Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Hosting a high level visitor turns out to be a lot like hosting a dinner party, only you don't get to pick the guests, and the guests happen to control your salary. There's a lot of talk of who sits where, who eats what, event themes, name placards... Suddenly the Embassy is very very clean. VVIPs and their entourages must be constantly woozy from fresh paint and floor wax fumes, which is probably why they feel we have the power to subvert basic laws of physics when incorporating seats at tables or getting bodies from one place to another in record time. But of course, we do have those powers: we're professional diplomats, after all. And that is what I reminded myself of while making "Restrooms -->" signs. I can't hang them up till closer to my event, however, since the paint on the wall still hasn't dried.

[Postscript: Well, that could have gone better. But at least everyone knew where the toilets were.]


LeesOnTheGo said...

Well said!!! Whenever my husband goes through one of these CODEL's or other high falutin' visits I make a mental note: "One day when WE are in the 'Rock Star' type of position do not behave as a 'Rock Star'..." (looooong lists of needs right down to the color of jelly beans to be procured. Terrific in a jelly bean free country). Aaaah, and the the "fun" ones are when the wives come along too... That's a whole other blog though.

(So, who was your recent VVIP?)

Katie said...

This group wasn't unreasonable, per se, but I don't think most visitors understand the resource strain they create. Probably just as well.

It was a vice presidential visit.