Me, Myself, and the Voices in My Head

A place to ramble and maybe make some sense about a thing or two.

Archive for the tag “friends”

7 Ps Rule needs to include “Patience”

You know the 7 Ps Rule, right?  If you were in the military, I’m fairly certain that you’ve heard it multiple times.  If you teach school, you most likely had to memorize it during your Master’s degree classes (except they usually did the 6 Ps to omit the one “questionable” word).  And if you ever need to remember how to prepare for something, it’s one of the best rules to keep in mind.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

Yes, I know there are many different variants on this mnemonic device.  But, this is the one I learned first both from sitting through graduate-level courses when my parents were getting their Master’s/Specialist’s in Education degrees and by having military members in my family.  Over the years, it’s served me well.

However, today Youngest Son needs to add the word “Patience.”  More grammatically correct, it should be “Patient” as in “Patient Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” (deleted the objectionable word since he’s still not allowed to swear).  In a few weeks he’ll be celebrating his birthday and we’ve agreed to allow him to invite over his closest friends for a pizza party and then for them to go to the movies that evening.  The female guests will have to be picked up by their parents after the movie while the male guests can come to our house for a sleepover.  He’s been texting all of his friends today and bugging me for specific details, such as start time, menu, etc.

He’s forgotten that his father and I have not finalized any plans.  He’s also forgotten that he’s still grounded at the moment and if he doesn’t earn his privileges back in time there won’t be a birthday party.  His friends are all trying to arrange their schedules and make suggestions for things to do and ingredients for the pizzas but we don’t have anything confirmed at the moment.  Big shock for him and his buddies if it’s all for nothing!

I admire his desire to be sure to plan early enough in advance so that all of his friends have the opportunity to check with their parents/families to ensure if they’d be able to attend.  I’m just not happy that he’s getting their expectations up for something that may or may not happen.  Plus, the parents also won’t be very happy if they change their schedules around to accommodate something that isn’t happening.

Oh well.  Not much I can do about it at the moment.  I told him to be sure to let everyone know that nothing has been confirmed yet and that he’s just checking to see if they would be able to attend.  That way, we can also plan for how much food and how many tickets we’ll need to buy.

We’ll see what happens.

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End of the Junior High Era

Today was Youngest Son’s last day in junior high.  Next year he’ll be a freshman.  Lord help us all.

I’m incredibly proud of him and am very, very happy that he’s had some great experiences and made new friends since we moved to this town three years ago.  He’s been in three school theatre productions; he’s participated in All-District Honors Band (was first-chair trumpet, too); attended the State Band Contest; has made the honor roll; and has a gang of friends that he really enjoys hanging-out with and who enjoy having him with them.  As a kid who moved from school-to-school, I know it can be hard to fit-in when you’re the new kid on the block.  Youngest Son learned a lot more at a faster pace when he was homeschooled, but I agree with him that his past three years in public school have helped him grow in many different ways.

I’m especially proud of him as he has received the President’s Education Awards Program Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence.  To qualify for it, he had to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more over his junior high career and test above the average and rank in the top of the State’s Assessment Program that’s given every year.  He received a very nice certificate and a lapel pin that he can put on his jacket when he goes to high school.  He pointed out the “autograph” of President Obama on the certificate and I told him that an auto-pen did that.  He said he was surprised they just didn’t Xerox it and is not impressed by it.  He was actually disappointed because he didn’t receive a plaque for best brass student in band and was awarded for his academics.  I reminded him that it will be his academics that helps him get into the college he wants and will follow him through life.  A plaque won by your “nemesis” whose parents can afford for him to take private lessons in order to be better than Youngest Son will only someday be an unwieldy paperweight that your children won’t even be able to get rid of in a yard sale.

I think he feels a lot better now.  And he enjoyed his last day there.  No, he didn’t participate with one group that wore the colorful Morph Suits that everyone was buying around Halloween and at least he wasn’t dared like one of his other friends to come dressed like a princess today.  He made sure he had phone/text numbers for his friends so they can get together over the summer before high school band camp starts in July.

