Monday, February 1, 2010

How Did I Get Here....or How I Conned the Gov into Hiring Me for this Creepy Job....

Many of you (okay, one of you) asked me how I came to join the Foreign Service and live in all these exotic places and travel around the world -- because I'm totally glamorous and go to these ritzy locales on a regular basis. ...

To lie...Or not to lie....that is the question. 

On the one hand, I could weave this elaborate tale about how I showed up in DC and noticed a gentleman at the Ritz Carlton enjoying high tea at the tea room.  He seemed well dressed and worldly (the well dressed, being the most important part, obviously)....so I asked him where I could find an Ann Taylor outlet in Virginia.  After he gave me directions, he said, "hey! You look like you might know the difference between a noun and a verb...have you ever heard of the State Department?"  Naturally, I said, "Sure, what state?"   He laughed, paid for my tea, or it might have been a martini - actually, more likely a martini, tea is for sissies or British people -- and then he said, "I like you.  You should be a diplomat. You have a gift, and by "gift" I mean can walk upright and maybe chew gum at the same time....maybe...you don't have to, but if you did, that would be awesome!" 

So then I had my job. 

Or, I could tell you the truth that I moved to DC from Montana because I wanted to find a job that offered both retirement AND health insurance.  I had a "list" in my head of what job's I wanted, none of which I was qualified to do...so I threw out that list, took some menial jobs as a nanny, a temp editor, I might have been a waitress too, and tried to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up....so I applied for jobs and was told I was "purely decorative, no skills (sexual harassment laws weren't so up to snuff then)...and then I met someone at a dinner party who told me about the foreign service exam, so I took it, (which I am still not sure how the hell I passed) and viola...my scores were SO HIGH, they said I was totally suited to the foreign service.  They asked me what languages I studied, I told them I took Spanish in High School and College and was mildly proficient in English, so they decided I should go to the middle east...so I showed up at the office, and they realized that Spanish is not Arabic..

And they sent me to Peshawar, Pakistan (I can only assume because nobody else would go). 

Granted, in today's economy I fully realize how lucky I am to have a job that STILL has a retirement, health insurance and (the added bonus) of not being able to fire me anytime soon.  Believe me, I treasure not being fired or given the pink slip -- and even though I threaten on a daily basis to storm off in a huff, I won't....

But only because I realize I'm STILL not qualified for a real job....

21 comments:

bernthis said...

where have you been? I missed you! I'm back sista and you aint getting rid of me, i don't care where you live.

xoxo

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm going to go with the view that they hired you because of your glamorous aura.

That one girl said...

You crack me up!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Hey, how can I get on at your gig?

Fragrant Liar said...

What kind of martini was it, and could you still walk upright at the time you left the Ritz?

You know how I need details.

injaynesworld said...

It's comforting to know our diplomatic core is in such capable hands. ;)

Mrs. K said...

do you want to shit your pants? ready? sitting down?

ok j's little 'best friend' at swimming? just moved here from egypt- both parents were diplomats/consulates whatever...but the kicker is they both lived where you are now...even could have been in your own apartment because the way they described it, i'm sure it is it- and how weird i cannot share because then i'll be like 'oh it's michel from blogland!' so anyways...she only spoke english and spanish too- he? only english.

go figure.

Captain Dumbass said...

I'm unemployed again, could you get me a job in the foreign service? I'd actually be foreign so I think I could get in on some minority angle or something.

Beth said...

Sounds like I need to share the story about how I got my job. We can sum it up with the old phrase "Screw up, move up."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Pastor Sharon said...

What if they hired you because they had already investigated that the closest you would ever come to a crime is robbing a Little Debbie shelf?

Just saying. . . .

rxBambi said...

Don't you think the state department needs a pharmacist. I would totally do your job if I could count by fives. Wait. I CAN count by fives... let me come there with you. we'd have fun, I promise! I'll bring booze. And xanax!

Jersey Girl said...

Thanks, Michel, for sharing!

Jersey Girl said...

Thanks, Michel, for sharing!

Jersey Girl said...

Thanks, Michel, for sharing!

Together We Save said...

You are so funny.

OhLovelySteph said...

lol i have a shitty job, i hope one day i will experience what you did :O)

blognut said...

Come on! Out with the truth... who did you get to take the exam for you?

I know you didn't take it yourself. Not because I don't think you can pass it on your own merits, but because... hello, lazy!

franzi said...

see, educated guesses do take you somewhere in life. to places like peshawar, and sudan ;-)

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Digger said...

I am not sure how I have missed your blog until now! I have added a link to it to my blogroll at http://lifeafterjerusalem.blogspot.com.

sidra said...

You went to Peshawar first? Did you blog there? I'm going to go back through your archives. I never understood how foreigners survived there! I'm Pakistani and can't stand more than 5 weeks there, how you did it is beyond me!