It would seem that I need to move the job hunt into high gear. EPA published a notice in the Federal Register that our contract has been awarded to an organization for the blind in upstate NY. This is the same organization that won the last contract I was on. They spent the first 2 or so years of that contract completely forking it up.
Which annoyed me, because EPA rode our arses hard on that contract. Every single email we sent out (which was about 200/week) was scrutinized and rated for grammar, spelling, and content. We came up with a double-review process before sending any email. In the last year of the contract, over 75% of our email responses were rated "better than EPA could answer." Which, if I do say so myself, was pretty damn good.
Of course, after the contract was awarded to the other company, one of my co-workers sent a test email inquiry to them. When she got the response, she came to me and said, "If I had tried to send out something like this, you would have made me do it over ... twice." This made me think that maybe EPA was going a little easy on the new contractor ... and it pissed me off.
With the contract that they have now won, I don't think they have realized the breadth of knowledge required to answer the questions we receive. They haven't even asked to see the training manual, and we take *at least* 30 days to train new information specialists. It's another several months before a new info spec feels comfortable enough to answer questions without assistance.
The notice set an effective date of June 29th. Our project officer (at EPA) isn't sure what that means. Good luck to them. Don't expect much help from this end.
In the meantime, anyone want to hire me?
I sent out one resume/job application yesterday. I have a pile of other job openings to work on this weekend. So all is not hopeless. And, hell, I'll work in Pier One if I have to.
Anyway, enough of the boring job talk.
Last night, Y and I went to a new Indian/Nepali restaurant in Silver Spring. DUN had given me a gift certificate for taking care of her cat, Fuego. The food was really good. We had samosas for an appetizer. They were all right. I've had better. For my entree, I had some sort of spicy potato/cauliflower dish (aloo ghobib?). It was excellent. Y had something with chicken (chicken tikki masala?). We also ordered cheese-stuffed naan. YUM. The portions seemed a little small. And the prices were a tad high. I can see myself going back once in awhile. I'm not a huge fan of Indian food, so I really have to be craving it. That happens maybe once every two months or so.
When we got back, Tomoko [and Emiliano] came down for drinks and a chat. I made Lillet spritzers, which were super-yummy. Very cool and refreshing. I think I may have found my new summer drink.
Lillet, if you don't know, is a French aperitif. I bought a bottle of it when I wanted to make the Vesper Martini mentioned in Casino Royale (3 parts Gordon's, 1 part Vodka, 1/2 part Lillet with a twist). I read about the spritzer idea in GQ last week when I was at the salon.
I guess I poured about 2 oz Lillet and 1 oz soda in an ice-filled wine glass. Then, I added a thin slice of lemon. Delicious. Srsly. You should try it.
I don't have any huge plans for this weekend. I'll probably spend most of it at home. Sunday, Y and I are going with some of his friends on a picnic in the park to celebrate some Jewish holiday (that begins with an S?). Apparently, one celebrates it by drinking wine and eating cheese in a park. Which, if you ask me, is a mighty fine way to celebrate practically any religious holiday.
On a final note, big *smooches* to Chelsea for doing my little picture activity yesterday! If you'd like to do it (and why wouldn't you like to do it?), scroll down and pick some pictures!
I guess that's it for now. More later, I'm sure.
PS. Our friend, the Straight Guy, has updated.