Wednesday, August 02, 2006

End of a Dream

Some people live life and do not achieve their dreams. I consider myself lucky to have lived mine. Most of us go to jobs we hate that are merely a means to an end. I consider myself fortunate to have served my country that I love. The job that I performed each and every day up till a recent change is reuniting families. Currently, I am working vocational cases and placing underpaid IT people just doesn't carry the same good feeling.

On September 30 my job and that of 1200 other people will be eliminated. The numbers do not include people who reluctantly took other jobs to avoid the axe. The numbers do not include people who took permanent lower skill permanent jobs at DHS to remain employed. A close friend moved his family 3000 miles and took a permanent job with no potential of a raise to stay with DHS.

Employees at DHS were hired on a term basis and they serve up to four years. The security screening takes more then a year. If you get an incompetent investigator you are screwed. I had a lousy investegator who insisted she come to my current job.
The employer fired me and claimed cause and I had to wait five months to get unemployment checks. The delays in hiring due to the negligent investigator caused
me to lose seniority that would have allowed me to take the tests for permanent jobs. The delays also caused lasting damage in that I did not recieve training that would allow me to serve in my community and make valuable contacts. Moreover, when I apply for a new job I an a nine and have little or no chance against 11 and twelves and unemployed lawyers.

There is a slight chance that my job could be saved as there was a plan that those people who did not serve their full four year term would be extended until their four years were fulfilled. At that time I would be a twelve and be able to compette without the damage caused by OPM errors. Sadly the office would be in an all or nothing situation and most of the people who would be extended would be extended for
months. This would be silly and impractical and there are only 300 slots being considered, If it were done on an individual basis I would have an excellent chance of getting a slot. However, government and common sense should never be used in the same sentence. The reality is I have a better chance of playing center for the Knicks
then continuing the job I love.

Where is my union? The union has zero power to help term employees. Where is Senator Leahy and Jeffords? Out to lunch. Where is Rep Bernie Sanders? Hamming it up on the campaign or at a mixer at a University nearby. Allegedly the only help came from Senator Kennedy who thinks it is an outrage to let go of experienced help with high backlogs and new programs on the way.

Do not feel sorry for me as I did live my dream. I changed lives and in the end I can point to thousands of reunited families. Other then AOW or those of you are parents not many can say they have improved lives for the better.

I plan on returning to my beloved NYC and my family. I may take a month to go to Israel and volunteer. If I do go this blog will be very interesting. Exasperated coworkers said to me Beakerkin you have survived being blown up twice aren't you pushing your luck. My response is I may as well try for a hat trick. I will be leaving with one months pay but I will talk this over with my loved ones.


Always On Watch said...

I'm sorry to hear this! But as you said, government and common sense should never be used in the same sentence. And you have lived your dream! I know from personal experience how wonder living one's dream can be--even if the money isn't good.

Only one month's pay? That's ugly. I'm guessing, though, that your family and friends will help you out.

I'll miss your Vermont stories, but if you go to Israel--well, you'll have plenty to say. :)

nanc said...

i don't know what to say, beak. mark this on your calendar - "nanc speechless 080206" - it happened once before.

The Merry Widow said...

Beaker- No, I won't pity you! You are undergoing what is happening to many people right now, in many different fields. I don't fully understand, but there appears to be a major sea change coming, it may not be for the good. But, that said, having reunited familiesis a very noteworthy and righteous accomplishment! I'm glad you enjoyed the work! I'm sure the families are grateful too!
Hopefully your job will continue and you can continue to help families!
Good evening and G*D bless!


beakerkin said...

Vermont was a good adventure but NYC is a better backdrop. A bonus that was promised to the workers for meeting the goals vanished.

A months pay was achieved by taking zero vacation for 13 months. Many people have far less but I will also have unemployment.

I feel for those with large families. I changed lives and lived my dream and nobody can ever take that from me.

We get far left jokers who play the chickenhawk game. I am too old to go to Iraq. However I left my home, my career and beloved friends and family to have the honor of serving in any way I could. Do not feel sorry for a person that lived his dreams. Feel sorry for those who do not dream at all.

beakerkin said...

