Friday, August 8, 2008

The Ongoing Saga

So as you probably know, getting through the Peace Corps review process has been messy to say the least.

Here has been the timeline so far:

October 2007- Completed initial online application, collected and submitted recommendation letters

November-December 2007: Complete background checks, basic medical reports

January 2008- Interview with recruiter. During the interview I told the recruiter I wanted to go to China to work if possible, which she thought was very possible. She asked if the job or the location was more important. I told her I wanted to go to China.

February 22, 2008: PC sends my ‘Congratulations on your nomination to the Peace Corps’ letter and medical evaluation packet. FedEx leaves a message on my and my roommate’s apartment door saying they have a package for us (they don't specify who) that requires a signature. They do not tell us what it is or who it is from. PC calls me asking why their package bounced back. Ooops. I give them my work address.

Early March 2008: Finally receive ‘Congratulations on your nomination to the Peace Corps’ letter and medical evaluation packet, just in time to go out of town for spring break. The delay was due FedEx issues. They placed a note on my apartment door that did not indicate who it was for, me or my roommate, who it was from, and it required a signature. The place to pick up the mystery package was too far to justify both of us going up there to figure out what was going on. So we left it and a few days later PC called me to ask why I didn't accept their package.
My nomination packet indicated that I will be helping NGO’s. It did not list a time or place

April-May 2008: Go to Arlington, where all of my doctors are located, and complete medical forms, and submit them to PC. Go around Austin to doctors to finish parts of the paperwork my Arlington doctors couldn’t/forgot to do.

May 22, 2008: PC receives all of my documents

June 5, 2008: PC reviews my paperwork and begins sending it back. Requests vary from not liking a doctor’s signature, asking for another personal statement regarding my knee, asking for expanded paperwork on other issues… All requests are made via snail mail. Op wait, one person asked me via email to describe.

June-July, 2008: Additional medical review paperwork goes back and forth between PC and me regarding my application. They snail mail me information, I fax it back. I call PC to make sure they are still planning on sending me to the NGO program in China; they confirm. They tell me the program leaves in mid-August.

July 29, 2008: I receive additional medical reviews paperwork PC sent to my parent’s house since I do not currently have an apartment. I take the paperwork to the doctor that day to have them review it.

August 6, 2008: I received the additional completed paperwork and submit it.

August 8, 2008: I call the PC to see try to get some details about my program because I can see via my limited online profile that PC is reviewing my medical records again.

I am told over the phone the China program I thought I was nominated for is leaving soon. I probably will not be able to attend, but I should contact the placement officer for that region just to make sure.

I feel a vague dizzy feeling and am grateful that I ate a light breakfast because I think I might lose it.

I sit down, email the appropriate placement person, indicate that I can leave tomorrow if that is what it takes, and watch some videos to focus on something else.

By the time I go to my hair appointment I’m in “Let’s fix this” mode. I decide to chop of my hair because that will be more manageable when I go to China.

Plan A:
· Leave in a few days for China.
· Tie up the loose ends pretty quickly, though it won’t be pretty.
· Try to push the placement officer into letting me in if the medical office doesn’t have any more problems with my application.

Plan B:
· Leave in a few months for China.
· Tie up the loose ends much more completely.
· Attend the Leadership Development Retreat J.
· Spend more time with family and friends.
· Actually learn Mandarin, since I totally failed to do it in the last few months.
· Maybe take the road trip I planned earlier in the year that got canceled due to lack of cool people who want to come with me.
· Stay with the Red Cross and save up some more money

After coming back refreshed from a little hair therapy with my new haircut, I received the following message:

"Hi Lyndsay:
The program you were nominated to is now closed. The deadline for invitation was over two months ago. We were not able to consider you for this assignment because you were not yet medically qualified.

At this time you are still not medically cleared. The Placement Office does not begin to consider possibilities for applicants until they are medically cleared. If all your medical documents are in, hopefully you will qualify soon.

I have checked your file in response to your comments and there is no mention of you going to China. I also spoke to the Placement Officer for China and he was not aware of you as being a candidate for this program. Furthermore, based on the experience you have listed on your resume, you do not have the right skills to be considered for the China program, which is focused on finding highly qualified, experienced, and certified teachers. For these reasons I am unsure as to why you may have felt you would be serving there.

Once you medically clear, our office will begin to process your file. At that time I will be able to assess where you might best be fit to serve.

I hope this answers your questions, and look forward to speaking with you soon."

I apologize if I am, or have been, a little snippy about the PC. Currently I do not know where I am going. I do not know what I am doing. I do not know when I am going.

You'll know when I do.

So I'm going to go watch some more videos, re-pot a poor plant that has been sitting and yellowing in my sister's room, and look forward to seeing Bree's new kitties tomorrow.

Plan C: Working on it


Bree said...

Do you have documentation from your China ordeal? The e-mails telling you about the program and all the stuff you had to do to go into it? I mean, even if you can't get into the NGO program, at least you can get someone fired and start the reworking of the PC early. =) Just tell me who I need to kill. The guys send their support too. The kittens will make you feel happy!!!

L Jolley said...

All of the China stuff was discussed verbally, so I don't have anything on paper.

It is for the PC, so I don't think hurting anyone would really be congruent with the purpose of the mission. However taking oversomeone's job would be welcomed.

PC you have my number, give me a call and I might be able to help you out. ;)