Quote of the day/week/however long

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

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Beware The Pale Horse

US FSOs, especially consular officers, are very comfortable with traveling to and through - not to mention living and working in - places where most Americans would be afraid to change planes. They can move smoothly, courteously and unobtrusively through any sort of place or any gathering of people without causing distress or even much interest, only occasional amusement, and almost no danger.

At the same time, however, no one is more aware than a consular officer that when The Fourth Horseman comes, it chooses who and as it will. The person it chooses is always startled and woefully unprepared. S/he might protest that s/he was careful, is busy with urgent matters, and could it please call back at a more convenient time. Almost every death case that any conoff has handled has involved some sort of extremely unpleasant and inconvenient surprise for the Amcit whose mother now requires a gentle phone call.

Madam knows that conoffs, far more than any other officers, can find themselves - and might need to place themselves - in situations that the officers upstairs can avoid; in the kinds of situations that create the need for such phone calls, especially during these apocalyptic days.

So for all of her patience, impatience and scolding, Madam wants to take this unfortunate opportunity to remind all of her conoffs, wherever you are, to be tirelessly meticulous about guarding yourselves, from looking both ways when you cross the street to wearing that mask, keeping your distance, washing your hands, not touching your face, and on and on.

Don't think that The Horseman doesn't know you. It knows you. It doesn't mind waiting for you. It doesn't care that you are busy, that what you're doing is vital, that this is an inconvenient time, that you're doing that risky thing just this once for your customers. It doesn't even care that other officers, believing themselves safe upstairs, might tease you for your wariness. The teasing will fade. The Horseman will not.

Take no chances or risks, make no excuses. The Horseman doesn't care. 'Just this once' doesn't care. CV-19 doesn't care. But your mothers do.

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