Today was not such a great day.

Today was my unexpected last day with working for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). This reality occurred after receiving an email from my immigration attorney on Monday that stated (in part):

“In regards to your case, we found out through an inquiry this morning they are not going to process it as premium processing and that we must wait on their normal processing which could be a few days or a few weeks. We have to just sit and wait at this point, but hopefully we will hear something soon.”

Following receipt of the email, a flurry of activity occurred trying to figure out firstly, what went wrong with the process for my visa application; and secondly, what could be done to re-engage and (hopefully) speed up the process to prevent me having to stop working for BBBS.

Simply put, it turns out that my attorney was under the impression that my visa could be processed in an accelerated manner if I was happy to pay for this service. I was, and I did. In fact, we (my attorney and I) were counting on this type of service to enable me to continue working for BBBS without any interupption, as it would normally take between 1-3 months to process my application. What we did not count on was the Immigration office advising that this particular application could not get processed in an accelerated manner “at this time.” Not sure what the reason actually is for this decision, but it did nothing to stop the panic from starting to fester.

So after exploring a number of options, it finally came down to the realization that as of 5PM today, I was not going to be an employee with BBBS … at least for a few days to hopefully no more than than a few weeks. So earlier today, I sent out an email to my case load that I no longer worked for BBBS, and that I hoped to be back with them in the next week or so. I was actually rather calm about it, which kind of surprised me. I am hopeful that my calmness is a reflection that everything is going to be okay and I’ll be back working with BBBS shortly. Fingers crossed.

Of course the silver lining is that BBBS is very supportive and have agreed to give me some time until this matter is resolved. While it means some extra work is being done by staff within my old team, it is very comforting to know that I am appreciated for what I have to offer the organization, and that they are willing to acknowledge the work that I have contributed over the last ten months and not let it just disappear. Personally, I think this is the main difference in working for a nonprofit in my view – they care. There are many other differences, but this is one that stands out.

Oh, and just for fun, I developed a cold that knocked my energy levels way down, so that only made my week all that much better.