Personal convenience appliances are not authorized for use in State Department office spaces. In other words, no coffee makers, microwave ovens, space heaters, fans or anything else that consumes electricity is allowed to be plugged into an outlet in a State Department overseas building.
This may seem like a small issue but it is absolutely infuriating on a day-to-day basis: can’t brew my own coffee at work, can’t heat up my lunch, can’t cool down when the A/C is down, can’t warm up when it’s below freezing outside and the building heater is doing a poor job of heating the building.
In a prior post where I served, the Facilities Manager would walk around with a pair of heavy-duty scissors and snip the plug end of a power cord of all microwaves, space heaters, fans, etc.
Although I now agree with this policy for occupational safety issues (space heaters are notorious for causing fires), this policy is one of the small inconveniences that makes life in the State Department seem “NQR” (not-quite-right) sometimes.