Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Morning

My eyeballs have been pretty much burned up by looking at my computer screen all week. I kept getting tasked with writing Information Memorandums (IM's) to go up to the Ambassador, as well as writing responses to various high-level letters, and editing/coordinating a new set of guidelines with another organization. Writing stuff is an integral part of the job, but this week has been ridiculous. Particularly since I knew virtually nothing about the things I had to write the papers and letters for.

Last night, our Director gave me what I think is a compliment. She was talking about how, in this entire organization of around 80 people, there are only two or three people who could write things that she could work with. She's notorious for heavily editing things that go up the chain (hey, it's got her signature on it, so it better read the way she wants it to read). And my stuff is certainly not immune to her editing. So although she didn't say anything about my writing, the fact that I keep getting tasked to write IM's on things I know nothing about tells me that I'm in her small, select group of favored writers.

Myabe i ned to frget how 2 rite ...

I'm heading back to Asheville here in just over a week for my first R&R trip. I'll be home over the Thanksgiving holiday and return in early December. We'll be moving our office to the New Embassy Compound (NEC) at that time and I want to be here when it happens. If I'm not, I'll probably return to find my desk is in a broom closet in the corner or something. I learned a long time ago, when things are in turmoil, you better be there, to protect your own interests if nothing else!

The move is a big deal. The military and US government are reducing their "footprints" in the city and turning as many buildings and plots of land as possible back to the Iraqis. So the Palace, home to the Embassy since 2003, will be returned to the Iraqis soon, meaning everybody here has to go somewhere else. And we have to do it by the end of the year. So there is a lot of construction going on at the NEC as they get ready for offices and people arriving there daily. There's a lot of scurrying around as people pack up all their stuff and get ready to shift to their new digs. And there are a lot of people wandering around looking for offices that used to be here in the Palace and now are ... well, who the hell knows?

Maybe it's time to write an IM to the Ambassador about that ...

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