When I was a kid, I used to dream of being a stay at home mom, I’d clean the house, take care of my offspring, and eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Funny how the reality of life never matches up with the fantasy. I cannot stand staying at home now, the days stretch on way too long and I get bored after the first 15 minutes of being awake in the morning. Even right at this moment, surrounded by boxes to unpack, and I just want to get out of the house. Finding employment has been at the top of my to-do list since we first found out we were moving. It hasn’t been easy. Still, after much work I have finally managed to get an offer for a job requiring just a high school diploma. Hopefully something better turns up soon, but until then, I’ll do my drudge work. Just in case you ever find yourself applying to work for anything involving the American Government’s big, fat fingers, here are some tips.
1. Avoid at all costs. You may think I’m joking, but the system of employment out here is so screwed up that it’s not even funny. You have to work 52 weeks, time in grade to be considered for a promotion, if you work 51 weeks and 3 days and your husband is moved so you move, you’re screwed unless you can find a new position within 150 days of the move. That may sound like a lot of time, but it isn’t. At all.
2. It will take forever. When they first contacted me about this job, I couldn’t even remember the position it was. It was one that applied to back before we moved. Yeah, almost two months ago now. For an hourly, part-time position. That only requires a high-school diploma. Two months from application in to interview. It will take at least another 2 weeks for me to complete the hiring process, since I need a physical, and a hefty background check. Hopefully by the time I’m actually employed by these people, I’ll be leaving to work for the same people under a different job title, payment system, and so on.
3. The red-tape is ridiculous. There was this position. I used to do the same job back in SA. Almost exactly. It required either experience or education or a combo of the two. I had the combo of the two. The problem is that the person reading the applications for approval (not located remotely close to here) evidently doesn’t know the meaning of the word pedagogy. And therefor disqualified my application for not having any education related classes on my transcripts. Other positions require you to hold your breath while hopping on one foot to check off the box with the right word order, even though all three options say the exact same thing.
4. Everyone will tell you not to work. I’m not sure what it is about mil-spouses, but it seems that they think no one should work. When I tell people I’m job hunting, the first thing they all seem to ask is why. Then they warn of never getting time off and spending all my time working. We won’t even get in to the comments that my schedule will never line up with my husband’s. Well, no duh. He’s a cop, he works the craziest hours on this base. But that still doesn’t mean I can sit at home, all day, by myself and not work. Oh yeah, and the number of people who tell me to just have a kid instead…it’s a crazy culture here.
5. It’s worth it in the end. At least, I hope it is. Check back with me in a few weeks to see if I’ve ever actually started working. If I haven’t, I might change my mind on this one.