My boss called me over.
"Allan, can you read this email and tell me what you think it says?"
"Sure...mumble...what the... holy fuck-- (sorry). ..mumble...shit! (oops)...um."
"Well?" She looked upset and her voice was a little shaky. "How do you see this?'
"Ahh...we are supposed to cancel all of our tests, which means calling hundreds- maybe thousands- of applicants to inform them that their appointments have been canceled indefinitely. Then we are to "terminate" all of our field staff, re-assign our clerks to other departments and continue to do the work for a little over a week, which will mean that three of us will have to accomplish what it currently takes 37 people in twenty counties to do. This is a joke , right? Please, let this be a joke. I really need this to be not true."
"No, I wish it were a joke, but it just came in. We have a meeting later today...it does sound like something you would write."
"Yeah, the Friday 13th deadline is a nice touch...too bad this is real. You understand that what they are asking is impossible?"
"Yes, but we need to do it anyway."
Thursday we had our Opening Ceremony and accompanying publicity blitz. On Friday, HQ took the phones off-line for upgrades, so we missed an entire weekend of calls directly after a PR campaign...now it is Tuesday and they are pulling the plug on us in just 10 days, six weeks earlier than planned. The economy and unemployment are so bad that Recruiting has been maxed out nearly all the time- now we have far, far more applicants than we need- except in a few scattered isolated rural areas. Sometime in the very near future I will be spending my days driving to small towns and administering Bureau tests to anyone that I can drag or persuade into the test site.
The barrage of angry calls have already begun. What do you mean you are canceling my test and I have to wait until Fall? I need a job now!
Tomorrow we have to break the news to our Field Staff. My clerks are worried but I think we can find work for them in the other departments. I was told that my job was secure- it's my system and I understand it better than anyone, so it makes sense to keep me on until we get busy again...I'll have to travel a lot. I guess I'll spend my weekend futzing around with my car.
-Friday night is the WRIR 4th anniversary party! Our little radio station that could is still rockin!
-I finally went shopping for new music. My next radio show is gonna be great.