This week I was informed that there is a two to three year back log for language training in the government. This is for full-time language training - the kind I am slotted for and was planning to enter into right at the end of my maternity leave. Although I originally planned not to return to work, financial issues and the ability to get full-time French training while drawing a salary and having much better hours made this the option I decided to choose. However I also knew that there was no way I could return to this particular job with two children at home. It has been very difficult to do my job and my job as a mother/partner in this particular position in the government. Now I am faced with the fact that, if I return to paid work after my maternity leave, it might very well be back to this very office, doing this very job, until a space opens for me in French training. So, my new decision, pending discussion with John, is that I will take leave-without-pay following my paid maternity (the government very generously grants parents up to five years of leave-without-pay for "care and nuturing" of children) leave until I get the chance to do my language training. I'll have to likely look for something to help help pay bills but I have a couple of ideas that I could do from home.
I see this from two views: a great opportunity for me to spend more time with my children - which is what I wanted to do from the start, so I'm not actually upset about this; and from the other side, the idiotic bureaucracy of a government that demands I be bilingual (I'm glad of this if they pay for it) and yet aren't actually able to offer it in the 24 month time frame they give you to actually become bilingual. So, if you can't get your levels in the 24 month time frame you actually have to appeal to the Deputy Minister to grant you an extension of up to one year. This effectively means that you are given an extra 12 months to get placed in the language school and you better pray that you get placed in there with more than a couple of months left to get your levels or you are cooked. Does this make sense to anyone out there? I would potentially be penalized/lose my current position because I don't get enough time to get my required levels - even though it totally isn't my fault! It's because they don't have enough teachers/resources to actually offer it... how dumb is that?! Anyway, I have no idea how this will play out but I do know that there is absolutely no way I can do this job again. So, either way... I'm out of here. And yet again, the government wins the award for the "dumbest thing I've ever heard."