Monday, October 10, 2016

Buenos Aires Holidays: Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity

Technically this isn't an "extra holiday," since it coincides with Columbus day in the US, but it's worth talking about. Many countries in the Americas celebrate this holiday: the anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the new world. Originally celebrating the 'civilizing' of the Americas, the focus was changed due to the massive disrespect they showed to the native cultures, many of which were massacred by the conquistadores. Now the holiday is about education and cultural displays by the descendents of the various indigenous peoples in the Americas. 

Monday, October 3, 2016


Welp, I crossed another Foreign Service Milestone. I'm officially tenured. Tenure is a funny thing in the FS. Practically (but not) everyone gets it. You have 3 chances: at 2 years, 3 years, and 3.5 years for specialists. They say 99% of people get it by the third try. They say around 50% get it on the first try, so it's something of a (very) small bragging right. However, every IMS in my specialist class (go 132nd!) got tenure on their first try, which does dampen the feeling of exclusivity, but that's ok! So with the very flattering words below, I officially become a full-time, non-probationary, federal employee.

"The SPTB has completed its review of the files of candidates eligible for consideration for tenure by the 2016 Summer Session.  Below is the list of candidates recommended for tenure. The effective date of tenure is September 12, 2016."

Yeah, I got chills too. They do have a way with words. 

The picture may not be completely accurate, since the Foreign Service has an age-limit... but as a federal employee, we're generally fairly hard to fire anyway. More interestingly, as a 'career officer,' we do have the ability to be rehired to the Foreign Service if we quit, with relatively fewer hoops to jump through. I've met an officer who did this. He quit for several years to live near his children after getting divorce and then applied for reappointment when they were older. 

PS: Side bonus, you can also get a tenure certificate signed by the President...