At the top of every Embassy food chain is the Ambassador. He's the senior U.S. representative in the country. You stand when he (she) walks in the room, you call him (her!) Mr. Ambassador, you laugh at his (her....) jokes... You get the idea.
The next person down is called the DCM - that's short for "Deputy Chief of Mission." This person is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Embassy. You don't have to stand when he walks in, but you do have to remember your manners.
When the Ambassador is out of the country, the DCM moves up to take over, and his title changes to "Charge d'Affaires," or CDA. When the Ambassador is going to be gone for a long while, the CDA can assign another high-ranking Embassy person to be the Acting DCM, and that person takes over day-to-day operations.
Are you following?
Our Ambassador left post awhile back, but the incoming Ambassador hasn't yet arrived. So the DCM became the CDA, and he assigned a new DCM. Currently, that person is none other than... my husband.
And - get this - he is currently sitting in the Ambassador's office as he goes about his work day.
Needless to say, the guys who work with him have been teasing him relentlessly, trying to ensure that the power doesn't go straight to his head. (To be fair, they would tease him relentlessly even if he weren't the A/DCM - he's definitely the straight man for their jokes, and they have a seriously funny crew in RSO right now.)
Last week, one of the guys convinced a couple of the Marines to dress up and stand guard outside the Ambassador's office, in a show of pomp and circumstance that was guaranteed to mortify my poor husband. A few people got wind of it - something about seeing a pair of armed Marines standing at attention outside the Ambassador's office seems to grab people's attention. So by the time Bart got up the stairs, there was a small crowd waiting to see his reaction.
It was pretty funny. And it is a nice office he has up there. But I think, all in all, he'll be ready to move back to his own office when this gig is over.