Eldest Son texted me today that he’s learned how to weld in his sculpture class in college.  I told him I was proud and that the welding experience can also be used in other jobs as well.  He hopes to finish his classes soon so that he can graduate in the next semester or two.

One going into high school and one leaving college soon….where does the time go?

Still banging my head against the wall

I was hopeful a few days ago when I received a response from one of my elected officials regarding my concerns about why I wasn’t reappointed to my old job.  They sent me a nice email:

April 18, 2012

Dear [Me],

I have sent the enclosed correspondence about your situation to [Governmental Agency Acronym].  The enclosed copy is for your files.

If you have any new, relevant information, please send it to:

Name and address of possibly underpaid staff member
Office of Desperate to be Re-elected Official
Mailing Address to “Local” Office

Or

Fax number that no one uses anymore because of e-mail and the Internet

Please be assured that we are continuing to work on this matter and will contact you as soon as we receive a response.  If you have received this message by email, it is not possible to reply by email.  Please contact my office by phone, fax, mail or online via webform on our website at webaddress.PLEASE-vote-for-me.gov.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.

Sincerely

Quite odd that if they can send me an email that I can’t send another in return.  I thought that was how email worked.  All these years using the Internet and somehow I missed that.

Anyway, I opened the “enclosed correspondence” to see what it had.  Here’s what I found:

Dear Sir or Madam,

The purpose of this correspondence is to inquire about non-reappointment of [Me, but with my name in all capital letters].

[Me] contacted [Desperate to be Re-Elected Official] out of concern for this case. Her current mailing address is [none of your business].

Her email address is [also none of your business].

Her date of birth is [REALLY none of your business]. I have attached a signed Privacy Act Release Form for this case. (NOTE: The Privacy Act Release Form had all that info on it, so why waste time in a “letter” repeating it?)

According to [Me], she was recently not reappointed to her [old job title] position after almost 8 years of work without personnel or performance issues.  As she has not received an answer from [Governmental Agency Acronym] regarding the specific reason, she believes that it is due to the fact that she has obtained a certified service dog to assist her.  I have attached the email she forwarded to our office where she quotes the letter she received from [Governmental Agency Acronym], as well as her signed Privacy Release form. (NOTE: Didn’t they already say they’d attached this?  Who writes these things??)

I respectfully request that your office give each and every due consideration under the law to the request of the constituent. Please update me by email about the status of this application or the reason for this denial so that I can inform the constituent.

Best regards,

Name of possibly underpaid staff member

So, the letter was off and now all I had to do was sit-back and wait for an answer.  My attempts at getting a straight answer from supervisors (and, I thought, friends) didn’t work.  My attempts at going through the Equal Rights and Equal Employment Offices had met with little fanfare and, as of this date, still no response.  Now I was going to get somewhere!

Today, an email arrived from the political official’s address.  Inside I found:

April 20, 2012

Dear [Me],

I have received the enclosed correspondence from [Governmental Agency Acronym].  The enclosed copy is for your files.

Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can assist you with any other matters of federal concern.  If you are receiving this message by email, please note that it is not possible to reply by email.  Instead, please contact my office by phone, fax, mail or online via webform at http://www.I’m-getting-very-desperate-to-be-reelected.Give-me-some-money.gov.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.

Sincerely

Okay, a stock response with a quick flip of the ol’ web address where donations are happily received.  But, it had only been 2 days!  I knew something was fishy.  The government never works that fast.  Not for regular taxpayers like us, anyway.

So I opened the attached “response” and here’s what I saw:

Good Morning [Possibly Underpaid Staff Member],

Thank you for your recent inquiry about [Me].  She is concerned about not being reappointed as a [old job title and acronym for it].  On behalf of the [Actual Name of Governmental Agency and Acronym], the following is what I can share at this time.

