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Old 06-28-2007, 10:05 AM
 
Location: .N6 A4
3,248 posts, read 4,090,152 times
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I have been to Albuquerque and like it, though it obviously has its problems. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go and visit all the places I'd like to check out in considering where to relocate. I'm a bit of an underachiever myself. (Maybe I belong in El Paso?) It's not that it would cost so much, but I already have some debt I want to pay off before I relocate, and I do want to move within a year.

I'm not taking anyone's opinion here as the absolute truth or the full picture of El Paso, but I already have some misgivings about it thanks to the language issue (although I continue to be told contradictory things about that).

Also, El Paso clearly is a city with a lot of poverty, so its not hard to believe that the culture that goes along with that would have some serious problems.

 
Old 06-28-2007, 10:29 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
874 posts, read 2,652,100 times
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There are positive and negative sides to all cities, another thing that you might have to look at is your employment picture, there are good employment opportunities here if you are in the medical field or educational field...but not so much in other types of jobs. That is also one big drawback of El Paso, though we are down to our lowest unemployment numbers in years..we are still lagging behind other cities when it comes down to jobs, quality of jobs, and pay wages...but one good thing that helps El Paso in that department is the low cost of living when compared to other cities.

Since moving to a new town is a very important part of life, I would still recommend taking a visit to El Paso at least for maybe a weekend to check out how it is really like and to see for yourself. If you can't make it out here for whatever reason then hopefully we can help you out with different opinions on what El Paso is like on this forum.

As far as the language barrier is concerned some people here have a hard time with it..others don't have any problem with it whatsoever..so to each its own.
 
Old 06-28-2007, 11:54 AM
 
66 posts, read 79,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holmes View Post
Hehe, yep you hit the nail on the head. Oftentimes my wife & I lament that we need more places to hang out and relax that aren't singles bars or clubs. I've been out of that scene for a while.. I think you'll find underachievers most anywhere, but it's true that the city has a deficit of educated professionals for a city this size. The "brain drain", so they say. However, I'm optimistic that this city is finally moving forward after 20+ years of complacence and mediocrity.
I hear ya- I know a ton of older people (older than 30) who work and then hit the video stores on Friday night and lock themselves in their house and watch videos all weekend. I think that the younger (and wannabe younger) crowds have the bars and the people with young children have a lot to do, but once the older people hit all the tourist stuff, then it tapers off to not many new and interesting things to.

I wish I could be optimistic about El Paso but I have been hearing all this stuff since the '70's and nothing has changed. I worked at Thomason (and my father worked there back in the '70's and early '80's) and the medical school has always been touted as this big draw. Unfortunately, many of the people don't know about medical education and don't realize that most of the graduating doctors get residencies all over the rest of the country and not here. Every class has maybe 5 people who are staying here and usually 3 of them are still here because they didn't pass their boards and the other ones are actually staying here. There is(was) an Indian doctor down there that got loads of Indian students into residencies here (it made 60 minutes I believe) and there were loads of residents from other schools, but they are just not staying here in great numbers. Many, many of the doctors here are foreign educated and stay here because they may not speak English well, or they are older or their grades not very good, etc... But many of the doctors can't make a living and pay off their debt taking care of medicare and medicaid patients when the reimbursements here are lower, the malpractice insurance higher, etc... I have also seen many, many doctors who have been lured here and they bring their family and the wife absolutely hates the place and then they move. So, I just don't see the medical school being the panacea that some people think it is.

I see the same thing with the military- IF all these people are actually moved here, some segments of the city will benefit but the schools may suffer from more children, the infrastructure around the post is not that great, etc... But I suspect that if a democrat wins the white house, much of this stuff may not happen. I keep on seeing stories about the Future Combat Systems testing here but that had been cut massively to pay for all the wrecked equipment from Iraq, a bunch of the subsystems have been cut out altogether. So we'll see.

Otherwise, I just don't see any major industries moving in- on the contrary I see them moving to San Antonio or Austin or Dallas and passing us over. We may get a few hundred jobs in IT or call centers here, but that is no where near enough.

