One of our favorite Foreign Service writers, Kelly of Well, That Was Different has her blog fingers right on the button on this. When the Foreign Affairs Fudge Factory (by John Franklin Campbell) or The Theory of Public Bureaucracy (Politics, Personality, and Organization in the State Department) (by Donald Warwick) ever gets updated for the 21st century, there definitely needs to be a section for the crazy old girlfriend’s schizophrenic outbursts and not too endearing qualities. Kelly writes:
The Foreign Service is like your husband’s (‘scuse the masculine, but that’s how it is for us) crazy college girlfriend. She is sexy as hell, which is how she seduced your husband in his young and foolish student days. But, she is also bipolar and totally narcissistic.
She can be really nice when she wants to be, or more accurately, when it’s in her interest to do so. Every couple of years, she comes knocking at the door, all charming and cute, with slick promises of promotion, money, and other goodies, and chances are, your husband will be suckered once again.
She even has long periods of sanity sometimes—at least I think I remember one of those. (It lasted about 8 years.)
The manic phases are interesting. Sometimes, she even gets a wild hair and builds a huge mansion in, like, the worst neighborhood on the planet, then expects everyone to be totally excited to work and live there.
But look out when she is on a downswing. You are just cannon fodder then, and she’ll be seriously pissed if you don’t toe the line. She gets especially cranky when she’s running out of money, or someone is giving her a hard time. She doesn’t take criticism very well. In fact, her general approach is to deny that there is a problem. Being basically insane, she may actually believe this to be true.
Tee-he! Can’t help but appreciate the sustained simile. Continue reading In Which I Am Shocked To Discover That I No Longer Absolutely Loathe Foreign Service Bidding.
- Foreign Service Staffing Gaps, and Oh, Diplomacy 3.0 Hiring Initiative to Conclude in FY2023 (diplopundit.net)
- Snapshot: Enduring Foreign Service Staffing and Experience Gaps (diplopundit.net)
- State Department: America’s Increasingly Irrelevant Concierge (wemeantwell.com)
- A Traveler In The Foreign Service: How To Avoid Posts Where You Might Get Eaten Alive (gadling.com)