March 24, 2012, marked the end of the current appointment period for all [old job acronym].  We were asked to evaluate our current work force needs based on [Governmental Agency Acronym]’s mission. This required making some difficult decisions.  Clearly we had people who had contributed to our mission for a long time and were good employees.  However, our current and projected staffing needs meant we needed to create a more nimble organization, which required making some very hard choices.  At this time, it was determined per the Stafford Act and your Conditions of Employment, to allow [Me]’s appointment to expire.  {Me] is free to apply for an appointment within another Cadre.

Once the new [New Job Title] program (what the [old job acronym] program used to be called) is accepting applications, the non-appointed [old job acronym] (your constituent in this case) could apply.  The details of this are still being worked out, and we will keep you posted.  I hope this helps and let me know if you have any additional questions.

Best regards,

External Affairs Specialist, [Area for which I used to be employed]

Hmmm….something seems familiar.  Why, yes!  That whole second paragraph was nearly identical to what they’d sent me previously (and you can check my prior posts to verify it)!!  They didn’t even change the word “your” before “Conditions of Employment” in order to make it read correctly!  They completely avoided the reason why I was asking for clarification and simply whipped together the same old spiel they’d been given to placate those who weren’t rehired and sent it.  And the Desperate to be Re-Elected Official’s staff didn’t even bother to check that it wasn’t an actual response to my actual question before slapping the Official’s name on the email and sending it to me.

Oh, sure, it looks “better” with them saying that I can apply when the new program opens.  However, those who were reappointed also have to apply and if they’re hired, they don’t lose their accrued sick days and their pay could go up but cannot go down.  Those of us who were not reappointed have to start from scratch, regardless of how much experience we have, and lose all of the sick days we’d saved working over the years.  So, technically, someone who had just been hired prior to the “reappointment” period who was retained could be making twice what I made and have no experience but if I get rehired to my “old job” I’d have to start at the bottom of the salary tree again.  Yeah…that sounds really fair.

I immediately went to the website of Desperate to be Re-Elected Official and left them a nice message that what I got was a whole lot of nothing that I hadn’t already sent copies of to them.  And, no, this person will not be receiving my vote in the election — even though this fiasco had nothing to do with my previous intentions to not vote for them.

Oh well….  I’m still on the hunt for answers.  Yeah, I may be just banging my head against the wall, but it’s better than sitting and wallowing in self-pity or wondering what I did wrong (which was nothing).

Search for answers continues….

Ahhh….just when you thought it was safe to come back to the blog, I’m writing about trying to find out why I didn’t keep my job again.  Actually, it’s not so much about why I didn’t keep it.  It’s more about making sure that the reason for my release wasn’t something discriminatory.

Today I resent the email I’d sent last week to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officer as well as his supervisor, the Equal Rights Officer (ERO), asking for more information and at least a response of some sort since he had marked my previous email as read but I’d not received anything.  I also received only one response from my Congressional/Senatorial search for answers and completed the Privacy Act information sheet they requested so they could process my inquiry.  Seems odd that one who didn’t respond is up for election and lives in the same town in which I live!  So much for “hometown concern” this election season.

I did receive a response from the ERO supervisor.  I was somewhat surprised until I remembered that if the supervisor receives complaints about employees not completing their duties, they have to do something about it.  Well, they don’t “have to” I’ve discovered, but it looks better on their performance appraisals if they do.  Here is what I received:

Unfortunately, I cannot provide any specifics with regard to your statements and that received from your cadre leadership.  I can tell you that each organization now has an “established force structure” level.  Basically, that we will only be allowed a certain number of individuals in any cadre based upon the number that is established for the cadre.  My own cadre is going through this same situation.

Please let me know if you do not hear from someone by next week.

Not exactly an answer to my question but it does address the fact that all cadres are having to cut-back.  I replied with sincere thanks and asked for additional information as it is received regarding my inquiries as to why a simple reason of downsizing or a referral letter couldn’t be provided so that those who’ve lost their jobs will have an easier time finding new ones.

