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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Well, back to reality

Feeling that I was nearing the end of my timeline, I decided to reach out to the Placement Office and see if I could gain any further information as to when I might receive an invitation. I came to this decision point because my file had been deemed complete and it had been referred on to the PC Placement Officer over a week ago and, according to PC Wiki, it is now less than 6 weeks until the Staging date for my nominated region of service.

Sending the Placement Assistant a polite email seemed like a good thing to do since some others with RAS had written to PC during their wait and I had previously done so myself when my medical packet was being reviewed. I figured a pleasant email might trigger the PC PO to put some consideration toward my file, especially if I indicated that my motivation for writing was because I had read of other applicants having received invitation to the region I am nominated for and that region has a staging date already appearing in PC Wiki.

I sent a polite email the the PC PO Assistant who had previously sent me the news that my file was being forwarded to a Placement Officer and went back to my comfortable life withing the wishful thinking that I will receive an invitation rather quickly.

Well, I found myself back in reality before I could fantasize about it any further. The response came quickly and curtly:


"Let me start out by mentioning that the online blogs are a collection of hear-say from other volunteers who often do not have the full picture and often speculate much on what goes on in our office . . . You have been nominated to one of several programs . . . , many of them are full, some of them are not . . . This is a long process, and your patience during it is not only appreciated, but indicative of your future success as a volunteer . . ."

Has my effort backfired? Am I now going to receive less consideration because my inquiry will be seen as indicative that I do not possess the degree of patience that PC expects?

I am once again waiting patiently as I watch the calendar move from the 6th week to the 5th week before what PC Wiki has listed as a staging date for my nominated region? (Can I even think about information in PC Wiki?)

Take this posting with the proverbial grain of salt. But for me, I realize that greater PMA is called for now more than ever before.

Continued best wishes to everyone during your wait.


  1. Ouch, that was brutal. This is discouraging to hear... so many people in these blogs have good luck reaching out to the placement office with a gentle inquiry, and others not so much. It leaves me wondering whether or not to reach out myself...

    I will be submitting my medical paperwork in a couple weeks, and I have decided that I will give them 8 weeks to review it, and if I don't hear something by then I will send a gentle email... RAS is the worst!

    Good luck, I hope that nasty email gets overshadowed by a fabulous invitation soon!

  2. Thanks Jessica - Following receipt of my nomination, each time I felt I had waited a sufficient length of time I contacted PC (my recruiter and my nurse reviewer). I received prompt, informative and supportive responses each time. Perhaps this was just a matter of having asked the wrong person at the wrong time.
    Good luck to you as you move through the process.

  3. i think part of it is mentioning the blogs -- PC seems to like to think that it is somewhat all-knowing and mysterious and seems like it hates being undermined by online guesswork...

  4. Wow, that was kind of rude. I don't know why I get this feeling, but I feel like Placement is the meanest department in the PC. I know they are busy, but there is no need to be passive aggressive to eager applicants. Especially with an email. With emails, you can write, edit, and re-edit. Ugh! Good luck. Hopefully you hear something good from them soon.

  5. That email would make me feel nervous, too, but I don't think it will have any major bearing on your invitation. And I agree with fissures that it was a lil harsh...i guess they're just feeling the pressure of placing people and whatnot. No worries, it will happen! Can't wait to hear about it when you get your invite!

  6. Lew - I appreciate your comments on my blog. Have you heard any more about your nomination? Hang in there, but know that the waiting and frustration will continue once you're in service. From my experience, the PC is not exactly a well-oiled machine.

  7. Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for staying in touch.
    Do you use email, or facebook?
    If you want to email, contact me at:
    If you use facebook and want to go that route, contact me at:

    Back to your comments - - - It is now 5 weeks since a Placement and Assessment Assistant told me that I would hear from a Placement Officer "within several weeks, if not sooner" and I am still waiting so I guess the 'sooner' part is no longer going to happen. I uess I am about to learn what the Peace Corps' concept of 'several weeks' is really all about. I hate to think that the correspondence mentioned above (now 4 weeks ago) is being held against me. Nah, the Peace Corps has a protocol and it is being followed. Simple as that.
    I am just going on doing what I can searching for part-time employment, which is next to impossible given the state of our present economy, my age and the worst of all, telling people that I am planning to serve in the Peace Corps but I do not know when. I might as well be trying to enroll people in a Dr. Kevorkian Fan Club with monthly dues(!). So, I continue trying to increase my volunteer hours at a local public library. So far this month I have helped them avoid paying a private contractor over $300 by doing the snow shoveling around the building and the wheelchair ramp and the fire exits landings and stairs. Thank heavens I have been going to the gym daily for the past four years, or my back, arms and legs would have given out. BUT, I would welcome heat, and the bugs that go with it, any day.
    I appreciate your candor and I think I will endure after having spent a career in human services dealing with various governmental entities regarding funding, licensing, regulatory oversight, etc while attempting to earn the trust and personal investment of time, cooperation and involvement of those we served. I am so ready for the Peace Corps. My only wish is that they would welcome me.

  8. Arrghh!
    I wrote a long message back yo you, hit the button and received a notice that the message was too long.
    I'll write on you blog.

    If you use email and/or facebook, feel free to contact me directly at:
    search facebook for Lew Hemmer.

    I appreciate your candor.