Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March Madness

This is a crazy month. And no, I'm not a basketball fan. This is a just crazy month period.

It pretty much boils down to this:

Government 101: As I understand it, thanks to a thirty-odd year hiring freeze, the only way the United States Government (USG) can get any work done (legally, since they can't directly HIRE anyone) is by farming out contracts to beltway bandits that then go in a do the work on their behalf. This ranges from big defense contracts (think: Halliburton) to more innocuous support contracts (ie the one that I'm working on - office support). There are a ton of these agencies in the DC area, all vying to these contracts which the USG periodically puts up for bid (through various mechanims I can't even begin to fathom (see Govt 502)).

Anyway - as we all know, contracts END. Our contract is up at the end of this month. Although we've re-bid for it, it's not guaranteed we're going to get it. SO, there is the distinct possibility that I may be out of a job come March 31st (and I have no idea when I'm going to know).

The office environment has turned into a trepidacious wasteland, with people peeping over cubicles to have furtive conversations regarding future plans. Email traffic over available jobs has skyrocketed, people slip away at lunch or meet over coffee to devise their "strategery". Shoud you stay, should you look for work? If the contract IS re-bid, are you going to sign on? etc etc etc

You know how an abused dog reacts when it thinks it's going to get kicked? We're all in kind of a collective wince here, awaiting the final blow that will put us out on the street. I feel like I'm headed to the pound.

As kind of a final hurrah, in the middle of all this weird office stress, I'm heading to Kenya and Ghana for twelve days (and returning quite near to the end of March). I feel a little like that guy in upstate New York who'd been in a coma for twenty years, spoke for about a month, and then died last month. This is my time to speak! (ahem, and then die).

But anyway, on top of THAT (and here's where this turns into a personal rant): my professor has decided that since HE'S going away to Sri Lanka in April, to make up for it WE'RE going to have class on a Saturday over spring break! What a great idea! Everyone will be up for learning THEN!

To add insult to injury, he even gave us a group assignment for that date. Wha? What part of spring break doesn't this man understand? I am so pissed. My boss and I picked these Africa dates specifically around my spring break, so as not to miss school. I can't believe the audacity of this man!

Whew. Ok. Pant. Pant. Pant. *sigh*

AAAAAAAND, I'm spent.



Krista M. Bot said...

Hey, Meredith!

Boy do I know what it's like to live in fear of losing your government/nonprofit/grant-funded job. It seems like I've had my share of those! I just started a new position with TRiO programs (grant from Dept. of Ed), and I just found out our budget wasn't large enough to support our 12 month contracts, so we are possibly moving to 10 month contracts soon... but it is always a bit disconcerting not knowing where one stands.

Can you believe it's been nearly 4 years since we've graduated from college? How very odd... time goes by very fast. I'm 26... and I still feel 22. I'm a very different person than I was in college; yet, sometimes I feel very much the same.

Anywho - great job on the blog. I look forward to reading it often! Enjoy Africa :) What a wonderful trip that will be for you!

Take care!

Mtanga said...

Hey Krista! This is exactly why I started the blog - to keep up with old friends. I'm happy you left a message! Alaska is soo on my list of places to visit. Congrats on your new job and I hope your contract holds out! ~M.

Helen said...

Mere, how exciting that you have a blog! Ill definitely be reading!