I got a response from my CDO (Career Development or Destruction Officer, depending on your point of view) telling me I would not be allowed to bid on the Russian OR German language positions. This despite the fact that the head of the German department told me my score in German qualified me for a top off. But my CDO says no, meaning I now have to go put only English-language positions on my list becuase you can't bid on the country you are currently serving in. And Hebrew doesn't get you very far in terms of posts other than Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. So I have to replace 10 of my 20 bids with English-language positions, including 5 of my top 10.
Now SOME English-language posts are okay, but she also tells me those will be gone by the time they get to my name. She says "maybe" the straight consular position in London, but even that is iffy (and I don't want another straight consular position anyway).
As I look over the bid list, there are some pretty crappy places I am now going to have to bid on. I *can* bid on Auckland, Sydney and Canberra, but the quarantine period for pets there is about 6 months. I can put Doha or Dubai on there, but if I do, that is where I will go. And of course, there is always Baghdad or Islamabad. Basically there are no good choices that I have a chance of getting except the DC positions. Which are highly bid and highly competative.
I think I need to look at USAJOBS again. Cranky cranky.