I only learned of Benazir Bhutto two months ago, while I caught brief clips of her U.S television interview online. Although, I am usually not too interested in foreign political affairs, something about her charisma sparked my interest. There are two things that I quickly noticed about this woman: she was deeply passionate about democracy in Pakistan, and she knew that her life was on the line because of it. I found her story of exile from Pakistan, and then her return compelling, and it is her homecoming – that happened just a few short weeks ago – that has decreed this nation as the most dangerous on the globe. It was not her message that was dangerous, but it was the nature of her radical opponents – who are willing to take the lives of innocent people for their cause. Regardless, she knew what her return meant to her people, and as I see images of her body being carried away in a casket this morning, it grieves me because –although symbolic – it represents the condition of the world: in search of someone to bring political peace in the midst of chaos. This has been the longing for many nations since the begining of time. For many Pakistanis today, the foot of oppression is pressing harder, and I pray that this nation will soon find hope.
Posted by juangarcia799 on December 28, 2007
Posted by juangarcia799 on December 14, 2007
I am convinced that my name – Juan Garcia – is all too common in the U.S. I first noticed this trend while in middle school, where I shared a class with someone with the same name, and yeah it was kind of cool at first, but quickly became annoying in high school, where the amount of Juan Garcia’s tripled. Students and teachers would often mistake me for the other Juan Garcia’s at the school. This still wasn’t too bad, however, after high school I found my identity constantly becoming mixed up with other people. Although the prevalence of my name had something to do with the mix up, it is no excuse for some of the careless people – working in government agencies – who don’t pay attention to detail.
Incident #1 (Juan Garcia can’t drive!)
In 2001 I had my license suspended because of a Juan Garcia who lived in Orange county. Apparently, he was cited for driving on the wrong side of the road, was ticketed, summoned to court, and then never showed up – guess who’s licence got suspended? I didn’t even find out until I was in an auto accident 6 months later. When the officer ran my license through their system, they informed me that I had been driving on a suspended license the entire time - I had never received notification. My car was now totalled, and my license suspended: I rode my bike to work for the next month and half. I went back and forth with the DMV for weeks, and had to appear in court. It turns out that a police station employee carelessly tagged me as this person, despite the fact that we had very different birthdays and social security numbers. Nonetheless, I got everything cleaned up, but I had to do a lot of work to get if off my record, and had to bum rides off people for weeks!
Incident #2 (Juan Garcia is photogenic!)
While crossing the border by foot, back into the U.S, from an afternoon spent in Tijuana last summer, I found out that my U.S passport had been compromised. When it was finally my turn to present my passport to the border patrol agent – after standing in line for an hour - the scanned passport brought up the image of someone else in their computer system! The perplexed agent then asked me (in Spanish), what was bringing me to the U.S. I answered (in English), “I’m returning home.” The agent continued questioning me in Spanish, and I continued answering in English. The moment that I asked what could be done to rectify the situation and fix my passport (that was now linked to someone Else’s photograph in their computer), he chuckled and lazily demanded that I continue moving along into the U.S. Yes, it would have been time consuming and inconvenient, to say the least, but I would have appreciated some assistance in fixing this issue – go figure. At any rate, this was another situation where my common name had caused confusion – my frustration was brewing.
Incident #3 (Juan Garcia is my baby’s daddy!)
Lastly, I received notification from San Bernardino county last year stating that I owed child support for my infant child. For those of you who know me, I don’t have children! I had to fax over a written statement to their offices, which included photographs of myself and my drivers license. They presented the material to the mother (whom I had never met in my life) to have her verify if I was the father. I was also informed that I might be required to go into a local lab for genetic testing. Luckily, the mother did not pin me as the culprit! This incident is still showing up in my background check, as a cleared issue – but I want it COMPLETELY removed. They assured me that this was not a case of identity theft, but again, the result of someones clerical error.
***As you can see, my name has brought me my own share of grief, but I can’t help to wonder how these circumstances would have turned out differerently if my mother would have named me her second, very UN-Latino, name choice: Kevin.
Posted by juangarcia799 on December 12, 2007
I hate job searching on the Internet! It’s really a dreadful experience, and I think for most of us who majored in business - we would all agree. I always begin by first checking job searching sites like Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com, always finding the leads to be very disappointing, and when I get called by a prospective employer, it’s usually for something undesirable: no, I don’t want to open up my own life insurance branch, pay for all my own licensing, and then hustle and sell to all my friends – and then hopefully (after months or years of sales tactics) finally have an income. And when did marketing become the same thing as sales? What happened to market research, campaign management, and product placement? Marketing jobs on these sites are nothing but bad sales jobs. Why do I only get pursued for customer service and sales positions, when my major focused on accounting, human resources, marketing, and management? These days these jobs are hard to find unless you have a lot of experience; entry level jobs in these fields have become a thing of the past. Even if the job description is entry level, they still want lots of experience.
If I could go back in time, to say……high school, I think I would have excelled in math or science. Perhaps then, I would have been an engineer by now, or doing research in a bio-tech lab, on a good career path, and making payments on my first condo. Anyhow, as I visit job searching sites (both the widely popular and obscure), and company websites with minimal jobs that I am qualified for, I become more and more disappointed and frustrated with my career and its potential. Even when I do meet someone who may be able to help, they sadly refer me to their cold company website – because it is the only thing that they can recommend. There my resumes and cover letters are doomed get lost in the heaping piles of other submissions, and there it will stay because I don’t have years of experience, an ivy league education, or a technical background, and for the millions of us who don’t – we are all chewing, and fighting at each other for the same entry level jobs, and doing it behind a computer screen over the Internet. Sorry…I don’t mean to be too discouraging – I’m just frustrated with my career path.
Posted by juangarcia799 on December 11, 2007
I’ve been sitting here at work the last few days doing some research on the new game “SimCity Societies”. Does anyone know if it is any good? I’ve read some critic reviews and they are generally pretty low, but I’m interested in hearing some first hand info from people who have actually played the game. I have loved the SimCity franchise for years, and I am a bit disappointed that they have completely changed it. For those of you who have not heard, they game play has changed, and it is now more focused on the societies that live in the city. There are different energies that you can manipulate, and some say it has elements that are similar to “The Sims”. You actually place every individual building down yourself – which I think is a plus, but the maps are smaller and there is no more zoning – features that us “SimCity Fans” have grown to love. It is definitely a difference direction for the owners of the SimCity franchise but they say they are willing to take that risk. After watching some of the videos of the makers talking about the game, I can’t help but to think something is very peculiar about this release. No one seems to be very excited about it – even the footage I saw of the creaters doing a walk through of the game was very melancholy, and they seem a bit insecure when they talked about the features. However, they do admit that if this title does not take off, they will be reverting to the classic game play that we have all enjoyed.