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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why I left the Army in the first place

I had to attend some meeting today. I had no idea what it was about,
I was just told by the SGM in my office I had to attend.

I can honestly tell you I could have spent that time in the office
working. The person I had to hear speak only repeated the same shit I
heard the first 4 years I was in Army:

1. Here's some shit and you're gonna like it (unless of course, you're
an officer).
2. Suck it up and drive on.
3. If you're efficient, then you won't get the help or equipment to do
your job even better.

This person went on to talk about how bad things were a few years ago
when coalition forces came in and swept out the Taliban. That's
great. I'm glad that some people like to dwell on the past. However,
the problems that troops are dealing with now are not the same as a
few years back.

One of our biggest problems is housing all the people that don't seem
to have jobs. Here's a suggestion-find them a job or send them home.
Simple enough right? One person at the meeting complained about how
the officers (LtCol and above) seem to do the most bitching about the
housing situation. They have to share rooms but they want really nice
rooms by themselves with new furniture. They are getting ticked off
because all that new furniture and spacious dwellings aren't being
funded by headquarters.

For some odd reason, the officers have been the last to catch on that
we are in a combat zone. Where did all this sense of entitlement come
from? The military. That's all we do is cater to what the officers
want. If we stopped treating them like their shit don't stink and
treat them like everyone else we wouldn't have this problem. But the
military is still in the stone age and refuses to get rid of their
caste system.

One of our computer experts complained that the help desk is down one
man and there won't be a replacement because headquarters got rid of
the position. He also mentioned how there will be a dramatic increase
in workstations. Sounds like a dilemma. There will be more work but
less people to do it. I wanted to tell the guy that if he wanted a
bigger staff then his department needed to stop being so efficient.
Screw up. Blame it on fatigue. The Army only understands that
something is wrong when there's a problem. It's an institution that
doesn't comprehend the need to foresee potential problems to enact
preventive measures to avoid those potential problems. The preferred
method is to wait until there is a problem and try to do a quick
fix-like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. Makes sense right?

I can't speak for anyone else in the Army, but I'm tired of getting
fed the suck it up and drive on line. I think it's one of the reasons
why the Army didn't recognize mental illness. Sometimes you just
can't suck it up and drive on! Sometimes you just need help!
Especially if you working long hours/weeks with no rest or relaxation
for-I don't know-15 months! As it stands, I get one day a week off if
I'm lucky. I get tomorrow morning off but it will be my last time off
for the next 3 weeks. Did I mention the equipment I used to do my job
isn't working properly? It's going to be great. I totally see a
nervous breakdown in my future. But hey, it's shit and I have no
choice but to like it.

--
Shavonne

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Total Meltdown

I don't think my coworkers at my civilian job has ever seen me lose my
cool or go into mega bitch mode. I mean if they did, they wouldn't be
so great at sending me care packages with dried craisins. :wink: Nor
do I ever remember the anger and frustration I'm feeling right now
when I was at my civilian job.

I've had the worst day. The equipment I used to perform the miserable
job the Army has me doing completely failed Thursday. The help desk
as not been able to get it working the way it used to. I will be able
to get things done, it will just take me a lot longer.

Besides taking longer to do my job, I have to train civilians how do
use the unimproved equipment. I'm just going to say this, but the
guys I work with have absolutely no computer skills. None. Zero.
Zilch. And they're lazy. There is always something that needs to get
done. They never look around to see if there is something they can
get done. Nope, they just sit on their asses.

Like today, a document was open on computer #1. I told one guy to
print it out on a different computer. So he tries to open the doc on
computer #2 and he got the read-only warning. He says to me, "It's a
read only file. I can't print this." Then I told him he could still
print a read-only file. Then he says he couldn't do it because he
didn't know how and then he got up and left.

HE GOT UP AND LEFT because he couldn't figure out how to print a
read-only file!!!!!!!!

You basically open the damn file up and you hit the little printer
icon in Word. Or you can go through the file menu and print the
document that way. Or control P.

I hate to say this, but I would never, ever hire ex-military for a
job. Never. And I'm ex-military. I see too much incompetence in the
leadership and their job skills it's not even funny. The civilians I
work with are all ex-military and it shows.

I want to leave but I know they won't let me. I'm too efficient in
the office. It's like being good is a bad thing. I bet if I were lazy
they'd get rid of me in a heartbeat. Reward the lazy people by
getting rid of them and punish the good ones for showing some effort
and being good at what they do.

I need to learn Microsoft Access.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not leaving anytime soon

I went to the national support element to inquire about a departure
date for myself and the person there told me I could leave as long as
who ever I report to gave the okay. I was really happy to hear that.

Then at lunch I sat with the colonel in charge of the branch I work
for and he had nothing but good things to say about my work in the
office. Then he started talking about a promotion and sending me to
the board. Not sure if I want to do that. I hate filling my head
with what will be useless information once I'm done with my
committment. He also mentioned extending. I extended once, I'm not
doing it again. I want to go home and eat cheeseburgers with American
cheese and go to all-you-can-eat sushi.

