iraqistan

10/4/2009

Who is Watching Who Here?

Filed under: — lana @ 1:02 pm

My boss is a good guy. He is a warrant officer who reminds me exactly why I should be happy that I never went warrant, even if the Army G-3 had approved my profile waiver.

I actually like working and like being responsible. He, by and large, hates both.

Friday I had to take a physical training test. Because of my broken state, I just have to do a modified version. Since I keep in shape anyway by regularly stretching the rules of my doctors’ orders, this is not a big deal, but according to the Army I can only be tested in one particular fashion: walk 2.5 miles at a reasonably faster pace than one might peruse a shopping center. The pace is actually around a 14-minute mile or so, but I don’t like to shop much so I tend to get it done quickly anyway.

So I asked my warrant officer, who had to give me said test, where he had stashed my personnel file. Him being my supervisor and the one responsible for my ratings each year, he is supposed to maintain the file and update it with things like physical fitness and job performance. The theory goes that this way maybe one day I will not have to write my own annual assessment. Maybe one day…

I asked him where it was, intending to take the scorecard and send it to my company who was flipping out because I had not turned one in sometime between going to Arizona for 5 weeks and then tentatively going to the field for a week or so. I was getting tired of the messages reading, “Soooooo… we know we made you really busy and you aren’t even around right now to read this, but do you mind taking the test and sending us the scorecard sometime like yesterday?” He gave me the test and wrote down the score. I figured he had transferred it to the card in the file. There I go assuming again…

He asked me if he was supposed to have the file. Then he asked if I even had a file. I explained that yes, I did, and I knew that because I had to make one for myself last year when the company wanted to inspect the files. I told him I had given it to him because that was where it belonged so he could update it. He still seemed confused, so I had him search his desk. He eventually found it, I think under some throat lozenges, an empty pack of cigarettes, a few pens that no longer work, and coffee receipts. On the postive side, he did finally throw out most of the trash in the drawer. This allowed me to point out to him that the entire adventure was successful, and he seemed proud. While it might seem trite to mention that he asked for a cookie at that point, it was indeed the case. He is not allowed to keep cookies in his office because he eats them too quickly, so I have to ration them from my desk. He was permitted a cookie for finding the file and cleaning out the drawer. I used the opportunity, after having sent the scorecard, to also inform him about what his schedule looked like for the upcoming week and to inform him things we needed to discuss with counterparts and our higher headquarters elements, then explaining to him why the things were pertinent when I received blank looks.

I like him. He is rather fun and when he gets motivated doesn’t really care who yells at him for making phone calls I would get my life threatened for just eyeing the telephone and thinking of making. He has gotten me out of a few administrative jams and, when reminded and occasionally pestered, argued on the side of good now and then against the various forces of evil lurking within our unit. He has also read more of the boring regulations than I have gotten around to perusing, which makes him handy from time to time when I get a crazy idea that turns out to be just this side of legal.

But really, who is watching whom here? He gets the pay for his rank, as well as a title for the job I do for him, and shows up a few hours here and there to try and convince me to give him back his foam-dart firing gun. I am not so foolish as to give him back the darts as well, so he must have caught wise and wandered out on one of his many daily excursions to buy a replacement pack for the darts.

14-year olds take note: enjoy the perks of regular babysitting while you have it. Once you get older, it’s apparently just part of the job without the 10 dollar-an-hour pay or the cold pizza in the fridge. While you don’t have to change diapers (often… I let his wife figure out what to do with him when he drinks too much on social outings), you so have to clean up spilled coffee and let him go home to change his shirt and then cover for him when he is late after he picks up his cat from the vet and gets cat puke on himself an hour before a meeting with high-ranking people.

I figure after this job, I will still have no idea what a supervisor actually does, but I will be certainly qualified to operate a daycare center.

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