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Old 11-05-2014, 01:59 PM
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frank review of life as a MFA officer -

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Everything is confidential and classified at the MFA. And you have got to know the pecking order and your place. Mine happened to be on the administrative desk, particularly in the realm of diplomatic real estate owned by the Singapore government. It was not terribly exciting.

I also learnt that taking notes has been elevated to an artform. First the posture, you huddle in between two important people who are having a dignified conversation. Sometimes, they have interpretators even though they can understand each other perfectly in English. It's a matter of national pride. Now, as they and their translators talk, you try your best to scribble down EVERYTHING they say. Every single detail must be captured. For some antiquated reason, they do not use recorders back then.

Later, when they adjourn for tea or cocktails, you must scramble to some backroom to feverishly type out the notes of the meeting. After which, it will be scrutinised by everyone above your rank. When you are a rookie, that means everyone.

I have learnt quite a bit in the MFA but the life of a diplomat is not for me. I would elaborate, but then it's classfied.
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