Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Day three finds our class continuing to process paperwork. I learned a new term today, "Snowflaked." I think it means slammed with forms, or "gotcha" or something like that. All the ex-military guys seem to be very familiar with this term. Anyone want to enlighten me?

We met with our Career Advisor again today. Most of the 15 OMS Candidates seem to have a preference where they want to go...but everyone is holding their choice "close to the vest" in hopes that no one else learns of their high demand and also chooses that country. We all want the perfect place with the perfect accommodations, far from harms way. Personally, I would not mind a little danger. I figure if I raised three teenagers, I have enough hazard experience. Africa still sifts to the top, but I have heard from friends that they would prefer Bahamas, Sweden and Paris in order to have cool places to visit. FYI, Africa has "Paris or London" as R&R once a year, so that also might work. The government pays for me to come home once every two years. But at "danger posts" I get a R&R vacation once a year.

Other adjustments to this new life include apartment living. I have not lived in an apartment since 1977. A lot of you were not even born yet! Tonight I walked 20 steps down the hall to the laundry facility. I was very careful to take my keys, so as to not lock myself out of the apartment. I dutifully put in my "whites" and inserted my computer card to pay for the wash. Yes, folks, quarters are no longer an option. And yes, the government issued me this free laundry card so it's free to me! As I walked away from the room, I suddenly realized that it would be much more efficient to throw in both loads at once!! I have not had the option of doing all the laundry at once, since at home in Texas, I only had one machine. I felt so foolish for a minute that I had not thought of this earlier. We get so rigid with our routines, that it takes a while to think outside the box when things change.

My good friend Tony, a FS Specialist of one year, sent me the best email today. He named it, "Welcome to the Foreign Circus." It made me smile. Sometimes in the rush of trying to learn everything and keep up with homework and get enough sleep, he added some humor to my day. Next time HR loses my paperwork, I'll remember his tag line.

Tomorrow we have Happy Hour with the previous class and they can fill us in on all the stuff we will need to endure for the remaining 5 weeks. The pace here is really fast. The people are talented for a could not keep up otherwise.

Becky Boo


huttopam said...

I knew you would choose Africa in the top tier. Marty of course thought Israel would be best with The Bahamas & Paris coming next. For business purposes I pick Tokyo. I know wherever you end up you will be terrific! I was in your neighborhood this week & put up a company sign & checked on the house. It is still standing. Let me know if I can be of service.

Anonymous said...

Snowflakes probably came from when Rumsfield was SecDef. He was famous for sending our "snowflakes" - they would be called "taskers" in State Department lingo - things that other folks have to do.

Good luck on your Africa assignment!