Stan and I endured a coupla less than stellar Charges in Tallinn. I also know that Stan had issues with the Ambo, but I got along well (but then, I lived in Finland and commuted once or so a month.)

The main problem I had with career FSOs was that they were too beholden to the DoS bureaucracy -- "The desk doesn't think that's a good idea." For God's sake! A desk is an inanimate piece of furniture; I don't care what it thinks. Career guys always had one eye on follow-on assignments, so getting too full of themselves was not a great idea.

On the other hand, I had one politico who called the president's private secretary and scheduled an Oval Office visit that Main State had disapproved. Another called the Secretary of State AT HER HOME at 0500 to explain that her staff was misleading the leadership on a particular issue. Career FSOs aren't going to do that.

I also saw great FSOs who were out and about in adverse environments, acquiring ground truth and meeting with dissidents that would have been unaccessible otherwise.

So I guess the underlying lesson is that all generalizations are bad, even this one.