I then received the following item from a friend who saw it posted on a social media site:

So, [Assistant Administrator Name] graced us with his presence yesterday, and put on a dog and pony show – gist as follows.  1) DAE’s will be assigned to the Region they live in.  2) If that Region is fully staffed, and you are offered a position, it will be as a “surge” type of role.  3) An email will go out in the next 10 days, a package within the next month RE: re-application.  4) We are top-heavy with those in the C3 to E range, so there’s gonna be some payroll adjustments.  5) When asked if they are trying to get rid of people, responded “Some people are taking this the wrong way.”

“Taking this the wrong way” — are they serious?  How else is someone who has worked for years without any issues (and I’m not just talking about myself) supposed to take not being retained in their job?  Yes, it’s a temporary job.  No, you’re not supposed to rely on it for your sole source of income.  I didn’t.  I’m one of the lucky ones that has a spouse who makes enough to pay the bills if I’m not working, but I knew a lot of others that this was the best job they could find and all they had because you’re supposed to be able to deploy at a moment’s notice but no one else will hire you for a “permanent” job when you’re planning to leave any time you’re called-up.  And when looking at the differences between what new employees were making with this organization and what they could make “in the real world,” there’s no denying that people would prefer this job over a “typical” one.  I, however, did it because I was good at it (and I’m not ashamed to say so) and I knew I was making a difference.  And, yes, the money I made helped when there were unexpected medical bills (usually mine and usually caused by the stress of this type of work) or if my family wanted to visit where I was working over the holidays (which helped my morale a lot) or perhaps all of us taking a trip somewhere (which never did happen).

Still no idea how all of this will end and I’ve been looking for something else that fits my personality and work ability so that I’ll have something else to do during the day.  I don’t feel so much as if I’m beating my head against the wall with this.  It’s more like trying to figure out a mystery.  Who’s got the answers and whose buttons can I push just right that might give me some information that someone really didn’t want everyone else to know.  It’s like when I used to be a reporter/editor with the newspaper.  There’s a juicy story in this somewhere.  I’ve just got to figure out where to dig.

In for a penny, in for a pound

Yup, I’m back on the “crusade for answers” again.  Can’t help myself.  I see and hear others who feel the exact same way I do and there’s got to be something, anything that we can get as an explanation so that those of us who’ve lost our jobs (many after long employments) don’t feel like we’ve been kicked to the curb because we don’t fit the ideal of a “nimble organization.”  And I see others who’ve kept their positions basically saying “Tough crap!” to those of us unlucky enough to fit in whatever arbitrary mold was used to select the “keepers” from the “losers.”  Even one person said, “If we want to fire you, we don’t need a reason because the regulation says we can release you at any time for no reason whatsoever.”  That’s a nice slap in the face to everyone who loved doing their jobs, did them very well, and enjoyed helping others while spending months away from home, family, and friends in austere conditions and are now basically told to “Get lost!”

What did I do today, you may well be asking.  Today I got tired of waiting for the EEO representative to answer my email (he’d marked that he’d read it but I don’t know if he really had or not) and no answers at the phone number I was given to contact the same person.  So, I figured if I can’t go any farther up in the organization, I might as well contact those who help fund the organization and see what they have to say or can find out for me.  Yup, I contacted my Congressional Representative and the two Senators from my state.  I sent them all the exact same letter explaining what’s happened, the responses I’ve been given, and why I feel that I (and others, though I cannot speak for them) have been treated unfairly by the organization or, if not the organization as a whole, at least by the Region for which we used to work.

Do I expect much to come from this?  Not really.  Well, the biggest wish would be to watch all of the people who work in the Congressional Liaison Offices going batty because of an employee who has a better understanding of Equal Rights than they thought bringing in the “big guns” but that’s not going to happen.  They hate it when Congressional inquiries are made on behalf of constituents who feel they’ve been wronged.  And, with it being an election year, many Representatives and Senators will be more willing to help those they represent in the hopes of gaining votes.  And since I’m no longer an employee, I have every right to contact whomever I want.  I “stayed in my lane” as long as I could.  Now I’ll do it my way.

