Sunday, January 26, 2014

Two Weeks to Orientation

And Now For Something Completely Different

It's now down to the final two weeks at work before I make the big switch from Defense to State. I've been with the Air Force for 22 1/2 years. I've had a variety of jobs along the way but they've always been in support of the Air Force. I did look at making a change when I retired from the military, but coming back to the Air Force as civil service was the best opportunity at that time. However, now that I have this new opportunity ahead of me I do think it'll be refreshing to move on to something completely different...

I've transferred my workload to someone else and have just been helping lately. Sometimes its hard to resist jumping right in with answers as if my opinion will continue impacting the future of that work. I've started playing this clip of John Cleese every now and then when I'm asked a work question. It's a funny response to any question with a great laugh that serves as a reminder that I'm actually leaving.

The Local Hire Advantage

One definite advantage of being a local hire is that we don't have to move out of this house now. My classmates are making their final preparations at work like I am, but they're also scrambling at home to move here for training before we all move out to the far corners of the Earth. Some are leaving family behind to wrap it up while they're at training, but many are bringing everything now. 

The foreign service training process doesn't provide time for people to return home. I found out we're considered "in transit" to our first assignment when we start orientation. Non-local hire household effects will have to sit in a warehouse since we don't get our assignments until the 3rd week. In contrast, our stuff will just stay in our house as a local hire.

We're working on getting the house ready to sell but moving isn't an immediate priority since we have until June. We might also move twice if our house sells early. But it'd just be a local move to an extended stay hotel with our travel stuff. We should be able to split up our packing according to my assignment and have it all heading directly there and/or to long-term storage from our house.

Non-local hires have to plan out their boxes for the warehouse considering what might stay there long-term and what they may need to request for their assignment. We'll have the luxury of sorting it all out after we actually know where we're going. That's definitely a big advantage of being a local hire! Granted, I won't get per diem to cover temporary housing during training but I'm better able to switch from paying a mortgage to a hotel with minimal overlap so that's probably a fair trade.

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