I have survived the first week of my Reign of Terror as acting consular chief. So have all the other U.S. citizens in my consular district, for which I am grateful. It’s so much better than last time (though it could hardly have been worse), since now I’m only running consular and not consular and pol/econ simultaneously. I also have some idea what the hell I’m doing this time around, which is certainly helpful.
After three months in consular I’m getting the hang of the routine stuff, so now being the sole consular officer at post is giving me the chance to learn more about the non-routine things consular officers do. I sent out a warden message about some protest marches planned for today (we’re all fine Mom!), researched the law on some especially complicated visa cases, learned a little about some of the management responsibilities of a consular section, and started on a child welfare case. There’s still plenty of visa interviewing and passport processing, but it’s nice to have some variety to keep things interesting. Not TOO interesting though – let’s try to leave the death cases and emergency evacuations for when the boss gets back.