Most US foreign service workers are glorified postal workers who are living out a fantasy of living abroad on the tax payers dime. I have been an expat for a good part of my life and every time I ever dealt with an US consulate abroad it was nothing more than arrogance and paperwork.
I am not against the people themselves nor the US, but the waste of the US government investment in the US foreign service. Although they are on a much higher level than the US military, which is financial a sink hole. The military destroys, the foreign service can work to promote trade and economics, but in my opinion needs to be scaled back to a minimum. Too much fat and VIPs walking around in suits.
The US embassy should outsource most of their functions like visa applications. They need to put everything online, their websites are filled with broken links and a navigational maze. They really are not hiring the best and the brightest. Objectively speaking the US consultat general could be run with a skeleton crew. Instead I see them spending large amounts of your dollars on wine and cheese parties.
Why I have a disdain for the politics of the foreigner service
I had a very serious incident happen to me about a year ago, and they were more concerned about covering their own butts than helping me as an US citizen. I am sorry to say that but it was true. I only got traction on the incident when I wrote the President of the country I resided and the top Ambassador. But it was a violent attack and a cover up, yes a real web of lies. So much for public service. Enough said on that.
In my experience they certainly do not do diplomacy, please.
What I observe at the US embassy
I see them skate off work at 3:30 pm in the afternoon and hitting the expat pubs hitting on local girls. It is a very cushy job to say the least. They get a lot of vacation, top medical coverage and their families attend the best local schools and they are surrounded by a high level of security. I am sure you do not live the way these guys do? And yes they have a nice fat pension plan complements of your family.
They have high priced tutors teaching everyone the local language, something I had to learn myself. I could go on, but the main point is I do not think they add any value to you.
If you are wondering how to get a job working for the US embassy read up on this US foreigner service jobs.
I am not sure what they really do besides cut ribbons and shake hands with local VIPs who the average working guy could care nothing about. There exists countless matrix like workers there just watching the clock. Maybe there are CIA operatives and people like that working there but the average worker the the consultant has a sweet government job. I would never be a government worker, I think I would rather beg on the street.
Most of the functions could be done online or outsources. I wish I had the opportunity to be a business flow process consultant.
Economics of the US embassy
I know they have ridiculous economic programs which try to establish ties between companies in the US and abroad, but this is so lame compared to the private sector. If a company wants to do business abroad they have their own consultants on the ground. I work for such a company and they have real experts and are a model of efficiency and cost you nothing.
Why this is ridiculous? It is all on your money. Every worker there takes about five US workers to support via taxes. Give the money to me directly and I could start a private company and create jobs. Rather than that scenario, US foreign service workers congratulate themselves on being masters of the universe and smoke cigars rolled in hundred dollar bills, your money.
I have mostly met very rude people there. The ones who get the job get a pump for their egos and a title to boot. If you want to really service the US go back home and start a company and create jobs.
Getting a visa at the embassy
Keep your head down and do not make direct eye contact as it could be a sign of aggression. Basically you give some 20 something guy who has not too much experience in the real work real power over people’s lives and you get a very rude postal worker working at the embassy. I did not have any great experiences here. I think before someone works at the embassy they should have to prove themself in the real business world. To get a visa you have to jump through a lot of stressful hoops, they do not make it any easier.
I have seem them deny families of US citizens with my own eyes, which I could not believe. The US government has no problem separating families based on income. If you want to know more about read up on US visa requirements. Even if you are married to an US citizen with children for many years you can not come to the US unless you have a reasonable level of US-based income. You could be a lawyer in the UK but it does not matter.
One area that needs to really be cut fiscally is the US foreign service as it seems important but it is not.