Thursday, January 31, 2008


So, two weeks until I leave post, and I am reminded of how much I hate details. Specifically, logistical details. More specifically, bureaucratic logistical details. Does what you're asking involve a form? Does that form have a coded number name? Will that form need to be revised 5 or 6 times before any actual action results from it? Will the form-initiated action be any more effective than if I just paid the money / booked the flight / called the movers myself? No? Then don't show it to me. No, really, I mean it - I'd rather gouge out an eye.

I'd like to think that my reaction to bureaucracy was more tempered when I was not assigned to such a detail oriented legal job. This would mean that I might at some point return to a more normal level of response (mild disdain) than what I'm currently exhibiting (barely contained rage yoked to an apparently misplaced desire for reasonableness). I am generally a fan of checks and balances in a system, but to deal with a regulatory structure containing widely acknowledged and yet perennially unaddressed flaws is maddening. The way State handles travel orders is broken. When things are broken, you should fix them. There's no reason for every deployment to be an exercise in Zen-like perseverance.

If the section tries to throw me some sort of surprise goodbye party, that's going to put me right over the edge.