I finally caught Philip (the manager who's trying to hire me) in his office this afternoon. He says that he's going to finish up the paperwork for my job offer in the next couple days and send it on up the ladder. It goes first to his boss, and from there to the division vice president, who might approve the offer as is or might send it back for revision. He's anticipating that it will probably take a few rounds of back-and-forth because of my salary: evidently Philip is pushing for a significantly higher starting salary than the industry-mean number they usually offer. I think that's worth a bit of a wait. Also, one of my two letters of recommendation is missing. Odds are that it simply never got sent. The professor in question is away in Vancouver until Thursday, so this may hold things up a little bit more.
His official word on how long it will take now is as follows:
"Who knows? This is a government bureaucracy. It might take as little as three days or as long as a month."
So now it's more hurry-up-and-wait. Gee, what a surprise.