Choices, choices.  Depending on what little dot I check off, could affect the rest of my life.  No big deal that my whole life could rest on a dot.

I am continuing with my fascination/obsession/non-stop yapping about becoming a Foreign Service Officer.  Yes, it has held the test of several weeks, which, in and of it self is notable.  But I have yet to actually register for the test.  I've started, but I haven't submitted my application yet, for two reasons.

Reason #1.  What the fuck.  I have to list every single job I have ever had, practically.  And the pay rate, duties, and so on.  Bloody hell.  While I have been a bit stationary in later years (also a shock), I bopped around quite a bit in years gone by.  I became a bit of a temp fiend.  I loved temping.  Lots of variety, you never knew where you would end up, if the job sucked, you knew you'd move on, and you didn't really have to give a crap about that office politics.  Or much else for that matter.  OH!  And if you were halfway functional, they though you were the most amazing thing since Tang.  And who doesn't love a good glass of Tang?

But having to dredge all this up is a real pain in the butt.  I don't know if I can even REMEMBER all the places that I worked.  But, I will persevere.

Reason #2.  Cone, cone, who's got the cone?  This is where the little life-changing dot comes in to the story.  In the foreign service, as I may have mentioned before, you have to pick a job category, or "cone".  The five cones are:  Consular, Economics, Management, Public Diplomacy, and Politics.  You select your choice at the time of your application, and YOU CAN NEVER CHANGE IT.  For the rest of your career, you are dedicated to a particular cone.  Now, to be fair, you can take assignments outside of your cone, but my understanding is that you can't do that too much, or you hurt your chances of promotion.  And, I also believe that you have to be promoted in a certain time frame, or you get kicked out.

So this cone business is nothing to fool around with.

First, I thought, Public Diplomacy.  That sounds like me.  You get to organize cultural programs, you interact with local people/organizations/media, and you get the chance to put a real face to America.  This sounds good.  I like culture.  I like talking, as those who know me can attest.  The issue that I have is that you have to support American policy.  Which is pretty easy for me under the current administration, but what happens if there is something I disagree with?  I would still need to promote it.  Hm.

Second, I thought, Political.  At first, I was like, Oh No, Politicians.  But then I read further, and thought more, and this seems to be more about analyzing the country- social, cultural, political - and then recommending how the US should proceed in this country.  And then I was a like, Oh Yes, Analyzing Society!  And finding solutions!  That really turns me on.  But it is the most competitive cone.  And I don't really have a background in international politics.

Then, I thought, wait a minute, what about Management?  I had originally bypassed Management, because it was all about the internal workings of the embassy, and I wanted to play with the people.  But, I also like playing with finances, and managing people.  And, my background is more fitting this choice (I've done a wide variety of office management type tasks).  Plus, it is one of the least popular cones, so there would be a greater chance of me not only getting the job, but getting the job I want.

Decisions, decisions.

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