Saturday, July 19, 2014

Two Years in India, Week 3: First Pouch Run

You know, when I originally applied for the Information Management Specialist position with the Foreign Service I thought I was signing up to install and maintain computers. What I didn't realize was that we were in charge of ALL information going to and from the post. Anyway, this week I got my first taste of one of the forms that information takes.

One of our many jobs at post involves packing, tracking, and escorting secure mail from our facilities overseas to the airplanes that take them out of the country (and back, for incoming packages). As far as I can tell, this is generally called a pouch run. Being a consulate (and a relatively small one at that), this isn't a common occurrence in Chennai. However, we wanted to make sure I got a chance to do one before my predecessor shipped out on Thursday. I expected it to be quite exciting, I mean, we get down on the tarmac with the plane and watch them unload and load cargo. Sounds cool, right? Yeah... it's not as cool as it seems. In the end, it was just a long, sleep-depriving night.

In other news, my predecessor did in fact leave, ostensibly leaving me as the only IMS in Chennai. However, we were loaned an Information Programs Officer (IPO) from Delhi to help me manage things until my boss gets here. On the one hand, I think I would have been fine without the help, but I'm definitely glad he's here. Aside from the work benefits of having an experienced hand to help me, he's also just nice to have around from a social aspect! Who wants to be locked away by themselves all day?

I had one final revelation about my job this week. For years, as a government contractor, I was so pleased and proud of the fact that I never really received a lot of e-mails. I thought it was a good indication that I was actually getting work done. This week I realized that the majority of my job now consists of reading and answering e-mails. Sure, I do things also (apparently a lot of things, with how fast the time seems to go at work), but a lot of my job is now just making decisions that other people implement. I don't know how I became a manager, but it just feels weird!

No comments:

Post a Comment