16. November 2006 · Comments Off on Morning Coffee (061116) · Categories: General

One of the “benefits” of retiring is the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Depending on where you are, that’s a three to five day seminar where you get briefed on all your various benefits and get help making the change from military to civilian life.

The one I’m attending has had a strange side effect. I’m becoming terrified of making the change. I wasn’t worried about moving back home or finding a job or even about my ability to write a resume or interview until we had classes about those subjects. Now I can’t sleep. The worst part is, I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t fully understand the reality of the situation or if it’s by design. Their message seems to be, “Be afraid, be very afraid. Don’t get me wrong, being a civilian is GREAT, but be afraid.” All of a sudden I feel like George Carlin talking about the government.

Another disturbing part is that the folks from jobland (corporate America) who do come in to talk to us, aren’t allowed to actively recruit us. They’re not even supposed to pass out cards. It’s not that they don’t want to, they do, they’re just not supposed to in that forum.
However, the charming and very funny lady from Civilian Personnel had no problems at all holding us hostage for two hours as she explained to us in excruciating detail how to apply for Federal Jobs and where they bury them on the AFPC Website. And there seems to be a lean toward the people who are staying in the local area vs moving away. I guess that makes some sort of sense considering the team has their network pretty fully established HERE, but I’d always imagined the folks at the Family Support Center were tied in better to the rest of the country than this.
I had written off the idea of further Federal employment when I get out of The Air Force. First of all, I thought that double dipping was still illegal. It’s not. You can now retire from the Air Force, retirement checks coming once a month, and get a decent Federal Job, do 20 years there, and come home with another retirement check after 20 years. On some levels that sounds like living the dream, but I find that creepy…incestuous…icky. I know part of that reaction comes from being burned out. Which is something else I realized this week. I’m fried. I’m so VERY tired of all this…stuff. I’m not comfortable being more specific, let’s just say I’m not all depressed about the outcome of the last week’s political events and leave it at that.I’m pulling some diamonds out of this rough though and I’m working my way back to being okay about retiring. Apparently there are some jobs out there in the civilian world where you get hired to do ONE thing. I was stunned. One of our additional duties is like a complete full time job out there on the outside. No. I’m not kidding. If you’re the money guy? That’s all you do is manage money. If you’re the safety guy? You do NOTHING but safety all day long.

And check this out…they pay MORE for working longer than 8 hours a day. R3@LLY!

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