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March 2015

The Great White North Buffalo

More than 9 1/2 months ago, Mr. Crab began the long painful task known as mid-level bidding. To recap: a Foreign Service Officer's first two tours are "directed assignments", which is a nice way of saying you go wherever the Department sends you (needs of the service). Mid-level bidding is a whole different beast; you're essentially responsible for finding your own onward assignment. This has been made extremely difficult by a staffing situation dubbed "The Pig in the Python" 

For Mr. Crab, this process began in early June 2014 when I first threw my hat into the ring for PSP - Priority Staffing Post (aka Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya). No dice, so I moved into the regular bidding cycle where I competed against hundreds of my colleagues for an assignment. Most officers learn their onward assignment on handshake day in November. But November came and went. That's how I ended up in a limbo state, like Dr. David Banner roaming the Earth looking for purpose. Every few weeks new jobs would pop up on the bid list, I bid, interviewed (some begging and groveling was involved), waited, then began the process all over again. I bid or expressed interest in no less than 50 jobs located in all corners of the world. 

A few weeks ago, a bunch of new jobs suddenly materialized on the bid list. Again, I threw my name into the hat. This time was different. I got a few nibbles, then bites, call-backs, interviews. I was horribly sick this past week, but I managed to find the strength to conduct two phone interviews from bed. I slept most of Tuesday, so of course I woke up at midnight, got up and checked my e-mail. And there it was...

Subject line: "HANDSHAKE: CALGARY"


The Two SKIING Crabs are moving to Canada!  Boom goes the dynamite!