My Adventures as a U.S. Diplomat and Family Man

First Stop: Tel Aviv, Israel (July 2012)!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pre-Announcment Announcement

Today's world is full of non-decisions, over-hyped "breaking news" and faux apologies. Jon Stewart brilliantly satirized the "pre-announcement" last fall with a series of teasers (watch one clip here) for his "Rally to Restore Sanity." I am taking a page out of his book because there have been a few tantalizing developments on the Foreign Service front over the past few days. Here's the skinny:

  • During my (very) routine check of the online message boards on Tuesday morning, a few people dropped the bombshell that they had just received email invites for the next A-100 class--beginning on May 23! This class had been cancelled as a result of the budget showdown but the State Department powers-that-be apparently decided to resurrect it.
  • Over the following days, a number of offers went out to candidates in various cones. My number almost came up yesterday afternoon leading me to believe an offer was imminent. Needless to say, not much sleep was had last night. Only re-runs of the Golden Girls kept me company.
  • Low and behold, the magic email appeared at 7:47am today. Despite its bewildering array of colors and fonts, I knew instantly what it was--my own official offer to join the Foreign Service! For those who live in Denver, it stopped raining and the sun came out at that precise time.

This long-awaited yet unexpected offer was bittersweet, however. For one, the class begins in just over one lunar month! Talk about a stressful pack out and send off. Second, there are a number of personal and professional reasons for me to be at home for the first part of the summer. I won't go into them here but it is suffice to say that this will probably be one of the last times of my upcoming diplomatic career that I get to exert some control over when something happens.

Where am I going with this? What's the announcement? Why are you still reading this? Without further ado, I have decided to take the following course of action:

  1. I will let the offer sit for another day even though all of the pros and cons have been debated endlessly in my head and with my wife (God bless her) over the past couple days.
  2. I will decline the offer for May with the knowledge that I stand a good chance of receiving another offer for July or September.
  3. I will purchase industrial strength lotion for all the hand-wringing over the next several weeks. For penance, I will send good bid list karma to Foreign Service comrades who accepted their offers
  4. I WILL accept the next offer I receive. If I don't, my candidacy is terminated and this blog becomes the "pity the fool" of the Foreign Service blogosphere.   

Sorry to disappoint those who were hoping for a bigger announcement. But since I got your attention, here's a shameless plug for future entries while I nervously await the next round of invites:

  • I'll introduce Mrs. DiploDad and explain our plans for the forthcoming A-100. Keeping with Foreign Service blogging etiquette, she'll receive her very own MI6-style pseudonym.
  • I'll share what happens when I break the news to my two young sons that I'm turning their life upside down. I might as well tell them about the birds and bees too.
  • I'll post a copy of President Obama's original birth certificate and explain my endorsement of Donald Trump for President in 2012.

Okay, that last one was a joke. Stay tuned for real announcements in the future though!


  1. You are such a great writer. I love reading your posts!

    Again,congrats! You will make the correct decision.

  2. Andy - sounds like you have good reasons for all your decisions. I'm impressed with all you've done, including the parenting. Best of luck.


  3. nearly fell outta my chair laughing... endorsing The Donald... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    May karma be on your side my friend

  4. Congrats Andy and good luck. Hard decision making, I'm sure.

    How about a Trump-Palin ticket?!

  5. I love the Golden Girls!!!

    You almost lost me with the Donald comment....there would have gone your "corridor reputation" already. HAHA!

  6. Thanks everyone for the comments and support. I still feel I made the right choice but the anxiety still remains. Feel free to pass along any suggestions for late-night TV viewing. I really need to get one of those TiVo things!

  7. I just want to note how funny (or not funny at all) it is that here I am, 2017 and Donald Trump actually IS our President. You, my friend, have powers that fortune tellers could only dream of.

    I do dream of becoming an FSO in the next 10 years (hey, I've got some studyin' to do!). Thank you for your blog. I will probably finish reading it all by this weekend as I have finished the others in a day's time.