

    Oh, and Ann Arbor is kind of just shy of being equidistant from Toronto and Chicago.

    1. I love college towns. They empty at all the right times of the year.

      I wouldn't mind working for a university next. I might even head to my birth town of Austin.

    2. Yes, my most recent stint in Ann Arbor ended in 2010, and after graduating I had all summer there before starting my job. It was a great place to stay without a paycheck in hand yet b/c my rent was low, groceries were low, I didn't have drive far to get anywhere, and yes, nicely emptied out and I remember spending nice evenings with friends on their porches in what are normally the very crowded neighborhoods immediately bordering campus.
      Not sure how you like to live but you can do new apartment, slightly older apartment, those coverted houses, two or three family houses, and there are lovely older areas of town (which again, you'd find in any college town I think).
      One of my classmates has already left corporate America to go back and work at the University, and other people who decided the private rat race was too much have found that there are places for them. It also was a good home for people after some companies left town. So lots of kinds of jobs, many that I know I didn't know existed until I did a special consulting project. I mean, you can be an engineer, a lawyer, an MBA, and many other things and find a home using your education (but not as an academic) at a university.
      Oh, and here's a job they had at some of the grad schools...writing and communications coaches. I'm guessing they fall into the realm of jobs that require a 2nd job but it's a GREAT side gig for an actual writer.

    3. Dang you got me wanting to move there!

    4. For real. I miss that old school architecture from the Northeast.

      If WV had more brown people and a bigger, more stable economy, I'd be back there in a flash.


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