Not places, jobs. My tour here was supposed to be a two-year consular tour. But one of our officers volunteered to leave and go to Iraq (I never said everyone in the Foreign Service was sane!) before moving over to political. Hers tour was supposed to be a rotation, one year in consular and one year in political. So that left political short-staffed. And while her replacement is here, the department requires folks to do at least 10 months of consular work in their first two tours. So he can't move over to political for a while. While there are two other officers in the visa section, one has only been here a month, needs at least nine more months of consular, and is in a rotational position anyway. And the other doesn't speak Hebrew and the position is Hebrew-designated.
That leaves me. I am the most senior in the section anyway.
I have been here almost 20 months. I have just less than eight months to go because I extended to be on summer cycle (more jobs are available for your next tour if you are on summer cycle). Beginning next week, those months will be spent in political. I am ecstatic! I will miss getting to handle the fraud prevention portfolio here in consular, but in return, I will get to do something new and different. My portfolio there will include religious issues, settler issues and the city of Jerusalem, checkpoints and all. It should be a lot of fun. The new Political chief seems like she is great to work for (M really likes her) and the work sounds interesting. Plus, it means I will have two consular EERs plus an EER with something other than consular work when I come up for tenure next spring, which can't hurt!
So it looks like I will fall just under 4,000 short of my goal of having the most visa adjudications of anyone who has been here in the last 10 years (I have done more than 15,000, and the guy with the most, 19,000, was here three years). But for this, I think I can live with it!
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