I keep hearing all these people say "we need to stop the brain drain, we want our smart young people to stay" but when those of us who did try and come back do that, many are left out in the cold. I interviewed with several law firms in El Paso who said all of that. I was a law review editor; at the time I was on law review, we had at least 6 people that I can remember off the top of my head who were from El Paso and have family here. We have one person currently working here at the DA's- that person has a lot of issues and wouldn't be able to get a job anywhere else. We have one person at one of the major firms, his wife is in law school right and I believe he will be leaving shortly when she graduates (actually I think she is just waiting to take the bar exam next month) and he actually had no connection to El Paso. We had several people who worked as law clerks for federal judges here and either could not or would not work at a firm here and they have moved onto major firms in Dallas. I knew a bunch of people who were not law review who were from El Paso, including several who did the pre-law institute at UTEP- and I think 4 people have actually stayed here. Most of the people I knew simply were not offered any position here. Several of the people worked here briefly and then moved. We have a lot of talent here, but when it comes to people actually getting jobs here, they don't. One of the firms that I interviewed with during law school hired a complete moron, bottom of the class, never showed up for class, frat boy. I knew everyone who interviewed for the job and most were law review editors and those who were not were still very well qualfied and we were all scratching out heads as to why him. Then we find out his father used to be a partner, so that is why he was hired. We had 20 people interview for that job and it turned out that he was going to be given the job from the beginning and the whole process was a sham. And that is a major problem here- that situation goes on regularly, the whole process is a sham because some relative had already been promised the job. That is the kind of thing that really dissuades good people from coming back or moving here in the first place.

When good people come here, they also tend to get very frustrated at the mediocrity, I know I have. Many people here just don't seem to care about getting ahead- which is manifested in career students who are "attending" EPCC or UTEP for 20 years or in jobs where no one wants to break out, move ahead, be innovative. Then you also have the idiots who are hired because they are someone's cousin and they don't want anyone working with them who will show them up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApartmentNomad View Post
I have been to Albuquerque and like it, though it obviously has its problems. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go and visit all the places I'd like to check out in considering where to relocate. I'm a bit of an underachiever myself. (Maybe I belong in El Paso?) It's not that it would cost so much, but I already have some debt I want to pay off before I relocate, and I do want to move within a year.

I'm not taking anyone's opinion here as the absolute truth or the full picture of El Paso, but I already have some misgivings about it thanks to the language issue (although I continue to be told contradictory things about that).

Also, El Paso clearly is a city with a lot of poverty, so its not hard to believe that the culture that goes along with that would have some serious problems.

I hear you and understand. I don't know if you have had many experiences moving- I grew up moving around every year or two and it sucks- particularly cross country. It is a terribly traumatic experience and very expensive. I'm moving to Dallas and I'm looking at moving estimates between $5K-10K to move just the furniture, never mind all the costs of buying a new house, hook ups on all the utlities, etc... So, you may be better off spending $1000 now to visit places instead of going into a lot of debt later if you don't end up liking where you end up. And definitely do not move to El Paso without a job unless you have enough savings to last 6-12 months without a job. At the best of times here, the employers take forever to hire anyone. I have had mutiple jobs that have dragged on for more than 6 months before you find out for sure.

The language issue is complicated. My mother worked here in the medical field (administration) and the administration at UTEP and did not have any issues in 15 years. My father has worked in the medical field here since the mid-70's, speaks some Spanish and has had issues. I have worked in the legal, medical, and education fields and I know much more Spanish than I let on and I didn't have super difficulties. To me, the city has been moving towards more Spanish over the years. Both my father and I have gotten pretty pissed off at the constant references to our ethnicity. I have worked some places where I was called gringo, whetto, white boy, etc... in derogatory ways every day. That gets old very quickly. You could live in other cities in Texas and occasionally people bring it up. Here it is everyday, you can see that in this topic. I like it a lot better in other major cities here in Texas where I can have all sorts of friends and it just doesn't come up every damn day.

The povery here is stange. There are many, many very poor people, but you can live on the West Side and never see it. I can look out my kitchen window and see run down shacks in Mexico, yet all my neighbors live in nice places. So, if you have any sort of decent job, you probably will not see the very poor unless you go looking. It is really weird here though when you have very good neighborhoods right next to very poor. I haven't seen that anywhere else. Normally you see a gradual shift through the neighborhoods.
 
Old 06-28-2007, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Mo City, TX
1,433 posts, read 2,701,005 times
Reputation: 1435
May I ask everyone on this thread, what do you do for a living? I am just curious in finding out what kind of professions people have that enjoy staying in EP?
 
