Sunday, February 14, 2010

Almost There

Well, I've moved in to my new apartment in Crystal City.  Most of my worldly possessions are sitting in storage somewhere in Maryland.  In two days, I start my new career in the Foreign Service.  Wow.  Things are really about to change.


After several weather-related delays, I finally had my pack-out yesterday.  It went pretty well.  The entire crew consisted of two middle-aged guys.  When they got there, I showed them what goes where.  First, they packed my 'air' shipment, which is limited to 250 lbs.  They put everything into two huge boxes and then put those in the truck.  Then, they brought in tons of boxes and packing paper and started packing.

The packing was quick, but haphazard.  For example, I had just washed some sheets, towels, and rugs.  Rather than folding these in any manner, they just shoved them into a box.  Not a big deal, but kind of obnoxious.  They did repack the dozen or so boxes that I had never unpacked from my move to Fredericksburg.

Speaking of books, I own way too many.  Every box or piece of furniture was individually numbered.  All told, I had 72 items on my packout list.  9 of these items were boxes full of books.  That is, 1 out of every 8 items I own is a box of books.

When doing the inventory, the packer had to note the condition of all my furniture.  They had codes for conditions such as torn (T), stained (ST), warn (W), and my personal favorite, soiled (SO).  Every single piece of furniture I owned was downgraded by his notes.  The worst was my dresser which required two lines in order to note all of its imperfections.

Last week of work

My last week of work was about as perfect as you could imagine.  In case you didn't hear, we got hit with two huge snow storms from Friday through Wednesday.  The government was closed for four days, so I didn't have to work.  Fredericksburg got hit less than all the other areas, so I was able to get around fairly well by Monday and through the week.  I won an online poker tournament.  On my last day, we got to start 2 hours late (so no more 5 am alarms).  I invited friends and co-workers to a Happy Hour on Friday and got to see friends from the Foreign Service study group, co-workers at the Coast Guard, and a few of my old friends from the US Attorney's Office/

What's next

Tomorrow, I have a Happy Hour where I will get to meet many of my new A-100 classmates.  Tuesday, we start at Main State, where we will be sworn in, get our ID badges, and fill out paperwork.  We start our real training on Wednesday.  Most importantly, one day next week I will get the bid list.  The bid list contains all of the posts that I MAY go to.  My possible destinations will go from unlimited to around 100 possibilities.  While I can't publicly state what all the options are, I may mention a few of my favorites.  And in less than a month from now (a short month at that), I will learn where I will spend the next few years of my life.


  1. Welcome to the FS!

    I have added a link to your blog to my blogroll of FS blogs at

    You will get a lecture during A-100 about blogging, and they will basically try to convince you not to do it. However, as you will note on my blogroll, there are probably 200 or more foreign service blogs. You can blog in the FS as long as you are smart about it. I have been blogging now for four years and I am happy to talk to you about ways to blog (and how much public diplomacy LOVES blogs!).

  2. I just read that your first day of A-100 is on the 16th, which is today. Congrats and best of luck!