Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why am I here?

Every few months it seems, something happens that sets me back to wondering why on earth I am still in this country. It might be something as simple as wondering how on earth people managed to elect W twice. Twice! I mean, once is a simple enough mistake, but the country should have known better the second time around. More often, it is due to some bureaucratic nightmare that I am put in because I am not a citizen or green card holder. Not for want of trying, I'll have you know. I've been trying for more than 6 years. Nearly 7, actually. Only another 6-7 to go and then I might be able to get citizenship.

So today, I found out that the license I need to do my job was granted to me in the "immigrant" category and not the "non-immigrant" category as it should have been. So the government are proposing to yank my license number away from me. Not that it means any actual difference in practice. I can have a license number back again when I get the green card. I can still do my job, just maybe with not the same authority. But it is the sheer ridiculousness of it that is really upsetting me. I actually called this government department to ask a question about something else entirely. And the person on the phone proceeded to grill me about my license, and told me I'd been given the wrong one (over 5 years ago) and he'd have to do something about it.

It's just another indication that, because I'm not a citizen, the government can impose another set of rules on me, can impose limitations on me, can yank my security out from under me, and can require me to stay in a job as an indentured servant. All because. I thought America was supposed to be the land of immigrants. The melting pot. And frankly, I completely understand why people come here illegally. You've got to be rich, stubborn and flexible to be able to do it legally. You've got to put up with BS. You've got to knuckle down and take it all meekly because you were the one with the audacity to decide to move.

So, why not just go back? I have thought about it often enough, that's for sure. Well, first, there's the family connection. Then there's the whole trying-to-get-pregnant thing. It's going to be harder in the UK. I'd probably still have to fly over to this country to do IVF anyway. There's the inertia factor, the financial factor and the whole moving-across-the-atlantic-ocean-is-a-giant-pain-in-the-ass factor. Then there's the fact that maybe, just maybe, I like the weather, I like the size of my house (that is, it's not the approximate size of a shoebox), on the whole I like the people, I like the relative lack of sexism in the workplace, I like that you can more easily get ahead based on merit.

But man, my patience has worn very thin. Very thin indeed.

Some days I just don't know why I put up with it. And I don't need to get stressed out and spend several hours crying at my desk when I'm supposed to be growing good quality eggs.

1 comment:

calliope said...

fuck. I am so sorry for all of the madness.

I, for one, am SO EFFING GLAD that you are in this country.