This is a cautionary tale: Don't be this person.
As most of you know, I am in training. If you are a Facebook friend, you know I am in training with a self-absorbed know-it-all.
This officer is one of those people who has an answer or experience for everything. You'd think she should be teaching the course...except of course she had never had the position she was going into.
When she wasn't busy pontificating, she was asking really simplistic questions that had already been answered.
She either really liked the sound of her own voice or really didn't notice the sighing every time she spoke up. Which was all the time. Even when we had gone over time and it was time to go home.
She is apparently a civil service conversion...she announced she had come in at mid-level and made clear her utter distain for Junior Officers. This annoyed me not only because she had never been one, but because we had several JOs in the class. Besides, I like JOs. They tend to be smart, motivated and energetic. My biggest goal as I go to post is to be a good boss to my JOs, because I think they deserve that. And I think they will be better bosses for it.
Her poor JOs will not get that.
But it goes further. She announced that the military in Iraq had a more positive experience because of her presence there. And she is convinced that the people at her onward post, which she made very clear wasn't one of her top choices, were either "idiot JOs" or idiots who didn't know how to deal with the local government.
She even asked the Ambassador who was speaking at one point how to deal with a Charge' who had screwed up relations with the country she was going to by not dealing with them at all. She was concerned that her new Charge' would prejudice the new Ambassador before she got there. She said she expected, because they had screwed things up so badly, even putting a first tour JO in the position she is to hold rather than letting her come to post early, that there would be a parade at the border for her when she got there.
No, I am not making that up.
So she said those things to the Ambassador, who tried to answer her diplomatically while the rest of the class gasped. And then afterward, I said, "Isn't your Charge' [name redacted]? She said yes, and went on to repeat how he had messed up. And I said, "I served with him in [post redacted]." "Yes, well," she continued, and went on to trash him some more. "I find that surprising since I found him to be an excellent officer. Very smart and nice. I'd serve with him again."
In other words, I know him, I like him, I am trying to help you put down the shovel because you have hit bottom. I am trying to help you realize that when you name your post, people will know who you are talking about. And not all of them will share your distain.
She never put down the shovel. She just kept digging.
Don't be that person. That is what corridor reputation is all about. Do people want to work with you? Are you a nice person? Do you pull your own weight? Or do you spend all your time bad-mouthing others while tooting your own horn.
It does not surprise me that she didn't get a post she wanted. Because to a person in the class, NO ONE wanted to ever serve with her. Her name is now on that list we all carry in our heads of people we would avoid our dream post to avoid serving with.
The Foreign Service is small. And posts are even smaller. You don't want to serve with people who are negative and arrogant.
That is corridor reputation.
Don't be that person.
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