Well today was the day. I'm officially promoted. I got a lot of "it's about time!" and "Oh excuse me, SERGEANT Hub" and I'll get more tomorrow. I've got pictures and even video that I'll somehow post tomorrow.
Seriously. Mark the calendar.
I'm getting promoted. Finally. After missing it once for not having my points turned in and missing it by nine stupid points last month, I've got it this month. Not without some work first though! Even though I had the points and my points were all in the system, my name wasn't on the promotions roster. After lots of what the fucks and oh my gods I talked to the supervisor in the personnel section. He said everything checked out and I must've just slipped through the cracks because the Army is in the middle of changing the way promotions are done (for the worse but that's another rant later) so he put in some paperwork and now I'm good to get promoted on June 1st. Finally. After 18 months of waiting.
Almost-better news! I'm going on leave in thirty days! Well, almost, in thirty days I should be leaving Iraq and on my way home for leave. As I told Katie earlier this week, it might be weird for me, spending time with people I more than barely tolerate. I'm currently working on a human hairstyle so when I get home I look more like I belong there rather than belonging here.
June and July will be good months. Then August will be shit again.
It fucking sucks. Yesterday was okay. Today blows.
There's nothing more demoralizing than being told you're an important aspect of the squadron and then being treated like you're just another body. It just reinforces the notion that I'm on day shift solely to be abused.
Looking back at my most recent entries about work, they're all negative. I'm not just posting the negatives. I'm posting the extraordinary negatives. When something extraordinarily positive happens, this place will be the first to know but I wouldn't hold my breath. Until April 21st, 2010.
Just after I get off work I get a little time to relax in my room before I go to sleep. I work 12 hours a day, which is longer than most people in my shop. I look forward to my three hours of downtime. After a couple hours I decide I'm about to go to read my book and go to sleep but there's a knock at my door. It's one of the privates in my shop. He says I have to bring my sensitive items (weapon, night vision goggles) to the shop. He doesn't know why.
There's nothing I can't stand more than having my free time taken. Even worse is when I'm summoned by Private Whothefuck. The icing on the fucking cake is when they can't tell me why I'm being summoned. I can't stand that shit. Nothing puts me in a worse mood as fast as Joe Jackass knocking on my door and telling me I have to be somewhere for no good goddamned reason.
Whatever. I get dressed (in PTs), grab my sensitive items, and start off to the shop. On the way I run into Private Whothefuck. He got the message wrong. I have to bring my sensitive items up at 1400, well into my sleep time. He's already gotten this message wrong once, I'm not relying on his memory for anything. I'm already out of my room and dressed, I'm not going back until I know what's going on. I get to the shop and they tell me I need to be there at 1400 with my sensitive items. No, no one else can take them up there for me, I need to be there with them to show them to the armorer. When I ask if I can take care of it right now, they say I need to speak with the armorer myself.
I walk across the hall, and speak with his supervisor. He tells me where I can find him. I spend a whopping two minutes looking for him, found him. I say "Hey, 1400 means I don't get a whole lot of sleep. Can I do this now?" He literally looks at the night vision goggles in my left hand, the weapon in my right hand, and tells me I'm good. That's it. Mission accomplished. I go to the shop and let them know that I've shown the armorer my sensitive items and he said I was good. If I don't do this, they'll assume I didn't and wake me up at 1400 anyway. I go back to my room, read my book, and seethe.
It's utterly ridiculous that it took one Corporal who's willing to fight for his own sleep to fix this. There's four other people in my shop higher ranked than me who just didn't give a fuck. It's not their time they're taking. No one else is losing sleep over it. And for something so trivial that it wouldn't have taken more than someone saying, "Can he do this later tonight? Can he do this now so we don't interrupt his sleep?" If I were Joe Nobody with no sense of self-preservation, I'd have been up there, half awake, for no good reason.
There's a big misconception about the Army. That every soldier is a brother. That everyone is looking out for the person to their left and right. That we're all in this together and we're all on the same side. But we're not. It's basically every man for himself and if you're looking out for anyone else you're needlessly burdening yourself. No one else is looking out for you.
I could end this post right there. Robert Buettner's Orphanage is a bad book. It's a carbon copy of of Heinlein's Starship Troopers except the bugs are replaced by slugs and the characters are replaced by cartoonish cardboard cutouts. On the other hand, it basically highlights how the Army really operates; this one unimportant fuckup manages to increase in importance over his hundreds of thousands of peers simply by knowing the right people. In the end he's a general, all his friends are dead, and no one really cares because this guy has some hero destiny and everyone around him were just cobblestones for him to climb up to his ivory tower in the sky. He scrubs a couple toilets and reads a couple books and gets a friend killed and all of sudden he's somebody. The more I write about it the more I hate this book. It's bad. Don't read it.