In April, the contract I have been working on for five years was due to be renewed. Instead, the government extended it until the end of June. June came around, and the contract got extended until the end of August, while the contract bid process was finally begun. At the end of August, no contract was awarded, and thus began a joyful process of “guess what is happening in contractland.” Shoe number one hit the floor with a hollow thud.
Every week, a tale regarding exactly what rumor was ascendant was passed around. The next week, a completely new and different tale would be exchanged. You can imagine how much fun was had by all. During this time, we all nominally continued to be employed, but without any job site to go to had to make do with our saved vacation time in order to qualify for paychecks. Fortunately, I had over a month of vacation time saved up, so I weathered September without a problem. Many of my coworkers were on “Leave Without Pay” status for much of the month. Fat lot of good it does to be hypothetically employed, if you can’t use that hypothesis to pay bills.
We all knew our company was a shoo-in for the new contract. We’re the incumbents, have been doing the job for over a decade, have a good rapport with the customer, and have such a great understanding of the local realities that our bid must have been among the lowest. We also knew the contract had to be awarded by the end of Fiscal Year 2008 (that would be the 30th of September). Imagine my surprise to get a call on the 29th of September that said we didn’t get the contract. Shoe number two squashed something. Fortunately, the new overlords will be hiring all of us worker bees to work the new contract, since they have exactly zero local employees to do the work themselves. Now, to prepare for an interview with the new employer. Yes, I have to interview for a job I’ve held for five years. Yay.