Old 06-29-2007, 09:45 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
421 posts, read 1,975,591 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingsoon View Post
I wish I could be optimistic about El Paso but I have been hearing all this stuff since the '70's and nothing has changed. I worked at Thomason (and my father worked there back in the '70's and early '80's) and the medical school has always been touted as this big draw. Unfortunately, many of the people don't know about medical education and don't realize that most of the graduating doctors get residencies all over the rest of the country and not here. Every class has maybe 5 people who are staying here and usually 3 of them are still here because they didn't pass their boards and the other ones are actually staying here. There is(was) an Indian doctor down there that got loads of Indian students into residencies here (it made 60 minutes I believe) and there were loads of residents from other schools, but they are just not staying here in great numbers. Many, many of the doctors here are foreign educated and stay here because they may not speak English well, or they are older or their grades not very good, etc... But many of the doctors can't make a living and pay off their debt taking care of medicare and medicaid patients when the reimbursements here are lower, the malpractice insurance higher, etc... I have also seen many, many doctors who have been lured here and they bring their family and the wife absolutely hates the place and then they move. So, I just don't see the medical school being the panacea that some people think it is.
I know its ironic, but my wife, sister, and friend all work in the medical field. They all say that the pay here is better than you would get elsewhere. Of course they're all Family Practice physicians who work in Thomason/indigent health clinics. I'm sure someone in private practice could make more elsewhere though. That was part of the reason my wife & I moved back from chicago. Her employer is paying her significantly more in el paso than back in chicago. That and she gets her school loans paid off, so it's not a bad deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingsoon View Post
Otherwise, I just don't see any major industries moving in- on the contrary I see them moving to San Antonio or Austin or Dallas and passing us over. We may get a few hundred jobs in IT or call centers here, but that is no where near enough.
I'm currently employed by one of these new IT employers and while nice, we definitely need to attract more of that type of high tech industry here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingsoon View Post
When good people come here, they also tend to get very frustrated at the mediocrity, I know I have. Many people here just don't seem to care about getting ahead- which is manifested in career students who are "attending" EPCC or UTEP for 20 years or in jobs where no one wants to break out, move ahead, be innovative. Then you also have the idiots who are hired because they are someone's cousin and they don't want anyone working with them who will show them up.
I think this an ugly cycle caused by the lack of high caliber jobs that motivate people to get ahead. Hopefully as these kinds of jobs become more prevalent, we'll see this kind of phenomenon slow down and reverse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingsoon View Post
The language issue is complicated. My mother worked here in the medical field (administration) and the administration at UTEP and did not have any issues in 15 years. My father has worked in the medical field here since the mid-70's, speaks some Spanish and has had issues. I have worked in the legal, medical, and education fields and I know much more Spanish than I let on and I didn't have super difficulties. To me, the city has been moving towards more Spanish over the years. Both my father and I have gotten pretty pissed off at the constant references to our ethnicity. I have worked some places where I was called gringo, whetto, white boy, etc... in derogatory ways every day. That gets old very quickly. You could live in other cities in Texas and occasionally people bring it up. Here it is everyday, you can see that in this topic. I like it a lot better in other major cities here in Texas where I can have all sorts of friends and it just doesn't come up every damn day.
That's something I do hate about this city -- the lack of diversity. The hispanic element is so entrenched here that we all live in this sheltered bubble. That's why it's so hard to change attitudes and the introduction of new cultures, religions is mindblowing to those who've never really experienced it. Reverse culture shock, if you will. The city overall has a very conservative mindset as a result of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingsoon View Post
The povery here is stange. There are many, many very poor people, but you can live on the West Side and never see it. I can look out my kitchen window and see run down shacks in Mexico, yet all my neighbors live in nice places. So, if you have any sort of decent job, you probably will not see the very poor unless you go looking. It is really weird here though when you have very good neighborhoods right next to very poor. I haven't seen that anywhere else. Normally you see a gradual shift through the neighborhoods.
From my house you can see the shanty towns of juarez just past UTEP, so yes the extreme poverty is there right across the street, literally. We are talking a 3rd world country though, so you wont find anything to that extreme in el paso, except maybe in the colonias on the outskirts.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 09:48 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
421 posts, read 1,975,591 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by lipbalm View Post
May I ask everyone on this thread, what do you do for a living? I am just curious in finding out what kind of professions people have that enjoy staying in EP?
Software Engineer
 
Old 06-29-2007, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Mo City, TX
1,433 posts, read 2,701,005 times
Reputation: 1435
Quote:
Originally Posted by holmes View Post
Software Engineer
I read you previous post as well, and it seems to me that even you only relocated back to EP because you had some special perks/incentives (i.e. wife's loans get paid off) and probably would not have done so without these special circumstances in place. Your situation is very very unique however, and not very indicative of El Paso's draw for people to relocate there.
 
