Friday, February 25, 2011

Why We Deserve Our Pay Cut

You need to go read this post at Email from the Embassy. Donna is spot on. As usual.

She writes:

So you see, all you Foreign Service Officers out there, it's your fault all of these congresspeople think you deserve a pay cut. They have no idea what work you put into that recent visit. They don't know what you just gave up in order to make sure their visit was a success. They don't understand that your life isn't all cocktail parties interspersed with awesome trips to exotic locations. They don't know that you live in a place where your every move is recorded. Or maybe you live in a place where the locals want you dead. Or you live in a place where your baby has nightmares from the malaria medication. Or your spouse isn't allowed to work because the host government forbids it. Or maybe you're black, and the locals don't like black people. Or maybe you're gay, and that's a punishable offense in your host country. Or you're a woman, so you have to cover up when you walk outside. Or the signs are all in Arabic, so every time you leave the house, you're lost, and you can't ask for directions. Or maybe you went permanently deaf in one ear while you were serving in a country without proper medical care. Important Politician didn't see any of this from the window of the Prime Minister's residence.

She is right, but we are sort of damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we don't cater to their every whim (like demanding a supply of Diet Dr. Pepper in Ickystan), we run the rist of pissing them off and having them retaliate against the Department budget. But if we DO cater to their every need, they think we have such cushy lives that they should cut our pay.


Just an FSO said...

I am in a so-called "cushy" post right now. . .where we are constantly told that it's only a matter of time before there's an attack. Where i was recently asked by a contact if I was bringing security with me to a meeting. Where I constantly keep a watchful eye out in a way that I wouldn't need to if I was working in my field in the US, making double or triple what I am making now.

I love my country, and I love every minute I spend working for it. I am willing to make the sacrifices, and I am willing to live with the realities of this job. It would be nice, however, if the hard parts were recognized and appreciated by members of my government. Especially ones who make exponentially more money yet don't face the risk of being evacuated and losing all of their worldly possessions. Just saying.

hannah said...

Now, to be fair, weren't you and I just discussing the need for Diet Mt. Dew or Diet Coke in large quantities at post? ;-)

Besides, they can bring in Diet Dr. Pepper on the milair flight with them, along with their duty-free booze and fruits that aren't in season anywhere within 3 time zones of the country being visited. (On the plus side, I snagged a Yuengling or two from the last control room I worked.)

Digger said...

Well yes, hannah, I am guilty of ordering Diet Mt. Dew in large quantities. But I paid for my own, and didn't make anyone else get them for me. Yes, you'd think they could bring their own, but this particular important politician does not. He expected us to find it for him.