Filed under: — lana @ 12:53 pm

I am becoming an expert at expecting the unexpected. Where most people would think something so illogical it surely would be impossible, I have instead come to anticipate such things.

I hurried out to the field long before the crack of dawn on Tuesday. I hurried because the person whose spot I was filling had departed the night before to tidy up all of the things he needed to do before departing for a course he had just been told he would indeed attend. The officer who was supposed to be running things had to attend a video conference regarding, naturally, the field exercise she was supposed to be running instead of attending the video conference. When I asked why no one had at least used the video conferencing center I believe is still located just five minutes away from the exercise instead of the one an hour and a half away, all I received were dirty looks. Presumably one should not ask such things.

So I made it out there, read the one-page note left for me which told me to remind the field attendees not to sleep with each other in the general vicinity (outside of that vicinity, it can be assumed, is therefore fine), to talk to another unit about bathroom cleaning, and an apology for what he had left for me to work with.

The entire day he was calling asking questions about how to get himself out to the course because he couldn’t find the people who needed to sign his orders.

The next day, the day he was supposed to fly, he called in the late evening to ask if the commander had called to tell me to go home. I said no, and in fact had already put in the travel order, so not to worry about it because I had finally figured out what it was I was supposed to do for the next two weeks.

The following day, the first day of his course which he clearly was not at, he called again to ask again if the commander had called, because he had just been yelled at for not being in the field. For the past 48 hours he had received repeated assurances that his paperwork would work out and he would still be flying to Arizona at any moment, but this time there was no apology, just a lecture on how he was supposed to be in the field because he was in fact not in Arizona. The commander had still not called us, the ones in the field who would be affected by another swap.

Twenty minutes later, the commander called.

The officer got a talking to for not having switched us back earlier, which was entertaining because the entire time the other non-commissioned officer had been told he could still make it to Arizona so be ready to get on a plane. Also entertaining because at no time did anyone mention to the officer or to me about the fact that we were obviously in the wrong for my presence in the field, which is where I had last been instructed to be. I, of course, was to return to home station the moment everything finally fell into place with me being in the field.

I shrugged and, after waiting for the other non-commissioned officer to show back up and angrily take over whatever I had accomplished in 48 hours or so, packed up my field stuff to return. We then all went and got chinese for dinner and bemoaned the length of time remaining in the unit, exchanged the hotel key confusing the Germans who had witnessed the reverse exchange roughly three nights prior, and off I went to the amusement of the contractors who had never seen such oddities. Clearly they have never worked directly for our unit. We, on the other hand, just went about this as though it was business as usual, because that is exactly the description of such activities for us.

I have not been so foolish as to unpack, of course. Such pre-emptive action would only result in a phone call asking me why I am not back in the field, or perhaps at some range somewhere. I schedule out as far as one day and still say “tentative.” I did, however, reclaim my cat, but am leaving the carrier out just in case.

Predictably unpredictable. Seven months, seven days until I can at least move to another unit in this Grand Ol’ Army. And counting…

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress