Category Archives: Japan

Japan Task Force

My work here is usually pretty repetitive and once I explain it once, there’s not much of interest to add, blogwise.  There are, of course, crazy applicants but due to pesky privacy laws, I can’t post about them on the interwebs.  Though, ask me about the lady that called the police on herself and the guy who was arrested for hitting his wife in the face with a pie sometime. 😉

Today, however, I had the chance to do something a little different.  As most of you have probably heard, there was a 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan, followed by a massive tsunami.  The State Department has set up an e-mail address to respond to inquiries from American citizens in Japan in need of help and to families and friends of US citizens who are trying to get in contact with their loved ones.  There are lots of people in Japan working on this and lots of people in DC working around the clock on it as well, but through the wonders of technology, there are also people at consulates and embassies all around the world working on this.

So, I spent the better part of the afternoon triaging these e-mails, entering contact information into the database, and routing e-mails to the correct office or person for follow up.  Since there are embassies and consulates all around the world, the State Department can use time differences to their advantage and as I’m leaving work, someone in the Asia is getting in to work on a weekend and pick up where I left off.  It was neat to work on the Japan Task Force and to know that I’m helping out my coworkers in DC and Japan by easing the burden on them, and helping to ensure that e-mails from US citizens in trouble are getting responses quickly, and helping their friends and family in the US get in contact with them.

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