Like the title of this post, if I’m going in for a penny I might as well go in for a pound.  They’ve taken their pound of flesh over the years and I knew that they’d never pay back all that I’ve given.  I’m tired of playing it safe and sitting along the sidelines hoping to remain under the radar to keep a job that I love because I could help others in their times of need and would certainly hope that there would be someone there for me if I were in the same position.  I’ll find a way to continue to help others somewhere down the road.  Whether it’s with this agency or another remains to be seen.  But I’m just not going to sit and “take it” anymore.

Going a little farther on my quest….

After I published my post “Let’s see what this gets me….” I received mixed reviews regarding what I had done.  Some people said that I was a crusader for those who’d been wronged.  Others said I was wasting my time and burning bridges.  I don’t think of myself as a crusader.  I’m trying to get my own answers but if I do find out something that can help others, I’m more than willing to share the information.  I’m not overly concerned with burning bridges since I’d worked long hours in hard conditions to make my bridges sturdy and I feel it’s my now former employer who came behind me, knocked them town, built them back with gas-soaked logs and then left an open flame nearby.

So, I waited over the weekend for a response from the gentleman I’d emailed in the previously mentioned post.  I received nothing.  I waited during the day yesterday as I listened to the horrendous noise coming from Stupid Neighbors’ driveway (see yesterday’s post for more information) and still received nothing.  I finally found the name of the person in charge of the entire Equal Rights Office at headquarters and sent her a letter along with a copy of the letter I’d sent to the other ERO officer to see if I could receive any clarification regarding the information I’d received to date as well as to share additional information that I’d been receiving.  Within two hours, I received an email from the original ERO officer I’d attempted to contact.  Here is what I received (edited for privacy):

I want to assure you that [Federal Agency Acronym Here] provides reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities.  I have seen no indication that you received this notification because of your request to have a service animal in the workplace.

My best guidance would be to talk to your Cadre manager about the notification.

Should you wish to request EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) Counseling, you may contact [Name] here in the Office of Equal Rights for the assignment of an EEO Counselor.  [Name] can be reached at [telephone number and email address].

For your information, I am providing you with the EEO Flier, “Your Right to Equal Opportunity.”  The Flier explains the EEO Complaint process, and your rights and the time limits for exercising those rights.  If you intend to request EEO Counseling, please contact [Name] as soon as possible.

It wasn’t quite what I was looking for but it also wasn’t the same stock answer I’d received in the past.  Now that I was beginning to receive messages from others who had been non-reappointed that also have disabilities and messages from others who knew persons who had been non-reappointed without a clue as to why their years of service would suddenly be stopped, I figured why not try to see this out to the end.

So, I contacted the person that was mentioned in the email I’d received.  Here is what I sent (edited for privacy):

I have been referred to you by [Name] due to my suspicion that I and other DAEs who are not being reappointed at this time might be because we have disabilities on-file with our Cadres, Regions, and Headquarters.

I’ve attached the original email that I sent to [Name] and his reply referring me to you at the bottom of this letter.  At the time I originally wrote [Name], I felt that I was the only one who had received a non-reappointment letter and wondered if it was because I now utilize a service dog to assist me to do my work and be able to deploy.  I have been contacted by another DAE who also has a disability who was not reappointed to their position as well.  This person does not utilize a service animal or adaptive equipment, but we both found it quite odd that after filing our requests for reasonable accommodation, the next reappointment period ending resulted in both of us not retaining our positions after approximately 8 years of service.  I have been contacted through social media by others who have suspected or believe the same thing, but they have not confirmed with me any information and I therefore cannot speak for them.  I am only addressing this for myself at this time.

