One year ago today, the members of the 178th Generalist Class made their way to Main State in northwest Washington, DC for the first day of A-100. Arrival time requested: 07:45. That morning kind of felt like holding onto an electric fence with both hands, for so many reasons.
I was fortunate when I arrived here in Tashkent last month that the consular officers and local staff already working in the section facilitated a great orientation training and familiarization period for me. This helped me quickly learn what consular work looks like relevant to conditions in Uzbekistan; it was a specific and fine-tuned addendum to my ConGen training that took place in this spring.
And what is consular work about, exactly, for the uninitiated? In my opinion, it is very important work – protecting the borders of our great nation, while facilitating legitimate travel, study and even immigration to the United States, as well as serving the needs of our fellow American citizens traveling through or living in Uzbekistan.
As those who know me well would attest, I’ve never been much for competition. I used to work for someone whose top strength, according to StrengthsFinder 2.0, was Competition, with a capital C.
I wasn’t surprised to discover this fact during a staff retreat/training because it described her perfectly. Her competitive nature was an incredibly useful attribute for her, especially in leadership and in motivating teams. But I was surprised to read in the book’s description that such a person isn’t happy just to win, but must absolutely outperform (crush!) all competitors in order to be satisfied.
And now, some of my observations that may – or may not – also be facts!