Rules for Washington

I used to enjoy the Abu Muqawama blog but didn’t read it (or much of anything in that vein) after embarking on this new career. Today I was browsing old bookmarks and discovered that he hung up the blog last year. He concluded his final post with some “rules for Washington” that strike me as good advice.

*** Rules for Washington:
(1) Do a good job in the job you’re in. Don’t be so focused on what your next job might be that you leave a bad taste in the mouths of
those with and for whom you currently work.
(2) Don’t be a jerk. As Nate Fick always says, it’s an iterative game with a limited number of players. The people you’re working with today might be the people you’re working with – or for – tomorrow.
(3) Be a servant-leader. Toward the end of my less-than-stellar athletic career, I played a few seasons as a flanker in rugby. It’s not the most glorious position, but the people who do it best are the people who keep up a very high work rate doing all the ugly stuff – largely rucking and tackling – a team needs someone to do in order to win. So volunteer for the crappy work in the office. Go fetch coffee. Put together binders. Do it with a smile on your face, and keep a bottle of Old Overholt on your desk for your co-workers when times get tough.
(4) Have a sense of humor. This blog covered Very Serious national security issues with a Lego jihadi as its mascot. That was always by design. If you take yourself or the issues too seriously, the terrorists win.
(5) As Charlie always reminds people, stay away from the marrieds. Sounds like an obvious one, but people screw this up too often.
(6) Don’t write op-eds in the Washington Post defending torture or, if you happen to edit the Washington Post, hire people who defend torture. Because torture is wrong. Yes, always. Do I really have to explain this? … F***, really? I quit.

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The Korean Adventure begins

So the Eminent Canine and I arrived in Seoul yesterday and made it through customs with only a minor hiccup. The vet didn’t include the official rabies titer results page (FAVN for those in the know) which caused a fair degree of consternation at the quarantine counter but they eventually relented based on the vet’s report which was based on the FAVN report. My fantastic social sponsors had the house reasonably stocked with food and snacks and they brought me a sausage pepperoni pizza to boot.  Stayed up late enough that I think I’ll able to avoid jet lag (although dodged a bullet after waking up at 3:00 AM; thankfully fell back asleep until 6:00 AM). Nice secluded house with a yard big enough to throw a ball around, yay!

Went to get my iPhone activated today but the office was closed, apparently in observance of Memorial Day here in Korea. Will have to wait until Monday to get my personal number set up.  I’d also hoped to get my badges for access on and off the base but that will have to wait until Monday as well since the Embassy was closed for Memorial Day. The Eminent Canine and I enjoyed just chilling out today, exploring the house and then taking a nice long walk through the housing neighborhood this evening. Ended up having American fast food today because I didn’t have any Korean won when I was at the food court at the shopping mall (the pajeon looked delicious!) and then the base tour of the food court coincided with lunch time, so that was that. Can’t wait to start eating off base though!

Not a whole lot to report otherwise. The Eminent family arrives next week with the Eminent Feline and then our stuff will be dribbling in from Africa, airfreight, and the rest over the next few weeks.  Hopefully I can keep any readers updated regularly, hopefully 2-3 times a week.