Old 06-30-2007, 12:27 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,690,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuco View Post
LOL! Illegal maids and gardeners are everywhere, not just El Paso. You can find them all over the country these days because they will work for cheap rates. You always hear about government workers, actors, regular people, etc getting caught with illegal workers all over the place nowadays...and it happens all over the states..not just EP.

I grew up in a middle class family in EP and I surely didn't have anyone "serving" me hand and foot, nope we had to do every chore in the book, and I knew quite a few middle class families that did the same thing. Some families did have maids but that didn't make the kids spoiled...buying them all the toys they wanted, never punishing them, and saying yes to everything they asked for did though.

That aristocrat mentality among the upper/middle class families happens everywhere..not just El Paso, again I have noticed this type of behavior in almost every town I have lived in or visited..saying that it happens here more is not true, you might notice it more here, because you might live here but it happens everywhere. I worked in a small town west of Los Angeles called Moorpark..and in that town, the upper class lived in one side of that town, on another side the middle class lived there and in the other side the poor people lived there..the rich looked down at the other sides..the middle class looked down at the poor side and the poor side looked up at everyone else...thats just how it works..and it happens everywhere..not just here.
And guess what, cheap illegal gardeners and maids are common all over the place in California, it doesn't just happen here.

I've lived in a number of places and never saw people with live-in maids and gardeners like you see here. In other cities, you usually know of someone who might hire a cleaning lady but that's not really all that common -- here it seems to be the norm but the people with servants here aren't especially well-off. I never lived in California -- I imagine it's quite a bit worse there than here as far as the keeping ahead of the Jone's and having servants.


I think what it is here isn't so much the truly rich but the wanna-be's you see around. It's true that's not unique to El Paso, it can be worse in some other cities. What I find annoying is how so many will refer to the West Side as the "rich" side of town -- when it's mostly middle class, lower class and some well-to-do.
 
Old 06-30-2007, 12:37 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,690,207 times
Reputation: 22158
Quote:
Originally Posted by holmes View Post
That's something I do hate about this city -- the lack of diversity. The hispanic element is so entrenched here that we all live in this sheltered bubble. That's why it's so hard to change attitudes and the introduction of new cultures, religions is mindblowing to those who've never really experienced it. Reverse culture shock, if you will. The city overall has a very conservative mindset as a result of this.

I haven't seen much of a conservative attitude at all in El Paso. For one I don't think conservatives would even bother running for office here -- it's a pretty much tax and spend mentality -- any time a vote comes up for a tax increase, people run out and vote for higher taxes.

Hillary is very popular here from what I've seen. Compared to other places I've lived, El Paso in general seems mostly non-church-going, not too religious at all. Issues that would be issues in some places aren't issues here but most people seem to be quite liberal politically and socially. However--Maybe more are apathetic about politics and issues.
 
Old 06-30-2007, 12:51 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,690,207 times
Reputation: 22158
Quote:
Originally Posted by holmes View Post
Hehe, yep you hit the nail on the head. Oftentimes my wife & I lament that we need more places to hang out and relax that aren't singles bars or clubs. I've been out of that scene for a while.. I think you'll find underachievers most anywhere, but it's true that the city has a deficit of educated professionals for a city this size. The "brain drain", so they say. However, I'm optimistic that this city is finally moving forward after 20+ years of complacence and mediocrity.
El Paso Times - Poverty (http://www.elpasotimes.com/poverty/ - broken link)

Very good site for some of the problems. Lots of drop outs, lots of unwed mothers (but many of them make for hot dates), and over 200,000 in a city just over 600,000 living below the poverty level surviving on less than $14 a day.

Of course -- looking at it from a positive viewpoint - that means 2/3 of the people here live on more than $14 a day. And the weather here beats just about anything anywhere. Weather can be a big plus, and the mountains and desert make for awesome views.
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