[Name] stated in his reply that I should speak with my Cadre manger.  He must not have read the paragraphs where I did attempt to contact both [Names and Titles], and was only responded to by [Name] with a “stock answer” paragraph, included in the letter below.  When I asked additional questions, I was only given the same paragraph as a response — implying that I would receive no other information than what had just been given to me.

I understand the “at-will” hiring and retainment process and I understand through 8600.1 that [Federal Agency Acronym Here] does not have to provide a reason for dismissal to DAEs.  But with the questions I have raised and the fact that I am in two protected classes (over-40, disabled), I would believe that it would be in the best interest of [Federal Agency Acronym Here] to provide a reason why I would not be reappointed.  That’s what I was originally looking for because if I attempt to apply for another job and they ask “Why were you released from your previous position?” and I have no answer to give, that usually makes them suspect that I had done something wrong.  When every performance evaluation I received was excellent and gave nothing but praise, I find it hard to believe that I did something wrong that wouldn’t have been previously addressed with me before deciding to end my employment.

Any information or insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  I really did not believe after working for so long in the Region and with two different Cadres that always gave me high praise and requested me by name for specific assignments that I would be having to come to ERO for guidance regarding my suspicions of discrimination.

Thank you for your time and attention.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

I have not yet heard anything today, but I have received more messages of support and disgust at my attempts for a simple answer.  Even though I’d resubmitted my resumé prior to going on my “quest” (as some have put it), it’s never been about getting my job back.  If they offered it back to me, I’d have to really consider the terms and conditions before I’d take it.  If they didn’t offer it to me, I’d have lost nothing else but the time spent looking for answers.  If they offered me another position in another Cadre, again I’d really have to consider the terms and conditions before I could consider accepting it.

I’m just trying to save my good name and reputation.  After many years working with the same organization, it’s unusual when someone is suddenly not retained in that position without good cause.  I just want to make sure that there is a good cause and not an attempt to circumvent the law by stating that “a more nimble organization” is desired and those of us who aren’t as “nimble” (whatever that means) are now considered worthless.  They could have said that “cutbacks were needed, your job performance was excellent and letters of referral would be available upon request.”  Or they could have been honest and said the negative reasons why someone wasn’t being kept so that they could make adjustments in any future employment endeavors.  That kind of thing happens in many organizations where these economic times have required valuable employees to be released.  Instead, those of us who were not reappointed were basically told that we didn’t matter anymore.  We weren’t “good enough” to be picked to play on the playground with the rest and we weren’t “worthy” of a reason why.

I don’t know where this next round will lead or if anything will come about because of it.  But the small part of me that has spent many years advocating for others has reawakened and has decided that I’m worth advocating for as well.  Will this all work?  Or will it all just blow-up in my face?  I don’t know, and I don’t care.  My self-worth is worth fighting for and I’m tired of people expecting me to just slink away quietly.  Now it’s my turn to be heard.

Let’s see what this gets me….

I’ve been trying to be patient about finding out why I wasn’t reappointed to my position with a federal government agency.  And, yes, I know that “at-will” employees can be hired or fired or can quit at any time for any reason (or no reason at all).  But the more I see other friends receiving their reappointment letters — and a well-deserved “Congratulations!” to them — it’s getting depressing being the only person I know so far who has not had their job renewed.  And it makes me continue to wonder why since no one has ever complained about my work.  Well, at least not to my face or through channels where something could be done about it.

So, today I took a risk.  I’m tired of sitting and waiting for something to happen.  I’m tired of always trying to “play it safe” and “keep my cards close to my chest” in matters like this.  This might help me at least get an honest answer or it might totally blow-up in my face and ruin any attempt I could ever have at getting another position like the one I had.  But I had to do something.

