Integrity Legal

2nd Feb 2011

While surfing the World Wide Web, this blogger came across an interesting piece on the Diplopundit blog pertaining to the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers go to the Diplopundit blog to read the entry in its entirety. That said, the following was quoted directly from the aforementioned blog:

We understand that Bangkok’s FY 2009 NIV workload declined by over 20,000 cases from its FY 2008 high. The IV workload also declined from a FY 2006 high of approximately 8,500 to fewer than 3,000 cases in FY 2009. Still — we feel bad for the ELOs [English Language Officers] — no counseling, late performance reviews and a rotation program that spans 3-4 months — are not/not great introductions to a new career.

There is obviously a leadership disconnect here. The CG meets with the officers regularly but the Visa Chief reportedly does not, and neither were “regular participants in [visa] line work.” Ever wonder how this translates to — lead by example? Or building great teams?

The above quotation seems to drip with a certain level of sarcasm while maintaining a genuine concern for efficiency at American Missions abroad. That stated, this blogger cannot comment upon the caseload, processing policies, or personnel issues at the US Embassy in Bangkok due to a general lack of personal knowledge regarding the overall staffing situation at the Post. However, this blogger can state from personal experience that the officers at the US Embassy Thailand really did “go above and beyond” during the year 2010.

The Kingdom of Thailand saw a great deal of political, economic, and social turbulence in 2010. Most notable for those interested in matters pertaining to the US Embassy was the fact that the Post was closed for a number of days due to the riots in the late spring and early summer in Bangkok, Thailand. The so-called “Red Shirts” mounted a protest which eventually lead to a government crackdown, but not before causing major disruptions in the Bangkok Metropolitan area. The reason this riot is pertinent to this posting is the fact that this blogger personally saw, on more than one occasion, Consular Officers, of virtually every level, at the US Embassy in Bangkok going out of their way to assist and provide services to people leading right up to the actual crackdown (the same could also be said for the USCIS office in Bangkok, but that is a digression from the point of this posting).

In many ways, the situation in Bangkok could have been detrimental to the health and safety of the Consular Officers at the Post, but said employees continued to diligently perform their duties nonetheless. Although none of this goes precisely to the heart of the issues discussed in the Diplopundit blog posting this blogger felt that it should be noted in order to provide a human, if somewhat intangible, perspective on the situation in Bangkok over the past year. Perhaps this blogger is being “soft,” but it is simply the opinion of this blogger that credit ought to be given where it is due.

For related information please see: K-1 Visa Thailand.

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