Sunday, 14 December 2014

DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT QUALIFICATIONS TO BECOME A DIPLOMAT?


Take Mark Twain’s handy test. Do you have
  • A large private income?Damn it, failed the first condition!
  • Experience of swell society life? Does being in the same room with Margaret Atwood count?
  • The gift of reserve – on occasion? I did show reserve on a few occasions.
  • The gift of talk -- on other occasions? I’ll be superb on those other occasions.
  • Personal dignity, native courtesy, trained good manners?  Uh-oh.
  • Familiarity with the French and German languages? Familiarity is the keyword, right? He doesn’t mention fluency anywhere.

I got 4 out of 6. How did you rate?
(Source: Mark Twain, American Representation in Austria)

By the way, Addison Harris, the American ambassador to Austria in 1899, fulfilled not a single one of these conditions, according to M.T.

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