Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Legal Immigration Flowchart

This post is brought to you by the Free WiFi I'm mooching off of at Brownsville's local frozen yogurt joint, where I've been the past few hours downloading my legally-purchased episodes of my favorite US TV shows from, who (appropriately but frustratingly) won't let me download from my Mexican internet at home.

Anyway, I noticed this humorous-but-accurate cartoon flow chart that explains the convoluted U.S. immigration process. I'm not doing any immigrant visas whatsoever here in Matamoros because the only place to get IVs from Mexico is in Ciudad Juarez (plus Mexico City for a few specific types, like F4 and adoption cases.) Who am I kidding... you probably don't care where you can get an IV in Mexico anyway. Obviously, there's a bit of a lack of interesting things to blog about today.

Here's the flow chart. Suffice it to say that I hope none of you readers are currently in the process for one!

Props to Kolbi over at A Daring Adventure for mentioning it first.

Until next time...peace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Get Off the Escalator

Many of you have asked me whether or not I'm actually hiding all of "the real stuff" that goes on in the Foreign Service for fear of retaliation from the Department or my bosses. The answer is no...not really.

Granted, there are certain things that I know I shouldn't talk about. After all, this is a public forum, and once something is on the internet, it's on the internet forever. There's no going back. That being said, however, I feel like I'm OK at telling it like it "really" is. I don't hesitate to post about things I find interesting or odd about the Foreign Service. In fact, the Department has an entire open forum (available only on the intranet - State's internal internet) devoted to allowing people to express their opinions and ideas, be they negative or otherwise.

So, with that small disclaimer, I'd like to share with you the following video. A friend of mine from work sent it to me after I had taken a little initiative and changed a process that appeared inefficient and illogical. Apparently, no one had thought to change it. No one had wondered if there was a better way to do that thing, because, well... that's just the way it was done.

I've come across other examples of this kind of thing happening. The Department is really big on precedent and what has happened in the past. Now, it's true that I also think the Department is innovative and willing to take some risks, but in a ginormous government bureaucracy like ours, some things never are super hard to change. If something happened to you in the past that rubbed you the wrong way, you will forever be afraid to try to step around that something in the future. And more than likely, you'll pass that along/down to whoever you're working with.

With that, I leave you with this video. It's titled "Government Employees," though the video itself doesn't seem to specify that they're G-men (G-people, for those of you who are sensitive to that kind of thing.) I don't really find it insulting or offensive. In fact, I find it to be rather accurate....sometimes. In any case, let's just say that I make an effort every day to get off the escalator...and to bring others with me (instead of just fixing the escalator.)


Until next time...peace.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time for Some Updates

It seems that my blogging has slowed down as much as the Sun has as it moves across the sky during the summer. And let me tell you, it is painfully, uncomfortably slow down here in sunny Mexico.

I'm not sure, exactly, why the blogging has slowed. It could be because of the noticeable uptick in busyness at work (for more info, see that last blog post I made.) Then again, it could be due to just a lack of interesting things to blog about. I'd say it's kind of a mixture of these two.