’twas the best, worst of times

Woke up quite excited today knowing that I was going to get the list of available positions for my second tour. This enthusiasm was dampened upon arriving at work to discover that the online system for publishing the list was offline for maintenance. Yes, this was the middle of the night in DC so it kind of made sense. I t eventually came back online but to my chagrin, the list was empty. We eventually figured out that this by design and the powers that be don’t release the list until later in the day.

I had plenty of work to do so I plugged away a cleaning out my inbox until about 5:00 pm. I was shutting down and getting ready to leave when I got email announcing the list! Nearly 500 available posts, so much to consider. I’m quite fortunate in that I’ve served my required consular tour and am off language probation, plus I’m serving in a hardship post. Basically this means I’ve got about as much freedom to choose among the available positions as is possible.

The only limitation or restriction is that I (as everyone else) can only bid on positions with the proper timing. We have to factor in our home leave and any language or professional training required for the position with our set departure and expected arrival dates. If they match up, we can put it on our final bid list; if not, we can’t

So it is quite ironic when I realized that the many Japan posts are designed for non-Japanese speakers and have arrivals dates between 10 and 13 months after I’m set to depart Abuja. Because I tested out of Japanese and already have the required language skill level, I don’t need (or get) training, which messes up the timing and moves the Japanese options outside the realm of the possible for me. It boils down to this: beause I speak Japanese at the level required today, I can’t bid on the position. We aren’t allowed to take additional training to fill the space.

I understand why they have the policies they do and wold probably institute similar policies myself if I was in charge. It still is frustrating though, but it is what it is, eh? There are plenty of other fascinating posts on the list. I’m sure we’ll get something that makes us happy

In other news, I has my first homebrew today. It wasnt very good, to be honest, but it’s only been in the bottle for 2 weeks and needs at lest another week to properly settle in. It started with a good head that disappeared quickly.


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