Today at work I did everything I could to catch a cold. That is, I got caught outside without a coat during what was not a fire drill but a real fire incident. See, I popped downstairs to get some Pepsi because I was falling asleep and since I was only going to be a couple of minutes, I didn't bring my coat and of course, while I was buying the Pepsi, the fire alarm went off and they wouldn't let me back into the building to get my coat and I had to wait outside until they gave the all clear. My friend "Rebekah" reminded me that if my children had been that stupid, I would have grounded them. So maybe I'll ground myself this weekend and stay in bed. Like I did all last weekend because I had a cold.
But never fear! The A-100 class arrived to save the day! Actually, it was because my friend is in A-100 (the beginning Foreign Service class for new officers,) and he kindly loaned me his coat because he had a suit jacket and I had nothing. It was very nice of him and makes me hopeful for the future of the Foreign Service. This friend "Daniel" worked with me in Asia as an "eligible family member" which is a fancy way of saying Daniel's wife was a Foreign Service Officer. And like many very smart and talented spouses, he wanted a career of his own, so he took and passed the FSO exam and will now be a tandem. He'll be awesome and I'm very happy for him and for the Department.
I'm happy for the Department because we seem to have a crisis of the unmanageable Entry Level Officer. I have met some of them (remember the girl who called me up to whine about not getting into my workshop?) and they. scare. me. I mean, how do you test for "I'm always right and good luck getting me to do things your way"? I have heard rumors that many of them are being required to take the Fundamentals of Supervision course, not because they will supervise anyone, but because they are themselves difficult to supervise. We'll see how long I can resist before I pull out the Mom lecture and put my hands on my hips and tell them oh yes they will do what I say and they had better do it with a smile on their face or I will know the reason why! Can you ground employees? You--sit at your desk until you've written three cables and a BCL! That actually might just work. I think the ELOs are a little older than this, though.
So on Sunday, we visited an old friend who is dating a new friend. This new friend, we'll call her "Curie"found out that I was gluten intolerant, so she made an entirely wheat-free meal just for me. It was amazing, and not just because it was delicious and I would have eaten every last one of the stuffed mushrooms if I'd had a chance and then there were the deviled eggs! Visiting with old friends is better than a brownie, but new friends who feed me delicious food that won't make me sick? Those are golden. Curie is definitely a keeper.