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....
Sometimes? I'm Judgmental. Also, Seattle!
3 hours ago