Friday, April 23, 2010

Eight Weeks

At a meeting with the Secretary I attended right after she took office, the Director of the Office of Civil Rights suggested that if she or her staff got lost in "The Building," to find a sixth floor staffer. They could get you anywhere.

I am one of those sixth floor staffers, or at least for eight more weeks, and I have been for nearly two years. So I can find most anything in The Building.

I mention that only because this morning, on the way to my office from Russian class, I decided to take a different route, one that took me right through the main area of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, my old stomping grounds. I chatted with several people I ran into, because I was in INR for two years and I know LOTS of folks there, and I was thinking how much I miss working in INR (side note: INR is a GREAT place to serve. I LOVED it and will probably make it my minor bureau). But then I remembered that towards the end of my tour there, I was ready to leave. Eager in fact.

Much like I am eager now.

Not because this job, or that one, are bad. As my wife said, in these jobs, I have not had to give my bosses nicknames.

But the Foreign Service attracts people who are smart and easily bored, or more precisely, with career ADHD. We know we will seldom be in one place, or one job, or with a certain boss, for more than a couple years. It is a burden and a luxury. No matter how bad (or, unfortunately, good) your boss is, you will only be with that person for a limited time. And then you will move on.

It is hard not to check out once you get your next assignment. But because I am on my third one-year tour (I had to bid four years in a row, and in case you are new here, I HATE bidding. How dumb was THAT career plan?), I couldn't really check out each time I got my new assignment because I had only just gotten to my current one.

But now I have eight weeks left. And I am giving myself over to checking out with abandon (though if I were smarter, I would wait until I finished my EER, but I never claimed to be smart!). I am fantasizing (and boring anyone who will listen) with the joy of thoughts of biking to FSI, of days that are not 14 hours long, and of retiring my suits in exchange for jeans as usual work attire. For 13 whole months.

Of course, I am certain I will be bored with it long before I get to post, but for now, it looks like heaven. And knowing that by the time I am bored with it, I will still be YEARS away from having to bid again makes it all the better!


Anonymous said...

It's Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

Here is the link:

(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)



And I hope language school is everything wonderful, fabulous, and amazing!!

Z. Marie said...

You make it sound like YEARS is a long time. It'll be time to bid again before you know it ...

Digger said...

Bite your tongue! I don't have to bid again until 2013! It is a LONG time!

Jill said...

three one year tours in a row... bless you girlfriend. oye, the bidding is the worst part - even moreso than packing out!

Digger said...

Actually four years in a row...I bid leaving Jerusalem, and then three times while here. And I am one of those people who likes to have a plan (which you can't have bidding every year!).

Bfiles said...

this is one of the reasons I am attracted to the FS- I totally have career ADD!! And learning languages as my job? Amazing. Enjoy!