Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Insider Quote: The Great Board Mystery Game

Yet despite almost 10 years at the State Department, a relevant education for foreign affairs work, a proven ability to work at multiple diplomatic missions abroad including a hardship post, experience as a desk officer, and a passing mark on the written exam, she is told she is not qualified to take the orals?

When I asked the director general’s office what she would have to do to qualify, the response was “We don’t know” and “The board makes the decisions,” as though no department official is responsible for the board’s creation, operations or results.

Robert Ward Foreign Service Officer U.S. Interest Section Havana Foreign Service Journal │ February 2009


The Hegemonist said...

I can't help but notice the similiarities between what the QEP apparently tells people and what we used to tell visa applicants when they were 214b. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for people in this situation.

DS said...

Hi TH - You know you're right! I did not think about it that way but yes! That's how it is. 214b!

But you'd think they get points for serving in a hardship post like Havana -- for somebody at least at the DG's office willing to answer an inquiry like this out of professional courtesy instead of "we don't know."

Bureaucracies are not altogether different from kindergarten schools you know. Like schools, lessons and homeworks are taught in one way, and one way only, because it cost too much time and effort to personalized learning that would support and accommodate the student's strengths and personalities. We recruit the same way, we train the same way....