I contacted the Equal Rights Officer with whom I worked last year when I was obtaining Celeste and having issues getting reasonable accommodations for my service dog.  I even tried to explain to “the powers-that-be” that having her would help me become more deployable and help me with my work since she would help mitigate any problems my disabilities would present.  I never thought trying to get something I’m legally entitled to could be so hard!  All of the letter writing and arguing over whether or not someone with no medical experience believed that my prescribed service dog would be helpful to me and appropriate for an office setting.  It’s not like she’s going to do anything other than lay under my desk all day (except when I take her outside for walks).

Here’s some of what I sent to him today (edited for privacy):

I’ve recently received a letter of non-reappointment regarding my [employment title] status.  This is confusing to me because I’ve never in the almost-8 years I’ve worked for [Federal Agency Acronym Here] received a negative performance review and I am often requested for specific disasters.  I have not been available the first part of this year as I have been undergoing ophthalmologic  testing due to my inability to have my vision corrected above 20/50 with glasses.  I am currently awaiting an appointment with the Low-Vision Center at [name of prestigious university here] so that they can help me find adaptive equipment and techniques so that I can continue to work.  After the appointment, I’d planned to make myself available again.

Through friendships on social media sites, I’ve seen people posting that they’ve received their letters and so far I am the only one who’s posted a non-reappointment notice.  I have emailed my (now former) Cadre Manager, [Name], and his assistant, [Name], for additional information and have been given the following response:

[Insert copy of standardized response paragraph previously inserted into other related blog posts regarding “reason for non-reappointment”]

I even emailed [Name] asking if the reason for my non-reappointment was something negative because it would be fruitless for me to apply to another Cadre if there is something negative preventing my reappointment.  Again, I was sent an email with only that paragraph in it.  I’ve also seen the new FAQs for the NDRP transition and no new DAEs are being recruited or appointed, which makes the “free to apply for an appointment within another Cadre” statement moot.  Additionally, the NDRP program is not currently accepting applications either as they attempt to transfer reappointed DAEs to the new system.  However, I have sent my résumé to the IWMO liaison for [formerly employed location] who has stated she will share it with all other regions and HQ in the hopes that perhaps there might be an available slot somewhere.

I don’t want to believe that it’s because I now have a service dog that I’ve not been reappointed, but with phrases such as “a more nimble organization” in the paragraph sent to me it raised my suspicions even more.

If there is any information or advice you could provide, I would greatly appreciate it.  This has all come as quite a shock to me and many of my (now former) co-workers.   I do understand that as a [employment title] I am a temporary, intermittent, “at-will” employee — but to receive no feedback regarding the reason why I would not be reappointed and to see terminology as mentioned above only makes me feel that [Federal Agency Acronym Here] is not willing to accommodate employees with disabilities.  I hope I’m wrong, but that’s the message I’m receiving.

Maybe I’ve shot myself in the foot with this.  Maybe I’ll just be marked as a “troublemaker” because I won’t take “no comment” for an answer.  Maybe I’ll be a model for other disabled persons who have been indirectly discriminated against.  Who knows what will happen.

All I know right now is that I feel better just for having sent the letter.  And I’ve received advice/comments from family/friends on other steps I might be able to take if I still can’t get an answer after this.  Whether or not I get my job “back” is irrelevant.  What’s important here is knowing the truth.  When you’re the only person you know who’s not been rehired but you’re also the only person you know with a disability, it’s hard not to jump to conclusions — which is why I want the honest answer.

Officially (via post) unemployed.

March 24th, 2012 marks the end of the current appointment period.  Per the Stafford Act and the Conditions of Employment, you have not been reappointed.  However, you are free to apply for an appointment within another Cadre.

Not exactly the letter I was expecting to receive today, but there you have it.  I’ve worked with the government since 2004 and as a temporary, intermittent employee, they can choose to reappoint or not at will.  I thought my work was strong.  I have never received a poor performance review.  And I have even had people request for me to be on their team(s) because they know about my work ethic and ability to get the job done.

