government efficiency

Last April and May, in the fifth and sixth months of my period of unemployment, I applied for a bunch of jobs with the federal government, including the one I eventually landed. I sent the application for this one early in May, heard back in June that OPM had submitted me as a top candidate to the hiring agency, and then heard from them throughout July as they scheduled and rescheduled interviews and made me the offer; I was able to start the middle of August. Everyone here kept talking about how unusually fast that was, but I thought a third of a year from application to start date didn’t seem particularly speedy.
A month earlier, though, I had applied to two field positions with HUD. I never heard anything again, and once the State Department position started to move and eventually came through, didn’t think about the other positions. When I got back from Tucson on Monday, and collected my mail from the long weekend, there were two letters from HUD in the bunch. Turns out that they were two copies of the same letter about one of the positions, at the field office in Boston, indicating that my credentials had been judged to be appropriately well-suited enough to be submitted to the hiring agency… nearly an entire year after I applied.
The interesting thing about the position, if I correctly recall (it’s been a while, after all), is that if offered it, I would be able to choose any of the field offices in the Boston’s office jurisdiction in which to work: this includes mostly the New England capitols–Boston, Manchester, Bangor, Burlington, Hartford. I haven’t heard anything about the second position for which I had applied, which was the same position in the Pacific and Western Region: that one would include a number of cities in California, including San Francisco, and Honolulu; it also includes both Phoenix and Tucson. Since I was considered a good match for the same position in Boston, I’m hopeful that I might be considered for an interview for the Western and Pacific Region. It would be the sort of synchronicity–having the opportunity to live in Tucson after spending time there recently and having my friend suggest I move there–that has so often ruled my life (though choosing Tucson over Honolulu or San Francisco might not be an easy thing to do).