Friday, August 17, 2012

Some of my best friends are civil servants...

"Are you an FSO?" turns out be a question laden with all sorts of pregnant meaning when you ask it of someone who is not, in fact, an FSO.  I guess that's not a big surprise in an office where people are introduced by what grad school they attended.*  You have to skirt around the issue carefully, using a lot of tact and patience... so, you know, that's going well for me.

Other questions to avoid:

"How long will you be here?"

"Are you my rater?"

and also:

"What's your name?"
 The only truly safe question I've found is:

"Can I have some of your Scotch?"

The great irony is that I'm pretty sure FSOs remain in the minority in my workplace.  Pretty sure.  I could ask to find out, but the social risk is too great.  And anyway, I'm sure we're all very pleasant, very competent people regardless.  Pretty sure.

*I like to imagine how my introduction would go:  "Katie went to state school -- because it was free and her boyfriend was there.  She later worked as a custom picture framer, at one point making as much as EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR!"