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Amparo Bertram

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10:23 pm: Do you have a government rate?
I am now officially an employee of the federal government. I found out, however, that they really haven't completed my background check; they're letting me work with "limited" clearance for the time being.

Yesterday I went to the customs office, an imposing building that takes up nearly the entire block and is built of marble. There I had a day of orientation, at which I was given bunches of forms to fill out regarding such things as life insurance, health care, 401K, and so on and so forth. They let me know that they will take care of buying my plane tickets to Maryland for training and paying for my hotel room, which is supposed to have both a refrigerator and microwave. It's going to be tough going 10 weeks on only microwaved food, but it's better than nothing. ~_~

Today I reported to the SF International Airport, my official workplace. My work hours are 7:30am to 3:30pm, and it's about an hour commute from mangaroo's apartment, so I've got some early mornings ahead. The first order of business was to get my ID badge (with a picture that turned out pretty darn hot, if I do say so myself), which allows me access to every part of the airport. I was then shown around the customs areas, including the lab where they analyze quarantined/confiscated items to see what kinds of pests may have hitched a ride. They explained little details, like the shoulder emblems on the uniforms that indicate the person's pay grade. I met one of the canine handlers from the Beagle Brigade, which I can apply to join (after I finish my Maryland training) if there's an opening.

My next order of business will be to go through a long list of online lessons about various topics of concern, such as the types of pests and diseases that we need to watch out for the most.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:tv_elf
Date:September 24th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
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Yay! I have a Pod nearby!
[User Picture]
From:kataren
Date:September 24th, 2008 10:17 am (UTC)
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Wahey, congratulations! :D

And yay for impromptu ID photos that turn out hot. Those things have a mind of their own, I swear.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 24th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Your job sounds really interesting! (Do we get to see pictures of you in your uniform? Or is this a uniform for other people?) The hour commute sucks, but at least you can take the train and read (or sleep or whatever) the whole way. I wish I could do that on my commute.

It's going to be tough going 10 weeks on only microwaved food, but it's better than nothing.

Maybe you could get a hot plate, too?

[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 24th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
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Today we were visited by an interviewer who had hoped to also give you a two-hour interview. He just asked us a very few questions, mostly asked us for contacts of other people who could back up things on your application, that is, people not related to you.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
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I just checked the internet for microwave recipes. It looks as if you are all set. There were at least a dozen pages of links to microwave potato recipes and again as much for microwave egg recipes. A lot of them had cheese in them. They all sounded absolutely yummy. I'll bet that with a little bit of practice you'll be able to prepare anything in the microwave that you could do on the stove top. I know for a fact you can make pancakes in the microwave. You might want to talk with Albert. He's done a lot of experimenting with microwave cooking.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
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Use glass rather than plastic containers to cook in the microwave because of the carcinogenic toxins released when plastic gets hot.
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