A lot has happened this week! This update is particularly for my non-Facebook friends, although my FB friends may very well need a tutorial on what's been going on around here because it got pretty complex, ha!
Let's start from the very beginning...a very good place to start.
So, we are allotted 60 days to stay in temporary facilities on base. We are encouraged--and expected--to be as proactive as possible in finding a place to live so that we can be settled before those 60 days are up.
We decided on "our" house on Day 16 (September 1), although Ted first saw it on Day 11. This is about the only part of the process that we really have any control over. From here on out, all the dates/events are scheduled by the housing office.
The PRE-contract meeting was Day 47 (October 2).
The inspection was Day 54 (October 9). Praise the Lord, the house passed the first time! This is significant, because a contract signing date cannot be scheduled until everything is up to snuff.
The contract signing date has been scheduled for Day 64 (October 19).
We obviously cannot move in until after we sign a contract and get keys to the house--so this puts us over our 60 days of TLA.
The rules stipulate that at 60 days (which for us is next Monday the 15th), unless you have special authorization to extend TLA, you must find temporary living arrangements.
Knowing that we were pushing the limits (because the housing office apparently can't schedule anything in a timely manner), Ted has been working hard to contact the appropriate people, fill out paperwork, get signatures, etc., so that when push comes to shove, we would not have to pack up 8 people and a significant amount of belongings and move into...somewhere??...for a week or so.
Given our situation, you would think it would be intuitive to simply sign a waiver to let our family stay put, particularly since the building in which we have been assigned temporary quarters is due for renovations and no one will be put in here when we leave!
But no...that's not how the agents at the housing office roll! Ted was given a list of HOTELS that were recommended. For a moment, put aside the thought of 8 people in a hotel room for a week...what is so appalling to me is that their RECOMMENDATIONS included hotels on a strip known for prostitution activity; basically, that is why those hotels were built. :-( (I could go off on another soap box here about the horrific truths of the human trafficking industry, but I'll save that for another day.)
Why was our request for a TLA extension being denied? We decided an in-person visit to the housing office was in order. Thank goodness Ted went in! A face-to-face meeting revealed that even though Ted CLEARLY marked on his paperwork that he has 6 children, the man dealing with our case was somehow "overlooking" that, insisting that we get a hotel because Ted "just" had a wife. When Ted pointed out what was right in front of his face, the man looked guilty and quickly began to backtrack. But of course, there was "nothing" he could do about it...
Ted came home rather steamed, as was I when I heard the story. We decided an Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE form) was in order, and Ted spent a considerable amount of time carefully wording constructive criticism and giving what I think are very good suggestions to improve the process of placing people into housing in the time period they have set out for us.
Lo and behold, the next day Ted's paperwork was being pushed through to the base commander for a signature, and I got a call from the front desk saying we had been approved to stay through October 22, which is when we expect to take delivery of our household goods IN OUR NEW HOME!!