Most people think that the phrase, “You snooze, you lose” has no real meaning off the playground. Most people figure that it can’t mean a thing when it’s not being said by the class bully who just stole the one remaining inflated kickball and kicked it onto the school roof before you could get a good game of four-square going.
Most people think these things, of course, because they do not work for the biggest class bully of them all, Mother Army.
And I, apparently, was napping at the switch while waiting for my turn at four-square. Which is a shame, because I play a mean four-square.
Actually, in trying to see that the Army doesn’t screw me over again, I got screwed over. Again.
I have been waiting for the unit to go ahead and cut payment for my upcoming course. The course may well affect some of the options for the places I would like to go next which for all the wonders it holds, is not still another year or two in Germanistan. They promised me the class ages ago when I was first silly enough to bite the bullet and reenlist, and now that the brain tumor is contained to just one side they are finally about to follow through. But first, they have to cut payment so I can get orders. In exchange I told my first sergeant and commander that once I have the orders I will look at reenlistment and, in all probability, sign on for another few years. But I am being careful, because I don’t want them to use one of the promises from last reenlistment to rope me into anything silly for this reenlistment.
So I waited because the class I am to attend has people in it from organizations like the Air Force. The Air Force is great; they treat their people fabulously and the rest of us are jealous every time we walk onto an air base. However, they can sometimes be a little lax about some things such as, say, providing names for school slots the organization was already promised. Until all names are provided, no one from any organization gets the message that they can attend. No message, no payment, and no payment, no orders. So I sit around and wait for the Air Force, checking every few hours to see if the message came through yet. The faster this gets done, the faster we can all move on from the fiasco.
In order to make sure I didn’t end up getting shot in the foot, however, I got shot in the other. The Army apparently, maybe a week or two ago, went on a reenlistment freeze. While people can still reenlist, they do so at the devastating Needs of the Army.
Needs of the Army is like when parents take a six year old to the pound and say “You can pick any one you like,” and let the kid wander around to find a puppy. But all the good puppies already have adopted signs on their cage and all that is left are a few wheezy, mangey-looking ones growling from the back of the reinforced steel cages towards the dark end of the hall. It is when you reenlist for some reason that sounded good at the time and Mother Army can put you wherever she pleases. Since everyone else reenlisted before the freeze for the good assignments, that puts you square at places like Fort Hood, Fort Polk, Fort Sill, or worse yet, back at ol’ Fort Bragg. All the places that no one else would possibly pick.
My branch manager informed me that I can contact her after 1 October when the freeze is supposed to be lifted. However, my job is one of the very few that has a decent monetary bonus right now. The bonus is sure to disappear around 1 October.
Basically, I snoozed.
Recently I mentioned that the ball was in the Army’s court at this point because of the decisions I could try to make. I retract that. The Army waited until I was good and napping, stole the ball, and kicked it onto the roof where it will remain until the janitor can get around to getting up there and tossing it back down. Until then, we are both out of moves.
I had better rest up: no more naps starting 1 October. This time, I mean it.