Dreams of A Diplomat: Back Again

by Just Juan

“…better than ever the second time around” – Luther Vandross

About 1 ½ months ago, when I returned to writing in The Book of Juan, I returned to the Dreams of a Diplomat series…the most recent post being my 3rd application for the Foreign Service Facility Manager position, which I submitted back in April. As I fully expected, my application blew past the HR screeners as I got notification from them of my eligibility a week after the announcement closed. In early June, I received an email from the Department of State asking for some additional specifics regarding my RIT transcript. Apparently, the university erred in a piece of delicate information and once I got that cleared up with the good folks in Rochester, I sent the information over to State. At the end of that same month, I got notice that I passed the QEP and that I would be contacted about scheduling a date for the Foreign Service Oral Assessment. The Scheduling Unit reached out to me in August to schedule an assessment date and the list included openings from mid-September up until early November. I initially decided on October 25th because (1) it’s in the best month of the year and (2) going back to Triumphs & Tribulations I in 2000, I’ve never failed a test on October 25th. Unfortunately for me, by the time my reply got back to the Scheduling Unit, that date was off the board. All that was left was a bunch of September dates and the November 4th date, which was the last one available. I took the November date, they confirmed, and just like that, I am in a position to make amends for what happened 5 years ago.

A month from now, I’ll be decked out in one of my best suits and ready to change my life trajectory with one of the most important performances ever. In the 2 months since I scheduled that oral assessment, I haven’t been exactly just sitting on my thumbs waiting. I’ve been studying the craft. I pulled out all of the old college books and took a peek just to make sure the information was still burned into the ol’ human hard drive. I’ve started to get out more and shadow the technicians at work just to make sure all of my dots are connected on what they do on a day-to-day basis. I’ve reached out to a couple of fellow alums out of the RIT Facility Manager master’s program who happen to be FSFMs just to get advice. The one thing I’ve done this time that I didn’t do the first time around was attend the Foreign Service Oral Assessment briefings. I attended the September briefing to learn about the process and the best practices. Next Saturday, I attend the October briefing just to hammer all of that home and to make sure I’m good to go…that nothing has been left to chance.

Life truly has a humor bone. Back on March 19th, I was telling the FSFM recruiter that I didn’t think I was ready to pursue the position. Almost 7 months later, I feel like I’m ready to dominate the oral assessment and claim my destiny as a Foreign Service Facility Manager. I already got my styling appointment set with Haye. My navy blue Joseph Abboud suit is ready to go. My hotel in Downtown Washington is booked. I got all of the paperwork printed and ready to go. I am ready for the moment. All that’s left for me is time.

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