Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Circling The Prey? The Wagons? The Drain?

 Madam doesn't often concern herself in these messages with ongoing news items. But the secret merriness surrounding the issue of what the FAM really is, is really irresistible.

According to Diplopundit, AFSA just woke up from its usual moribund state to write, with great subtlety, courtesy, and apparently straight faces, to DirGen Arnold Chacon, "We would be grateful if you could help us understand if there is, in practice or by law, any difference in how these standards apply to and are enforced for non-career appointees as opposed to career employees, both Foreign Service and Civil Service."

This approach has clearly required a bit of thought and planning on AFSA's part. Rather than giving Mr Chacon a choice between The Fam Is God and "The FAM is Nice to Know if You Have Nothing Better to Do", AFSA instead has narrowed the issue in order to seem to offer an escape route. "Does the FAM," AFSA seems to be asking, "apply to the SecState too, or can that person (plus, of course, any old run-of-the-mill renegade, sexist, racist, lazy, arrogant, idiotic appointed ambassador) do as he/she pleases?" 

A positive response to this question could finally explain why, only a few years ago, FSOs were actually punished, in real life, for daring to write blogs of any sort - even blogs having very little to do with their professional lives and work - while COMs were free (and still are) to blog or tweet or YouTube any ludicrous, unprofessional nonsense they chose and were even praised for doing so in the name of 'outreach' and/or 'approachability.'  It might even explain what happened to the very short but wonderful life of a certain extremely welcome and useful Reddit poster, far more recently.

 The small but select membership of the State Blogging/Tweeting/Redditing Graveyard are no doubt very interested in how (or if) Mr Chacon will respond. It would be lovely to see a few careers rise from the dead.
The career graveyard always has room for more

 We will now return to our regularly scheduled consular commentary and nagging. Thank you for your time.

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