--
Shavonne

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to those who are mothers. I'm not a mother, so
don't even think about wishing me a Happy Mother's Day.

I had a lousy day at work. Everyday is usually lousy but today was
especially lousy. I don't want to get too deep into it, but let's just
say customer service is a pretty sucky career field. My civillian job
is customer-service based, but my customers don't make me want to
blast their heads off with a semi-automatic weapon, ya know what I
mean? Geez.

I've been trying to call my mom but haven't had any luck. I wish she
would learn to use Skype. We would talk more often if she did. The
telephone thing is really starting to annoy me. I hate calling only
to get voice mail. It's really hard to tell when she's home.

Well, I'm done bitching. Have a good day.

--
Shavonne

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday

Today was my day off. I didn't do much. I watched a movie called Big
Night starring Stanley Tucci and then by mistake I took a nap.

I hate naps and generally take them when I'm sick, but sit me on my
bed and give me a reason to close my eyes (I hate the lights in my
room) and I'm out for the count.

I went looking through my pictures on flickr and changed my viewing
permissions because my cousin complained that I haven't posted in
pictures in months. It's not that I didn't have any pictures, she
just couldn't see them. I wanted to go through the pictures to get
rid of the one's I didn't like before I allowed anyone to view them.

I missed my 6 p.m. meeting. It dawned on me that I had someplace to
be at around 7:15 p.m. and by that time after almost putting on my
uniform, I decided I didn't have anything to add to help alleviate the
situation at work. The temporary workers have expired passes and
there really isn't anything to do about it. There was a better system
already in place to deal with the issue, but a LtCol decided it was no
good so now we're stuck with a shitty system. Did they ask me what I
thought then? No. So why is my opinion so important now?

It doesn't matter anyway. I don't think I was going to go even if I
had remembered to go. When I take off my uniform, it's off until I
have to put it on the next morning.

--
Shavonne

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Short men and their tall tempers

I have this policy-never date short men. Seriously. I dated a short
guy I worked in the same building with last year and he had a temper.
He acted like just because he bought me a meal, I should be happy to
choke on his tongue.

I was supposed to watch a movie with this other short guy a couple of
days ago but had to cancel. I came down with another cold and I didn't
feel like coughing and sneezing snot rockets across the room while we
watched a movie. So I thought the sensible thing to do would be to
cancel and schedule for another day. Well, it seems shorty took
offense to me getting sick. He probably thinks I blew him off
purposefully. But I didn't. I was really sick. Oh well, tis better to
end it now that to wait until later. I don't want to have a
psychopathic, vertically-challenged stalker on my hands. That would
suck.

I really need to spend my time trying to figure out how I'm going to
raise the money to buy this condo I want. I want this condo so bad, I
have trouble sleeping at night.

--
Shavonne

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Chase at Bethesda

When I was in Maryland back in October, my cousin and I went walking
through a neighborhood in Bethesda. I have to tell you, it was
everything I wanted in my future residence. There were many
restaurants, shops, and a descent night life. I also discovered they
were building condos there. The perfect place for me to live - <a
href= "http://thechaseatbethesda.com/default.asp">The Chase at
Bethesda</a>.

The only thing keeping me from my dream is my lack of money. This is
what bothers me the most, if the average salary is $40,000, how are
people able to afford to buy house? The houseing market has slowed a
bit, but not to the point where I could afford to by anything. I have
options and I'm seriously considering them. I can't act on them until
I leave Afghanistan though. Four more months (hopefully).

--
Shavonne

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Never can say goodbye and powdered goat's milk

I'm terrible at saying goodbye. I will do just about anything to
avoid saying it. The last time I said goodbye to someone, I almost
cried. I considered this person a good friend. We had lots of great
conversations about everything under the sun. Our discussions would
get so heated, we'd sometimes leave each other pissed off. But we
would make up and everything would be normal. Now he's gone because
of some bullshit. I hope he's okay. He has a chain of command to
answer to so getting in trouble in Afghanistan has it's repercussions.

I said bye to someone in an email. I could just as easily go to his
room and say bye but I won't. I don't want to feel like a stalker.
Plus, time probably won't permit me to give a proper goodbye anyway.

My cousin sent me some powered goat's milk. It has a funny taste to
it when it goes down initially but afterwards it takes like regular
milk. So basically the after taste is much better. It's much easier
to drink by itself than soy milk. Soy milk is only tolerable after
some cereal has soaked in it. Gosh, I hate being lactose intolerant.
I think I might try the powered skim milk next just to see how my body
reacts to it.

I tried my web camera for the first time! It's amazing. I wish I
could get my mom up to speed with cyber chatting. I need to find
someone with iChat. Skype is kinda slow and there's a terrible delay
but I can't complain because it's free.

--
Shavonne