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!"


Caitlin said...

Hahaha - love it!
Said from someone who was the sole owner of a proudly-framed Associate's degree in my A-100.

Katie said...

After my pre-FS job, I'm admittedly more likely to judge you by the frame than by the degree it contains. Just a different kind of snobbishness, really.

Good luck in CJ!

Consul-At-Arms said...

It's true: the more highly-credentialed FSOs can become instantly non-plussed and scandalized to meet someone who passed the FS exam without having attended lots of elite schools and programs.

It seems to undermine their understanding of the universe.

(It's actually quite funny to watch.)

Anonymous said...

I didn't really detect a lot of grad-school pedigree elitism in my recent A100 class - is it something that doesn't emerge until later?

Katie said...

I don't remember a lot of it in my A-100, either. Maybe it's a Main State thing?