My life has been a whirlwind since returning home on Sat. Jan. 1st. We had a relaxing 16 night stay in Tunica, MS in our motorhome. Nothing more taxing than unhooking and driving 100 feet for propane refills twice. Our days were filled with free buffets, gambling on penny slot machines, watching DVDs of Hill Street Blues, drinking free Coronas, watching football games, reading books, long walks with the dogs in the field next to the golf course, finding golfballs, taking photographs, long walks in the woods and on the levy chasing armadillos, etc. I’ll be the first to say I’m spoiled. We didn’t even have 3 weeks at home after our 16 days there over Thanksgiving before going back!
While we were gone, hubby found out he has to go to Los Angeles for a week for work on Sun. Jan. 9th. He got an email stating he needed to make hotel reservations by Dec. 31st. They had reserved a block of rooms for everyone who would be at the event. The morning of Dec. 30th, hubby calls to make reservations and there are no rooms left. They will not give him the government rate, etc. So he had to go into his emails on his laptop to contact the person in charge to let them know. When he did, he found out about a potential job opportunity that came up the day before and was closing the following day. Usually the jobs are open to apply for for at least a couple of weeks. We didn’t even have time to think about it but he got in his resume that day. If he hadn’t had a problem with the reservation, he wouldn’t have even checked his emails and found out about the opportunity in time.
Interviews would be Monday and Tuesday Jan. 3 & 4. A decision would be made on Wed. Jan. 5th. There were 3 positions available at a pilot program run by Auburn University in AL. They are for a TSA Vapor-based canine handler. This is my husband’s dream job. He’d have to be away from home for 12 weeks: from Sun. Jan. 9th until April 1st (his birthday). We’ve tried not to think about it in terms of what would change if he got it but we still both got our hopes up.
You see, this isn’t the first time he’s been in this situation. Oct. ’09 he got a job as a canine handler but had to wait until March ’10 to go to class in San Antonio, TX. That was 6 months to dwell on it and think about what being apart for 10 weeks would be like. All the “what if” scenarios went through our heads including what if one of his relatives died while he was gone. He’s got a HUGE family and they’d expect him at the funeral. It was really agonizing having so much time to mentally prepare. Of course this time we’d have a mere 4 days to get used to the idea. Somehow that was more appealing.
Through no fault of his own, my husband was sent home after 6 weeks of training. He had been given a dog with no drive whatsoever and the dog was like a rock on a leash. It was a golden retriever that seemed to have no spirit. Even the instructors couldn’t get the dog to do what they wanted. My husband would never quit anything, he never gives up. He should’ve made it through the class and everyone who knows him thought of everyone, he’d be the one to excel. Unfortunately there were too many factors out of his control. The instructors for this class were military men who picked 2 out of the class (my hubby & 1 Indian guy) and just bullied them non-stop. Constant verbal abuse, belittling, etc. It was traumatizing. My husband didn’t even tell me everything that happened to him right away. The Indian guy was kicked out of class at the same time and filed a lawsuit. When the lawyers came to get Greg’s statement, he wrote up 9 pages detailing the instructors’ behavior. Everyone who’s read it was horrified, including me. It’s such a long story and not mine to tell but suffice it to say, it just shouldn’t have happened. Ever since that time, my husband has been trying to get back into class (but with different instructors and dog, obviously).
Finally this other location and type of program turned up out of the blue, it just seemed like fate. Greg asked his boss if he’d be given a fair shake at it and he said yes. He also thought he did well in the interview. I found out at noon today that he didn’t get picked. He is a cargo inspector and they went with aviation inspectors. Although he knows everything they know.
I expected this post to be me shouting from the rooftops some good news. Instead it’s me feeling bitter disappointment again. I know we have a good life and I shouldn’t complain. However this was a chance for my husband and I both to feel vindicated. That the time we spent apart before wasn’t “for nothing”. I can withstand a lot if I know there is something at the end. But to go through something and come up empty is very hard to endure. I know we’ll survive but we’ve both agreed this is the end of the dream. Now it’s on to making a new dream. In the meantime, hubby still has to go to LA on Sun. Phooey!