Hilarious Conversation Online on Unaccompanied Posts: There is "No Official List"

Apparently, there is no official list on unaccompanied posts in the State Department. Below is a kinda “hilarious” (depending on your POV) exchange which transpired at careers.state.gov, the go-to site for those interested in careers and lifestyle in the United States Foreign Service. It is an official site of the United States Department of State, so one could reasonably expect that 1) they know what they’re talking about, and 2) they know what they’re talking about.

Anyhow, somebody posted a question inquiring about “unaccompanied posts:”

Unaccompanied post
User: Kristen
Date: 9/14/2011 5:48 pm
Is there a way to get the current list of unaccompanied posts?

Reply •
Re: Unaccompanied post
DOS Family Liaison Office (FLO
User: DOS Family Liaison Office (FLO
Date: 9/15/2011 2:17 pm
There is no official list of unaccompanied posts.  You can post a question about a particular post on this site or research the status on sites like http://www.state.gov.  You can also email: FLOAskUT@state.gov

Research the sites?  I’m sorry, that answer is practically called “L-A-Z-Y” in our book. But it gets better.

Re: Unaccompanied post
User: Visitor
Date: 9/17/2011 8:42 am
I found this June 2010 list of unaccompanied posts.  The blogger says the list was extracted from State Magazine:

Reply •
Re: Unaccompanied post
DOS Family Liaison Office (FLO
User: DOS Family Liaison Office (FLO
Date: 9/19/2011 8:28 am
Please note that the list of UT posts does change from time to time.  If you have a question on a specific post, please contact:  FLOAskUT@state.gov

Ha! Ha! I think that’s us!

What is confusing is that “there is no official list” but the “list of UT posts does change from time to time.”Okdok, I think I got that.

Here’s the funny thing: the official magazine of the State Department called State Magazine put together that list in a two-page spread about unaccompanied posts in the Foreign Service in 2010. The writer who did the piece, officially the deputy editor of the magazine thus an employee of the State Department cited his source as the Bureau of Human Resources, an official bureau at the State Department.  But wait a minute …. isn’t that the same bureau that the DOS Family Liaison Office reports to? It is, but so what…. 

Anyway– there is no official list, gotcha! Which begs the question, how hard is it to post a list of unaccompanied posts online and update it once a year? It’s really hard? Really? Okay. It’s Really hard.

I supposed I should call the extract below the unofficial list of State Department unaccompanied posts from the official magazine of the State Department. I suggest State Magazine labels it as such so there is no misunderstanding of any sort on what is official:

Unaccompanied Posts_State Magazine June 2010http://www.scribd.com/embeds/66099352/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list&access_key=key-8xcpripziqgglukcwlc
(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

Click here for the unaccompanied posts in February 2009, courtesy of the Foreign Service Journal, the trade publication of the American Foreign Service Association, the bargaining unit of the Foreign Service.