Friday, November 26, 2010

A Question for You

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful dinner with my inlaws that included things like:

My wife: Admiral Mullen reminds me of Dad.
Mother in Law: Your father is nothing like him!
Father in Law: He's a nerd.
Me: :::Falling over laughing::::

Pot, this is the kettle. You're black.

Oh my father in law is definitely a nerd. And his daughter didn't fall far from that tree!

Anyway, while I was away, a reader asked me a question. She is likely to get "the call" soon and wanted to know what I wish I had known when I was "called up/accepted/packing out/moving to DC."

I had an unfair advantage: my wife.

So I knew I would likely be sent to Jerusalem. I knew I would likely be in DC for nearly a year getting language. So I knew I should bring to DC all the stuff I'd need to live for a year. And that I could rent an unfurnished apartment and rent furniture.

When filling out forms, I had her send me hers for me to copy.

You get the idea.

Plus I am momory is seems like a really long time ago!!

So especially you newer officers...what do you wish you had known? You will be helping a lot of your future colleagues by sharing.


Becky said...

Have a lot going on today but I threw this together. Maybe it'll help someone. What a great idea!

Hope you continue to have a fantastic holiday!

Becky said...

Yeah so guess I should have included the link. Sorry!

jgoshert said...

If you play an instrument that is portable, bring it for the talent show follies.

Mentally prepare yourself to go out and do things with your classmates, so you can be social and get to know a bunch of great folks.

Everything will work itself out, but it'll be a pain in the arse while you wait for it to do so.

HR Techs are, ummm, how best to say this, they're not quite as helpful as they could be, since they have a zillion people to do things for.

Sadie said...

I wish I'd known about livelines! I only found out about this phenomenal resource during A-100. Much of what I've learned since then has been through livelines.

Anonymous said...

Don't blindly take language tests once you're in just because people tell you to "test in any language you know!" If you speak a smattering of Thai (or Spanish) but don't want to go to Thailand or Mexico your first tour, there's absolutely NO benefit to letting the Department have an official record of your language abilities.

I don't know how many people randomly tested in Russian or Spanish or Hindi, then got upset when they were assigned to a job speaking one of those languages. So easy to prevent!

Jen said...

All very useful so far thanks! Sadie, what are/is Livelines?

Digger said...


SassAndSweet said...

Great post, great question - a quick few ways I've learned or changed since joining the FS and after my 1st move(s):

* Make lists and sub lists.

* Pack more candles and "pretties" - in both your suitcase, and your UAB.

* Pack pet food in your suitcase, your UAB, your HHE *and* mail yourself some - you never know when your luggage will spend a few days in Frankfurt while you're in DC, when your UAB will go to Singapore when you're in Tel Aviv, or when your HHE will be left forgetten at the shipping port because the entire country is off on an month long holiday...

* All you really need in life is a clean pair of socks/undies - and even that can be washed in the sink, the rest is negotiable so be low key and flexibile. :)

Good luck!!