(I'm stealing this from another future FSO spouse's blog because she says it so much better than I could. I changed it up to make sense for our situation, though.)
So the "register" is the list of people who have successfully passed all the tests and essays and medical invasions and security scrutiny and are deemed "OK" to be hired by the Dept. of State as a Foreign Service Officer. They aren't "in" yet. They are waiting to be invited. They are people who have invested a good deal of time into this process. And lots of energy. And thought. We are in that boat.
We = they.
My husband is on the Political register, ranked #56. That register now has 156 people on it. The top 18-20 people get invited off the register every couple of months to come to DC for training, and eventually get assigned to their first post. Which makes you think, "Okay, just wait a few months and then his score will be called." Except that people keep getting added to the register. All the time. With good scores and skills in Arabic. So they get bumped to the top. Our morale took a nose dive yesterday when we learned the POL register has replenished very quickly this past month, with most of the scores being higher than Jake's. What's more frustrating is that if Jake had been on the register in January when calls went out for March, he would have been invited. (They dipped into the 5.5s for that class, and Jake has a 5.57.) Jake was added to the register in March, though, and so no such luck. We both thought it possible he could get called for May. Nope. Then we thought June. Nope. Not that one either. So now we have to think about August, September, or October. My guess is October, if it happens at all this year. My reason, the register will again replenish this summer and DNCs will be few (compared to what it was at the beginning of the year.) With three classes in a row, hopefully that last class in October will dip low, like it did in March (that class was also the end of a 3 class-stint.) So, just my guess. Who knows, though. For awhile there we were living like this was going to happen. Now we're living like it's not. We'll just have to wait and see... again, something I'm so NOT good at.