I love James Bond movies and especially the early Sean Connery era movies when the bad guys were about to launch an attack and a guy in some sort of Eastern European voice would be counting down the launch sequence. So we are two weeks and counting and about six more to go. This has to be the most one of the most interesting(in a sort of bad way) QEP in recent history. How will the budget crisis impact an already mysterious process? You could probably make the case that the future hiring need beyond the existing registers is about zero, but at the same time State probably wants to allow quality candidates to enter into the pipeline and let the OA score plus bonus points sort of who does and doesn't get hired.
For all of the agony of the FSO process I still say it is the best one out there in terms of this type of government work. I just got dinged from an unnamed agency after being approached by them on two separate occasions only to be told that for some reason I didn't have the right stuff to continue my candidacy. Don't get me started on USAID and NGO's. There is such an institutional bias in those two groups that I could go on and on about.
So while it sucks to be a victim of bad timing it is what it is. I finally sent off for my OA scores from last year and will interested to see how I got to my 5.2 after passing 2/3 sections. Despite it being a weird day in some respects I knew what the standards were, and no question I left .1 out there so I have no one to blame but myself. Had I done better in the SI, despite passing I would probably be hired right now since I have a truck load of bonus points.
So while it is easy to throw stones at State and feel sorry for ourselves on the outside looking in, it is still the best thing out there.