Monday, March 8, 2010

A Monday Mea Culpa

This morning, I had to go back an re-read what I posted over the weekend, especially after reading some of the feedback.

And first, I need to thank everyone who shared their stories and advice about how they have handled their cell phone situations.

But after reading again what I posted, I fear that in my effort to not point to accusatory of a finger at one group, I perhaps painted the entire foreign service community with too large of a brush.

I think another contributing factor is the fact that perhaps I've had it too easy so far. I've been riding a streak of good luck that has included nailing down some employment, getting to start freelancing early (today, yippee!), being a part of a fun and active A-100 group, and have had the opportunity to meet many of the people who will be moving to Hermosillo about the same time we will. And to top all of this off, I have found that this blogging experience has been rewarding as well as I've learned a lot from reading others and from getting feedback on my posts as well.

So I was about due for some adversity, I suppose. After all, it is not like I'm being asked to stand idly by state-side while Natalie is shipped to Iraq for a year.

But where I probably was too hard on in some areas, I also might have erred in not highlighting how critical a cell phone that meets my parameters is to my situation.

Blepharokeratoconjunctivitis. My options are to have a cell phone that can record that word and its equally daunting friends or go to medical school. The ability to do my job is dependent on my having a cell phone. (Though doing interviews via Skype is intriguing; you deserve some type of award for creativity, Donna.)

And I consider having my own government-free job at post to being critical for maintaining my independence and semblance of self importance.

I do want to thank everyone again for their concern and thoughts, and apologize if I offended anyone by being too whiny. I'm a whistle blower by nature, which is great for journalism, but unfortunate for forming social bonds.


  1. I'm really grateful for the responses to your last post.

    I've also been wondering how people manage to have cell phones overseas - although, I have no need for conversations to be recorded - so I'm grateful for the feedback that talks about how people get service overseas.

    It was very helpful and eye-opening!

  2. I DO deserve an award for creativity, you're right. Mostly because Skype picks up background noise on my end, and I have 4 kids, so I have to find some way to ensure they won't come storming in the room mid-interview. Here's just one more thought, take it or leave it: I recently found gainful employment in the Political section in Beijing. They needed someone who could write well and independently: that'd be me. You might find, with your background, that you can pick up employment at the Embassy - there are always reports to be written and research to be done, but often no one has time to do it. Ask about Professional Associates positions at Post. Usually, you strike out at first and they offer you something in the mailroom. But you might be able to find real, and meaningful, employment as a writer, right there in the Embassy. Then again, maybe it's easier to find a phone. Seriously, keep me posted if you figure this problem out. I'm intrigued. And I didn't mean to sound harsh in my last comment - sorry if I did.

  3. I am a former journalist and current FSO and I can vouch that Skype indeed works very well. When paired with a cheapo recorder like PowerGramo you can, in fact, record your phone calls. I've done scores of professional interviews this way. Good luck!