TMW you are right but I want to be clear that this is a layoff of 1200 people. Nobody did anything wrong and sadly I was not even allowed to compette for a permanent job due to someone elses incompetence. Life is not fair and I will have more adventures. They may not be as rewarding but I will always treaure the time.

nanc said...

okay, no longer speechless.

it is my belief that when one dream is over another is begun. cannot wait to see what is in store for you, beak.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

You're probably a shoe-in for a post office job. I can loan you a rifle until your first paycheck. :)

Good luck, bud. You'll land on your feet.

Mad Zionist said...

Beak, I'm so sorry to hear this news. You lost your job on Tisha B'Av...brutal. Lamentations will take on another level for you today.

I would spend a little time off in New York with your family cooling your jets and clearing your mind. This begins your next step in your journey, and let's face it, you were not a Vermont kind of guy, anyway.

Look forward not back.

anonymous jones said...

I reckon poor old Lebanon needs more volunteers than Israel! Especially the families trying to escape getting blown up. You seem lucky, how about doing a free taxi service for those folks?

beakerkin said...

Anon Jones

If you don't want to get blown up do not allow terrorists to opperate in your locale. the Israelis warned civilians what was in store and prudent judgement says if Israel says you are going to get leveled get out of the way.

On a practical level Hezbollah wants to kill all non marxist Jews.
Thus as I am a Jew and an anti communist I would end up beheaded.
Hezbollah has also bombed temples in Argentina and at last check they have zero to do with Israel.

Hezbollah should be wiped out to the last man. FYI I still remember the Marines in Beirut, Buckley and Stethem.

Anonymous said...


Good luck going forward.

Let us know if there is anyway we can assist you.

Always On Watch said...

Back in 1997, I left my job, to all outward appearances an excellent one in terms of salary and benefits, because of an incompetent administration. One of my smarter moves, if one takes into account "the dream."

Another door opened in September of that year, then the homeschooling offer the following February. The latter has been wonderful! I can't begin to enumerate all the blessings.

So, one of your dreams ends. Another will come along. I'm sure of it! You might have some rough times in between, of course. But returning to NYC will recharge you.

The Merry Widow said...

The rough times help us appreciate the good ones properly! But, you have another dream out there, the decks are clearing, you're intelligent, you have a personality. The world is wide open to you! If you go to Israel, blessed thought, send me a baggie of earth! It may be the closest I get in this life! You lucky duck!
Good morning and G*D bless!

P.S. In 1991 on our son's 2nd birthday, my late called and said Friday was his last day! We ended up in Californiastan for 8 1/2 yrs.! Saw some beautiful country with our growing children!

beakerkin said...


I have to check but I think the transportation of foreign soil is against the law. I do know that if one gets caught with produce from a foreign country one can end up in serious trouble.

If I go I will check the legality of returning with soil samples.

The Merry Widow said...

Beaker- The earth would never leave the baggie! Just to have a small tittle of the Holy Land would bless my heart beyond measure! If you can't, the thought is there and appreciated! Dang it, I'm crying.
Spend time with your family and friends, then make aliyah! Blessings on both!


Brooke said...

Beak, whatever you decide to do you will come out on top! Good luck, and keep us posted... Going to Israel would be a fantastic adventure!

nanc said...

beak - please just scrape the soles of your shoes upon your return and send the scrapings to tmw or we'll never hear the end of it!


The Merry Widow said...

Nanc- Hahahahaha!
You are funny!


Justin said...


Count this as a blessing as hard as it may be able to see it as such. But, I have found through my travels in this world that G*D does not let one door close on you with out opening another.

My prayers are with you.

Solid Surfer said...


I'm so sorry to hear about this. Good luck with finding a new position, and if you go to Israel have a wonderful time.

(I assume you probably know people there too, but if not, I have a number of good friends there; email me about it if you'd like - my email address is on my website.)

beakerkin said...

I am putting in some OT to get an interview suit so far $240.00 does not buy much.

We will see how my family takes it. My going there would formally end any shot I had at returning. DHS tends to from on trips to Israel and ownership of Israeli bonds.