Thursday, September 04, 2014

Things I Won't Miss About Life in the Foreign Service

It's been 2 months since I retired from the Foreign Service and I've come up with a few things that I will not miss about the wonderful life I had for 6 years.

Eating food that expired more than 12 months ago. Some was not bad, others were gross.

EERs...the State Department's annual employee review. Having to brag on what you did that was part of your job was something we all dreaded every year. Then it went all the way back to Washington for some stranger to decide if we deserved a promotion. 

Bidding for your next assignment...the experience from hell and the major cause of excessive use of hair color for women (to cover the gray hairs it caused).

Looking down at your plate at a restaurant and wondering just what the mystery meat was that you were about to eat.  And making sure you have lots of Pepto and Imodium at home.

Having to drink bottled water not because you liked it better but because the stuff coming out of the tap tasted terrible, was full of bacteria or was gray instead of clear.

Frying your 110 appliances because you plugged them into a 220 socket.  Not all appliances are 110-240, even the new Keurig you bought. Beware Keurig fans!  And lugging around the 20 lb step-down transformer from room to room.

"Hey, does anyone have two 500s for a 1000 bill?"

"They attacked the airport...again??"

Middle of the night drills over the loudspeaker in your residence..."Duck and Cover! Get away from the windows!  Take cover and wait for further instructions!!"  I loved my Marines but have much better ways of being woken up in the middle of the night...

Having multiple zip lock bags with different currencies around the world...and remembering to pack them when I went to that country.

Flying Coach for 14 hours, wedged between 2 overweight passengers who couldn't help but use some of my space.  Or someone kicking my chair for hours because they like to wiggle their leg to keep from getting a blood clot.  

Being ordered out of post because of a threat "for just a week or so" and then never returning.  Strangers then pack up all your worldly possessions for you.

I'm sure my friends in the Foreign Service have lists of their own...feel free to share!  But let me make this clear...I absolutely loved the time I served overseas but now must laugh at the things I won't miss.  The list of things and people I will miss forever is much longer. But that's for another post.  

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