Visa Line Rule One:
If the answer won't influence your decision, don't ask the question.
Visa Line Rule Two:
If an applicant's circumstances haven't changed since her last visa interview, the result of this interview won't change either.
Yesterday I had a DVC with Tokyo regarding E visas -- that is to say, business visas. Being at a consulate often means taking direction from people who are far away and don't always know the particulars of your situation. You can't take it personally; it's the embassy's job.
Tokyo seems concerned with our business visa practices. Maybe they ought to be. Not only am I not especially fond of our current system, but (personally speaking) I couldn't care any less about the intricacies of business visas. If a globally significant japanese company wants to send you to its US branch, odds are you're getting a visa. Does it really matter if it's an H1B or an E2 or a B1? Either way, you're going. You can have a Q visa for all I care. I get no pleasure from the 'Aha! You're asking for an E1, but actually you ought to be applying for an L1A.' moment. In fact, today anyways, I can think of no part of this job which imparts pleasure.
It's strange: if I were doing this work in any other capacity, I would have quit a long time ago. To have a job that is so psychologically draining it makes me turn down sidestreets, leave letters upopened, delete unread emails, and switch off the ringer on my phone all to avoid interacting even with people I consider friends* is ridiculous. To be sent to another country to do one more year of work for which I'm so wildly unsuited reaches sublime levels of absurdity. But it's stupid to consider other options. Refer to Rule One. I don't want to leave the FS -- I just want to push back my chair from the proverbial visa table and declare 'I'm full'.
Myers-Briggs says you can gauge job related stress in the following fashion: 1. Assess your job activities and assign them Myers-Briggs types; 2. See how closely the resulting types fit your own profile; 3. Lack of overlap = stress.
So. Hours of talking everyday: that's an 'E'. Attention to small concrete details, as opposed to big picture policy: that's an 'S'. Making decisions based on objective rules instead of personal relationships: that's a 'T'. Having things constantly thrown at you, with no sense of priority or scheduling: that's a 'P'.
Visa work is ESTP. I'm INTJ. And 'T' is my most borderline category. No wonder I wake up every morning wanting to punch the sun in the face. It's hard facing two more years of this -- two more years of always feeling crowded, edgy, and exhausted. Two more years of never getting to achieve a level of human interaction I would consider normal.
People keep saying it will get better. No it won't. Refer to Rule Two. What a shame that so much of life is just something to be gotten through!
And sir, I'm so sorry, but it looks like you'd be much better off applying for an L instead of an E...
*But please don't quit talking to me! I'm trying, I promise.