Many of us worry desperately about - and might admire enormously - those truly courageous souls who dare participate in the wave of protests and demonstrations now occurring and spreading in the world. Where will this wave go now? Maybe not China, maybe not North Korea, but not long ago we might have poo-pooed the idea of Libya, so we don't know.
As we read about our colleagues - only peripherally in the ordinary news, which at most might mention a ship or a flight 'arranged by the US embassy' - it is only human for a true consular officer to feel a tiny tug of envy.
Because in every such officer's heart is a wee little voice that whispers, "Me. Involve me. If it's going to happen, please let it happen while I'm here and while I can try my best to pass the ultimate consular test - to think fast and creatively and without hesitation to help and protect my employees and my American customers.
"Test me. I can do it. I'll think of everything, I'll think a step ahead of danger. Let it be me standing on the tarmac, on the quay, on the train platform, on the side of the highway, waving goodbye to the last of those who trust and depend on me, as they race away to safety by means that I arranged. Let it be me who will be able to say - "
" - Goodbye, hon. Be careful out there."