Saturday, October 3, 2009
Like bringing a toothpick to a sword fight
I’ve talked earlier about this whole bidding mess that we have to do as Foreign Service officers. You know, the thing where every couple of years (or thereabouts) you have to fight, scratch, kick, bite, beg, borrow, and steal to try to get an onward assignment to someplace (or to do something) you might actually enjoy or find interesting. I haven’t had any luck on that yet. Sure, Korea had its interesting bits, and India has as well, but both places (and job roles) have been, shall we say, not my first choice.
This time around, with everything based on who you know and whether they can exert the right pressure on the right person in a decision-making position, I feel like I’m at a distinct disadvantage. I wasn’t able to get the types of assignments I needed the first two times around, and thus I haven’t had a chance to make the necessary connections within the parts of the organization I’d actually like to work in. You’ve all probably heard the adage about bringing a knife to a gun-fight. Well, this is the Foreign Service, so maybe it’s more like a sword fight (let’s face it, there might be blood, but nobody’s going to get shot and die). And to this sword fight, yours truly has brought a toothpick.
I kind of just want this whole process to be over, though. I’m tired of my stomach being tied in knots, being unable to sleep well, coming up with ridiculous strategies/ideas, lying in bed wide awake wondering whether I should send Person X another email to remind him/her of my existence, etc, etc. Maybe I should just find a rock to crawl under. Wake me when it’s over. I’ll surrender my toothpick if you promise not to maim me.