Location: Germany

Friday, March 18, 2005

Being Married to a Soldier-Part Two (Jobs)

A lot of people look rather surprised when I start talking about the daily life of an army wife, so I'd like to explain a few things...

I don't have a job. Yet. That doesn't mean I don't have anything to do. While the man was in the desert, I spent most of my days unpacking all our stuff (I won't even go into the lousy job the movers did packing our stuff), painting our apartment, driving 20 minutes up to post to check my mail and email, and taking care of misc. errands on and off post. Misc. errands took up most of my time. In the evenings I would make myself dinner and wait around for the man to call--while educating myself on German pop-culture via the television. Now, back to the jobs--I have just started my teaching my dance class. Why not sooner? Good question--it's because all of the units here were on block leave which means nobody is here and nobody wants to take a dance class. Why not do something else in the meantime? Can't. I'm not allowed to work on the German economy. I can get a job on post, but because of a lovely little thing called stop-loss, there are way to many people here right now and not enough jobs to go around. Don't get me wrong, there are job opennings, but most of them are army civilian jobs which are tricky business to apply for. What happens is you have to apply online in response to a job posting. Easy enough. Applicants are ranked based on a number of different variables such as if you are a spouse of an active duty soldier (big one), if you have ever held an army civilian job (another big one), if you are a veteran...etc., etc.. If you are selected you are called and offered the position. If you decline the offer or if you take the job and decide you don't like it and want to apply for another one, you lose your family member preference (being married to an active duty soldier), which significantly decreases your chances of getting many of the posted jobs. Basically, I don't want to apply for a job unless I'm really sure I'm going to like it because if I decide I don't like it after starting or I decline the offer for employment, I'm screwed till we go back to the states.

So I'm teaching dance for now on an army civilian contract. Yeah, it takes up about 4 hours of my week. Why not get a few more contracts to try to fill up my week? Can't--a person can only hold one contract at a time.



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