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September 13, 2006

Cross your fingers...

...toes and any other appendages (we have an eclectic readership) flexible enough to provide a reasonable facsimile of an "X."

Somebody reminded me a while back that I possess an uncommon commodity in the job market--ummmm, aside from my rugged good looks.

*artfully dodging repeated lightning strikes--and jeté!*

Owwww--my knees...

Okay, back to that uncommon commodity--I have a current gummint security clearance (it's not at the "Destroy This Before Reading" level, but it's gotten me access to interesting segments of the job market). So, I snooped around, found some vacancies and tailored 'n' weighted the resume-cum-cover letter(s) to be a perfect fit for each--Training Program Manager, Project Manager, Program Analyst, Olde Middle English Language Specialist--the usual standbys. And one three-page Crusty-Old-Warrant-Officer-JOAT with a less-than-formal cover letter that I threw together last Friday.

Guess which one has produced the most hits?

Yup. I interviewed today with

1. a Beltway Bandit PM who said I was exactly what he needed for a project opening next month,

2. a Fed who didn't have anything in her department but was intrigued enough to point me in a direction I hadn't previously considered and

3. a recruiter who wants to plug me into a financial oversight slot with some outfit in Manhattan.

In order: thank you, thank you, no thank you.

Now, if things go the way I'm hoping they will, I'll be employed, away from New Jersey for the majority of the year and I'll be doing something I'm eminently qualified to do, using just about every skill I've ever picked up (especially those that kept me *alive* all those years), passing that knowledge along and then evaluating how well the sponges absorbed the lessons.

Nope--I can't tell you exactly what it is. It's classified, ya know?

Heh--reminds me about the Top Secret mission I flew back in The Day. Peter Pilot and I landed at Chi Lang (within spitting distance of a mixed VC/NVA battalion on the mountain to the west) at o'dark thirty in the evening, walked into the Green Beanie TOC, saw the big TOP SECRET sign on the curtain covering a wall map of Southeast Asia and looked at each other, 'cuz we only had Secret clearances.

I told the briefer that we'd wait for them out at the aircraft while they had their briefing, since we weren't cleared for TS info. He got a little flustered, since we were the ones who were gonna fly the mission.

Once we got outside, PP and I laughed until our sides ached.

Anyway, it turned out that only the grid location of the business to be conducted was Top Secret, so before we cranked up Trusty Hubert, the Team Leader said, "Gimme your maps--I'll vector you, so you technically won't know the location."

*two shrugs--two maps passed back to the team leader*

"Okay, take off on a three-six-zero and fly for fifteen minutes."

*okayyy--flying due north outta Chi Lang for three minutes would put us into Cambodia, so doing it for fifteen minutes kinda blew the lid off the TS as far as we were concerned...*

It didn't take fifteen minutes, because ten minutes out, Team Leader radioed his guys on the ground, said we were inbound and told them mark their location with a strobe.

"Can't do that," came the whispered answer. "We're right in the middle of a whole sh*tload of NVA."

"How close are they?" asked Team Leader.

"Hang on a second. I'll let you talk to one."

Oh, *that* was a fun night, kids. Watch a video of one of the night raids on Baghdad to get a small idea of the fireworks involved.

And we got everybody out, too--including one guy who had planned to go further south, but was very unhappy at the prospect of doing it in a US helicopter.

They grow some *big* guys in northern China--and that's no secret...