Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Waiting Game

So now the waiting begins.

Those who know me know waiting patiently is my special talent.

I'll give you a minute to stop laughing.

It seems like I am waiting for just about everything at the moment.

Waiting to see how much longer we will get paid.

Waiting to see if Congress will reopen the government (side note: the media needs to stop calling it a partial shutdown. The reason it is "partial" is because lots of folks are working without pay).

Waiting to see if they will drive our country's economy over the cliff by not raising the debt ceiling.

And, of course, waiting for our onward assignment.

All bids were due yesterday. I had mine in early, but of course, I did a bit of last minute lobbying yesterday and will do an interview on Wednesday for a job that was just added to the list this past week and jumped immediately to my core bids.

I have been talking with friends who are in the same position, hoping for some clarity. Hoping for an "air kiss" until announcements can be made, begrudging those who practically got french kissed ("Don't accept a handshake from anyone else without talking to us first).

I want some of that.

Our top choice isn't looking good. We got a "you're on our radar" but that they really don't want to bring in a stretch candidate (you can bid on a job that is one grade above your rank if it is a hardship post, and for bidding purposes, you are considered to be that higher rank. But the truth is that they will likely go through all the others at that actual rank before really considering you.

Our second choice looks better, and really, it was never second by much. I hear great things about the incoming Ambassador, and he sounds like someone I would love to work for. But there, I got a "you are a very strong candidate," which isn't even an air kiss. In fact, it isn't even telling us we are on the short list. But again, we aren't supposed to be told we are short listed until Tuesday.

So we wait.

Many of my friends are in the same boat, and clearly feeling the same way. 

On Facebook last night I wrote: "Bidding reminds me of when I was a kid in gym class, waiting to be picked for some team, and fearing I'd be picked last."

And my friends were quick to respond:

Friend 1: And the game is dodge ball.

Friend 2: Even worse, because you don't know what the game will really be, who will be on your team when you get there, or even who, exactly, is making the decision.

Friend 3: it's worse cause you don't even know if they've secretly given away all the slots on the team!

And all that was in addition to responses of "Word," "Exactly," and a plea to just put us back on directed assignments. 

So we all wait.

There are some DC jobs that look good too, but ideally we would like to go back to DC just for a year of language and then come back overseas. The work here is more fun.

Plus, overseas, the political noise is a little quieter. You don't hear the constant news about the constant fighting between the political parties and the two sides of our ideologically divided country.

You have to wait to hear it. And mostly, I am okay with waiting for that.


Kari said...

I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and for serving our country. I am also an aspiring FSO. I plan to take the test in Feb 2014. The only problem is that I have yet to select a career path. Would you mind sharing what you believe are the most important personal qualities an officer must possess for success in the different career tracks? I know that you are in Public Diplomacy and have done consular work. I'm not sure if you've had experiences in the other 'cones'. I am still torn between PD, Consular, and Management. I have degrees in journalism/PR and Psychology. I know that I have a passion for writing as well as helping people and I have no doubt I want to serve as an FSO....Now if I could only decide in what capacity. Also i have a toddler so I'm not sure if there are some 'cones' that require more time away from family than others? Basically any advice you are willing to offer about being an FSO is priceless, so thank you in advance for your time!!!

Digger said...


I am glad you like the blog. Send me an email at