Greetings from Shenandoah
Bahrain 101

Bid Lists & bonding

I'm obsessing over bid lists...again.  Since starting this long road to the Foreign Service, I managed to get a peek at every A-100 bid list since spring 2009. When we got our 152nd bid list, everyone raved about the awesomeness and diversity of our list. It was the coolest bid list ever....until now.

Last week, the new 153rd class received their bid list and, WOW, is it awesome! It is by far the greatest bid list I've ever seen. Tons of Western Europe, Caribbean and Pacific "dream posts" that are not normally found on a first-tour Entry Level Officer bid list.

Argh! Oh well. But I wouldn't trade my class for the world. We have become such a close-knit group of friends that we've sparked envy among our peers. Unfortunately, contrary to public opinion, the Foreign Service is not one big happy family. It's no different than any other job. Sure, DOS has its share of back-biting and office politics. There can be rivalry and competition among A-100 classes, and even among classmates within the same class. Some classes (like ours) get along famously. Others, not so much. I've heard unfortunate stories of classes that are dominated by a handful of type-A personalities, or classes that have split up into little Lord of the Flies cliques. Don't be that person/class!  Remember, there's no 'i' in Team! It's all about group dynamics and what you make of it.

 I feel very fortunate that our class has truly bonded and that we've made some lifelong friends. Some of us are even making plans to visit each other's post countries! Honestly, I would be proud to serve alongside anyone in my class. The LEGENDARY 152nd!