The job of working for the Foreign Service of The Bahamas is a wonderful job. It is an opportunity that is in high demand. There are more people chasing after the places in the service than the service is able to absorb. The problem is that many deserving people do not get the opportunities to serve as they should because of the high demand and the use of the opportunities for sinecures.
This is all the more reason why those who get a chance at serving overseas ought to use the opportunity wisely. These are once in a lifetime opportunities. They should use the opportunities while they are abroad to make contacts with their fellow professionals and others and also seek to parley their jobs into opportunities which may take them away from the foreign service in Nassau and to places far afield, particularly international organizations.
The problem is there is a track record of too many sitting on these opportunities and then when it is time to come back home, they refuse to come back home. It is like returning to The Bahamas is a fate worse than death.
The gift of a job in the foreign service of the country is entirely in the discretion of The Prime Minister. Prime Ministers guard these opportunities jealously and so they should. The persons who represent the country abroad have to reflect his or her vision of what the country is and what his or her personal vision is for the service. At the same time, the people must be well trained and must be fit for purpose.
There are too many times when stories come drifting back at home in social media of people simply not able to get along, fighting, carping and complaining and not putting their best service forward. No doubt these stories begin to float back ultimately to the government and the government will have to act if the noise is not quieted down.
The Bahamas does not use the opportunities abroad thus far to get itself into the upper echelons of the international civil service. It does not sufficiently engage its diaspora. These are worthy projects that the officers abroad should get to doing.
We think that generally speaking the diplomats are well-intentioned and hope to do the best they can. This then is simply a message to remember why you are there and do not squander the opportunities. We think a word to the wise is sufficient.