One of the best things you could do for your job in The White Man's world is get married. I married my beautiful wife in 2003. My job, salary, and wage benefited very well.

Jobs have been hard to find recently. They've been harder to find for single men. 12% more married men are working than single men according to the 2011 Statistical Abstract of the United States (Table 596. Labor Force Participation Rates by Marital Status, Sex, and Age: 1970 to 2009). I've been jobless 3 times since I became married. 2 times by choice and once because of a failed start-up. I found a job quick each time because of my marriage. Marriage gave me an incentive to overcome these short periods of unemployment. It was my responsibility to care for my wife. I was never the sole provider, but I've always done my part. Suppose I was a single man, I could have started mooching from my tribe, state, and country. Instead, I had to pull my weight in the marriage and find a job.

My jobs in The White Man's world have been full of negotiations. Negotiating contracts was one job's sole responsibility. Every job required salary, schedule, and benefit negotiations. I've been rejected many times, but being rejected was better than never asking. Asking, at least, gave me an opportunity. I had to check feelings of shame and embarrassment to merely ask. My trick was to say, I'm just trying to provide for my family. Here's what usually happened: 1) I was given what I wanted, or 2) My boss said no, but he understood my viewpoint. No boss or co-worker ever criticized me for trying to care for my family. I've received salary and wage increases because I asked. I could ask because I'm married.

I'm not black and I'm not white. I'm red, but my skin is dark brown like the guys in the Home Depot parking lots. I played varsity football, basketball, and ran track in high school. I've remained physically fit. Therefore, at best The White Man saw me as a machismo Latino. At worst The White Man saw me as a wild warrior. For example, one time a co-worker told me that my face scared him when I was angry. I learned early to conspicuously wear my wedding ring. In addition, I started to consciously drop a few lines about my marriage, such as, my wife this... and my wife that... As a result, perceptions shifted from wild to gentle and macho to kind.

Marriage motivated me to get a job. It helped me negotiate salary and wage increases. It helped me overcome stereotypes to keep my job. Jobs are hard to find for everybody. I'd probably be jobless without my marriage.

No Ring, No Job, No Doubt

The White Man Whisperer's Wedding Ring