Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No, I am really selfish

I had lunch with Kolbi and James today.

Kolbi thinks I am nicer than I really am.

She thinks this because I like to help people as they come into the service and as they navigate things I have already experienced.

But really I do it because I am selfish. Profoundly selfish.

The Foreign Service is much more than a job. It is a lifestyle. And it is one where you become very good friends with the people you work with. One where you will become closer to more of your co-workers than any other career I can imagine. Even in the military, the community is so much larger than our tiny little service that I think one bad apple can't affect you they way they can in the Foreign Service. And you have more possibilities of a life separate from your co-workers than we do.

So I want to work with good people. Because I know those people will be part of every aspect of my life.

So I want to help good people join the service.

And I want to help good people stay in the service.

Being in the Service can be hard...navigating the bureaucracy can be maddening. And sometimes when you are in the middle of it, it seems like the Department has never gotten anyone to post and will never get you to post. But of course, they always do. So if I can pass on some of what I know to you and help keep you from getting frustrated and quitting (or worse, frustrated, bitter and staying, I win.

See? Selfish.


Donna said...

Somehow I can't picture Kolbi getting frustrated and bitter. Glad you guys got to have lunch together, though.

Shannon said...

You go right on being selfish! It's good for the rest of us.

hannah said...

Well, if you're selfish, I'm selfish and lazy. I don't want to be stuck in Outer Ickistan with schmucks, but I have the observational skills of one of those creepy eyeless underground rodents, so I rely on these FS blogs to tell me who would be decent to spend three years with in a safe haven.

See you in Carjackistan?

ForeignObsession said...

Well, I sure appreciate all your helpful information. = )

Anonymous said...

Winning is mad important though.

A Daring Adventure said...

Where to start!?!

Okay, first of all, quit it with the you're-not-nice thing, because you ARE nice, silly! It is truly an honor to be able to have lunch with you, get to know you, and learn from you! You are funny and witty and a total joy.

Second of all, thank you so much for taking the time to help so many people (not just us!). I absolutely adore it when people who are wiser and more experienced than I give their time to help me along this crazy path. Especially since James and I are soon to be headed for our first overseas post, it is wonderful to be able to hear stories and advice from someone like you who has totally been there and done that...multiple times. Spending time with you is priceless!

sclawgrl said...

Selfish or not, you helped me too, and I thank you! (And Hannah, I'm totally with you on the schmuck thing. I have strong schmuck-identification skillz, though).

Melissa V said...

Don't listen to her! Digger is definitely nice, and you don't even need to take my word for it. Why, at a holiday party last month people playing the "oh, then you must know ___" were saying how great she is. :-)

Destinaish Unknown said...

Aw, blogging IS all about attention-seeking, which is inherantly a selfish act. But, even if you are acting selfish, it doesn't mean you're doing good! i.e. celebrities who donate or participate in charities to get themselves good press, right? I say, keep on keepin on, regardless of the motivation.

Digger said...

Okay Melissa, that is just embarrassing!