Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 23--Open Season

It's bidding season. For those of you unfamiliar with bidding in the Foreign Service (mine and my husband's employer) it is the time of year when very competitive people have to go around begging for a job. I know this confuses you because you all know that I have a job. But what you don't know is that the federal government, in its wisdom, makes me change it every two to three years. So they put out a list of all the places in the world that we could go, and I have to ask all my friends to be my references and then I write letters saying please oh please give me a job and I promise I'll be nice and good and then no one gives me a job and then I eat chocolate. Except that now I'm allergic to chocolate so I will have to eat caramels and that is not the same thing. And Husband is in Afghanistan which means we will have to coordinate long-distance and I am not at all confident that he won't do something sneaky like bid on Korea again.

The finding of the job is infinitely more complicated when your husband is also employed by the same job giver. You would think this would make it easier but you would be wrong because the Foreign Service believes that if two countries sound like they might be close to each other, they think it will be OK to split you apart and make you serve in two different places. And then you find yourself saying things like "I realize that Colombia and Gambia do rhyme and they are both near the equator, but they are on different continents and there is an ocean in between and I would prefer not to have cross an ocean to go to a parent-teacher conference because that is really hard to do over lunch."

Then of course, the children all want a say in where you will go next, and their criteria are things like they saw a cartoon about it, or it is fun to say, or there is great shopping. (Actually that last one I think should be part of the calculation.) So their picks are Abu Dhabi (fun to say and might be a character in Harry Potter,) Madagascar (always followed with "she likes to move it, move it,) and Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand would be great because of the food and shopping, but it doesn't fit into my criteria of being small, out of the way, where I would be in charge, and nobody cares about, and no one ever visits. So we will see. The list is out and we are jumping right into the bidding. Let the begging begin!

Having to work on bidding has not made my day stellar, but I did manage to buy some new shoes. So all in all, it could have been way worse, and certainly wasn't as bad as this guy who led police on a chase in a Smart Car!

Tiny car leads police on unusual chase ("Broken News Daily")

You would think, having bought a Smart Car, that he would be a little more intelligent, but no, he honestly thought he might outrun the police, and then led them to his front yard! So thank you, Smart Car owner, for making me feel so much more intelligent.


  1. Bid on Iceland. Pretty ponies and your ice cream wouldn't melt half as quickly.


  2. My sister's friend works for the State Dept and is in Rome right now, he just found out they'll be going to Oman next. For the record, I approve all listed locations and if I don't make it to DC before you move I will be visiting you where ever you end up. :)

  3. I realize this was months ago but I just found your blog and decided to read it from the beginning. I finally found the humor in bidding last year (it was not going well) by thinking of it as a giant middle school dance invite. The casual reaching out "do you think maybe you could like me?", the references by friends, the slow approach " i lik you, do you like me?" and then the "I like you, but I like her better so I'm going to ask her first" or "I like like you so don't say yes to anyone else, ok?" I got something I wanted but really it shouldn't be this hard!