Thursday, June 09, 2011

I Am Terrified of Bidding

I'm still months away from the opening of bidding season, but I.  Am.  Terrified.


I've looked through the Middle East bureau's projected vacancies for the next five years and convinced myself that I qualify for none of them, unless I want to do visa work in Dhahran (again) or manage the motor pool in Sanaa.  Not gonna lie, y'all, neither of those positions or countries are any place to which I ever want to return.  The awesome jobs I dreamed about in Beirut, Damascus, and Dubai?  They don't appear to be open until sometime in 2014.  

Let's leave aside even the positions: for my third tour, I have to lobby for assignments.  It was so much easier when I gave some faceless bureaucrats a list of my top twenty choices and they picked for me.  How in the hell am I going to convince a bunch of faceless bureaucrats to love me enough not to send me to Ethniklashistan?  And even if I do get to Ethniklashistan, I will have to get there either 5 months before my tour in Istanbul ends or in three years - there doesn't appear to be anything available in between those arrival times.

I'm not the only one panicking.  This week I've walked up to four colleagues' desks and caught them all looking at FS Bid (the bidding "tool" through which we allegedly are able to find gainful employment) or printouts of available positions.  I've gotten emails from a billion people who evidently think they have enough wasta to get a post in Istanbul...  meanwhile, I'm counting my chits and hoping enough people tolerate me that I can get to Khartoum and not Juba, or Monterrey instead of Juarez.

Oh dear god.  I am so scared - and the bid list doesn't even officially come out for another two months.


  1. Bid lists seem so feast or famine sometimes. I hope you get somewhere that works okay for you.

  2. We don't bid until NEXT summer, yet I catch my husband looking at the projected list of available positions and I get frequently asked "How do you feel about (insert post of the day here)." I think it is an occupational hazard to always be thinking "Where do we go next?"

  3. Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

    It will work itself out. Until the list comes out, ask around where people have been. The positives and negatives at those posts. Dream and wonder. I find that when I am opening to places I hadn't even thought of by learning about other random posts around the world, it helps looking at the bid list when it is finally there. Each one will be doable. Each one will have amazing people waiting to be friends and cool adventures that you may have never imagined on your own. And each post is temporary. Hang in there!

  4. I take it you're not interested in an Iraq tour? I'm sure they'd be interested in you!

  5. You have a great personality, cultural knowledge, and skill set (especially in terms of languages). Any post would be lucky to have you!

    (If it helps, I am feeling the same butterflies...)

  6. Hey - You'll do great!! Bidding 3rd tour last summer was a bit freaky but ultimately less painful than I'd psyched myself up for..... I'll be crossing my fingers for you this August!

  7. I totally hear you! Not bidding until next summer, but the lobbying is terrifying. My job search (due to the tandem thing) is restricted to precisely ONE POST (where my husband was already assigned by the faceless bureaucrats), but somehow that feels more presumptuous, like hey, I am trying to weasel my way into your pretty nice post that is totally overvalued on the hardship scale and a good deal all around, all based on who I'm married to. But you like me, right?