Saturday, April 5, 2014

Oh look! The porch needs sweeping!

There are a billion things you can do instead of writing your EER (employee evaluation report for those of you not in the Foreign Service.) One of them is getting your hair colored. Another is making dinner. There is also grocery shopping and looking for shorts online for Child 3. I also watched some TV and read a little. I really, really hate writing my EER. It's not that I didn't do exciting and important things. It's just that as soon as I write them down on paper they seem really stuffy and boring and unimportant. And I would so much rather do the exciting things than write about them. See, I would much rather be in that cable car in Santorini than write about it. And also, until you can put pictures in your EER, I'm going to be at a big disadvantage.

Click here

But, as I've explained before, the problem with promotions in the Foreign Service is that they are based on what is written rather than what actually happens. So if you are a braggart and full of hot-air and believe that you are better and more important than everyone else in the universe, you will get promoted if you and your supervisors write well. But if you have single-handedly discovered the secret to peace in the Middle East, it doesn't matter if your supervisor says things like "he needs to bring his fruit to bear." That is something someone actually wrote on an evaluation.

Because of this problem, in April, all work in the State Department stops and people concentrate on their EERs which are due in May. Really. Nothing gets done and people have signs on their doors and cubicles that say things like "Working on EERs. Only enter if you don't want to live to see yours finished." And as far as the portion we are supposed to write about ourselves, well, that gets put off until last. I am supposed to finish mine by Friday. Really. Which is about as likely as me winning the next Miss America pageant. But first, before I begin, I need to alphabetize my spice rack. And then maybe I'll put away some winter clothes. And look at some videos on YouTube.

You know what is better than a brownie? Learning something about science that I've never heard of before. This is a picture of a liquid at it's triple point.

A triple point is when something is all three states of matter at once--gas, liquid, and solid. So this liquid is solid and boiling at the same time. Amazing. I so wish they'd had YouTube when I was in school. I could have actually learned something while avoiding writing my term papers!

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