Email from placement about budget cuts

I received this email today. Interesting thing is, she included everyone in the To: line, so I can see exactly how many people she has ūüôā WIN.

Dear applicant,

I am the Placement Officer managing your placement with the Peace Corps. I am sending this email to you in an effort to provide some insight on changes occurring for upcoming Peace Corps programs and their impact on the timing of your placement.

Like many federal agencies, Peace Corps is currently reviewing its operations in light of budget reductions. The on-going review will result in fewer service opportunities available overseas in the remainder of 2011 and in 2012.  Unfortunately, these changes are highly likely to affect your potential placement. Many of our Summer and Fall-departure applicants will be placed in new programs with significant delays in departure dates, as far off as January 2012 or later.  Identifying new placement options for you will require flexibility in terms of geographic preference, assignment preference,  and departure date on your part as another program like the one you were nominated to may not be available. The Peace Corps Placement Office understands and apologizes for the inconvenience the impeding delay may cause our applicants. At this time, we ask that you please let me know if there is any reason that you would not be interested in remaining under consideration for a future program. Please feel free to contact me by email or phone regarding your inability to remain under consideration for Peace Corps service given the new timeframe for departures.

However, should you remain interested in placement, I will be contacting you in the coming months regarding your application. At the moment, the Business Skills desk is currently working to complete the review and placement of applicants nominated to programs previously scheduled to depart in the April to June time periods. As I complete their placements, a Placement Assistant will be in touch with you regarding additional information that may be needed to process your application. Subsequently your application will be passed on to me for a final suitability and skill review to determine the next available program that best fits your skills and qualifications.  It is at this point that I will be able to provide you further details on your specific placement and the timing of upcoming programs.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the Peace Corps for your interest in service and your continued patience. I look forward to working on your placement in the very near future.

So I did the math and she has 56 people, including myself. Let’s assume that half of those people are before me because their departure took precedence. If she does one person a day, she wouldn’t even get to my application for another 28 business days. (Mind you this is all complete applicant BS aka me just trying to measure unmeasurable time).

My file has already been passed onto her though because I got that email from the Placement Assistant telling me so. Still, it will probably be a while before she gets to my file. Someone just commented and said though that following up with your placement specialist was recommended by RPCVs.

Since this email is chock full of uncertainty. Here is what I am going to assume for now: I am not leaving until next year. If I get a placement beforehand, awesome. Better to set your expectations low, then get all excited and be let down.

Not going to lie though, this email really threw me for a loop all afternoon at work. I read it no less than 10 times. Trying to glean any additional information I could pry from those few paragraphs. The first time I read it, this is what it sounded like in my head: omgomgomgomgomg email from placement. this is so awesome. wait, what?

Here’s where everything gets thrown for a loop though. I was financially planning on leaving in August. Which means, I was saving just about every penny, I haven’t bought new clothes in eons. I haven’t really spent any money on myself. If I might not leave for later does that mean I can buy a couple of new shirts? It is so hot in the summer here – I really want some more things. Everything I have looked up for Peace Corps though basically says “wear sleeves.” I don’t want to buy something that I may only wear for a few months. I need new jeans too – but what if I end up with an assignment where the average temperature is 150 degrees? Alright, now I am just being ridiculous.

Another thing though – I think I am going to stop my current volunteer efforts. I volunteer for AFS, exchange organization, and well they aren’t so together here. What business related volunteer work can I do? There aren’t a lot of options in my area. My company does advertising for Make-a-Wish, I wonder if that is¬†relevant?

Alright, so here is my plan. If I don’t hear anything from her by May 27th, ¬†I will send her an email asking about my status and maybe telling her about some new¬†fandangled¬†thing I am doing at work that is super awesome. I will have had reviews by then, maybe I will get a new job duty.

Severe case of RAS.


5 thoughts on “Email from placement about budget cuts

  1. I got the same email today! I was nominated for Business Advising leaving for the Caribbean in August. I feel like everything is wide open. I’m afraid to get in the mind set of leaving next year and then get invited leaving this year. So I want to keep thinking I will be leaving this year just so I’m not caught off guard if an invite comes my way! Best of luck!

    • I know! That’s the hard part, planning for the complete unknown. Good luck to you too! This whole process has been like climbing a mountain. You hit sections that seem like they are impassable, then suddenly you are in the clear. Finally, when you think you are near the end – a giant storm comes in. No one knows when it will clear, could be tomorrow or in 6 months.

      I have to say though – I am extremely happy that Peace Corps sent an email like this though. Helps alleviate some anxiety of the total unknown.

  2. I received the same email today! My nomination is for North Africa & the Middle East leaving in September. I’m glad to hear there are others in the same boat. It makes things a bit more bearable.

    Good luck with placement!

  3. I feel your pain! It’s hard to be in limbo for so long, not being able to plan your life at all – like buying clothes (I’m in the same boat), isn’t it? I was scheduled to go to Asia at the end of June for the business development program and learned two weeks ago that I “missed the program.” My specialist told me she is currently reviewing applications of those scheduled to go in May and June, so it seems in sync with the email you got yesterday. Good luck to you!

  4. Pingback: Timeline « Adventures

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