Saturday, September 19, 2009

Signed, sealed, delivered

It had been a while since I received my offer via e-mail.  Being a lawyer and expecting signatures and paper, I was starting to get a little nervous.  You don't actually sign anything until you get your salary determination.  This was taking a while because of the hiring surge.  They're stacking up the A-100 courses; the 148th and the 149th are only 6 weeks apart.  So the two HR specialists - yes only two for the whole corps of entering junior officers - are busting their asses to get everything going, and much of the paperwork is getting out a little slower than usual.  But I finally got my salary determination, and attached was a memo I signed and sent back committing to the Foreign Service.  Phew.  Now with a paper trail, I can put my mind to rest.

A good thing too, since pretty much everyone at the courthouse (less the defense bar) knows that I'm off to Virginia.  I thought folks might get upset, because I haven't been at the office very long.  And worse, it was a competitive hiring process, so I took someone's spot and then promptly left it.  But no one's pissed; some have even expressed pride and admiration for what I'm doing.  Of course they all think I'm actually going into the CIA, but still.  I guess it really hasn't hit me that this whole diplomacy thing is kind of a big deal.  I mean, hey, I get this neat job where I get to live overseas.  But it's more than that.  You know how they say when you go overseas you're representing the U.S.?  Well hell, I REALLY WILL BE representing the U.S. overseas.  Maybe after seeing how positively people are reacting at my current job, I'm starting to realize the gravity of the situation.  Because they might say that they're proud of what I'm doing.   But what they're really saying is, "Don't fuck up." 

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