In one sense, I’m not happy.  I don’t know why the appointment wasn’t renewed and I’m not used to having a job and then not having one without another lined-up waiting in the wings (it’s actually quite embarrassing).  In another sense, it now relieves the stress of what would happen should I be called-out to work in the immediate future before I finish my work with my doctors and therapists regarding my vision issues and how I’ll be able to keep working with them.  And, by not having to travel cross-country I don’t have to worry about trying to get on a plane with Celeste and having issues with other passengers.

True, the job has always been temporary.  It’s kind of morbid, when you think about it, being the only person watching The Weather Channel and rooting for the hurricane so that there would be work so I could pay my bills.  Oh, I’d always temper that with the hopes that no one would be killed or seriously injured.  Just enough damages so I could use my skills helping others and making sure there’s food on the table back home.

I’ve emailed my (now former) supervisors for a personal explanation — just so I’ll know whether or not it’s worth trying to apply with another Cadre.  If they’re saying something awful about me that I don’t know about, it would be foolish to put them down as a reference and apply with others who have or will hear the same things said.  With today being Saturday, I know I probably won’t get a response until Monday, if then (since everyone’s busy).  I hope that they’ll be able to give me the information needed and perhaps suggest other Cadre managers that I should speak with regarding applying to work in their units where my education, experience, and talents would be well-suited.

Am I angry?  No.  Am I happy?  No.  My feelings at the moment are mixed — which is not unusual for someone who’s bi-polar.  It’s weird to think that a lot of my friends will continue their careers without me and we won’t have those wonderful stories to tell together of the good and bad times we shared.  Many of my friends taught me what it was like to work in this field; many of my other friends I helped get started on their way.

If nothing else, I can look back at 8 years of employment with the satisfaction that I did my job.  I did it well.  People were helped because of me.  And even though I didn’t always receive a “thank you” or a “kiss my backside” (depending on the situation), I was there and did the best I could.  And knowing that my best helped others achieve their best, or at least attempt to get back to “normal” after what was possibly the “worst” time in their life, makes a big difference to me.

And now, a brief announcement.

Getting ready for Youngest Son’s friends to arrive.  Watching the ABC Family Harry Potter Marathon.  Finishing my daily post.  That is all.

True, I could be doing something more momentous for my 50th post.  I just don’t have the time today!

Dull, dull, dull: Part Deux

Another uneventful day.  I should be grateful, I guess.  Usually when my days are incredibly busy they’re not busy in a “good” way.  My job requires a natural/national disaster for me to be employed and it’s kind of embarrassing being the only person in a room cheering for a hurricane to make landfall so I can earn a paycheck and pay some bills.

I did supervise Youngest Son preparing for his friends to visit tomorrow.  There will be three teenage boys (including Youngest Son) “camped-out” on my living room floor tomorrow night watching movies and playing video games.  All of them are highly intelligent and easily bored if they’re not intellectually challenged.  Fortunately, being a parent and already having raised a child who’s now in college, I know that large amounts of soda and pizza will keep their appetites satisfied and the large library of DVDs, board games, video games, books, etc. will keep their minds entertained.  At least until the caffeine wears-off and they collapse on their sleeping bags.  I get to enjoy the “I’m not tired” protests during the evening as I remind them that they’ll have to get up the next morning and then watching them amble around the house like zombies because they believed they could stay awake all night.

There was some good news today from my Internet friends.  A “friend” of mine became a U.S. citizen today.  I only type “friend” with quotation marks because my friend, his wife, their family and I have never actually met.  We’re all fans of RiffTrax (from the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000 — that’ll be another post someday) and we along with a LOT of other people have become friends over the Internet.  But I’m very proud of his achievement.  I have another “friend” in that group who became a citizen as well.  I’m not collecting non-citizens and converting them, but I’m glad of their choice to join our great experiment and now they’ll be able to become disgruntled with their government representation just like the rest of us.

Well, at least I posted today.  Some days it’s harder to think of a topic or something worth reading.  I’m pretty sure by the time this weekend is over I’ll have good subjects.  Oh, and Presidents’ Day has already been writing itself, so be sure to come back that day!

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