June 20, 2006

SQUEAKY

Many people who work for the Army in certain aspects -- finance, housing, health clinic come to mind -- hate their jobs because if someone's in their office, he's probably mad. My husband realized this when he started working in Finance: it used to frustrate him that people always came in guns blazing, so he and I have always tried to be extra understanding and extra benefit-of-the-doubt-giving in these offices. But we're slowly learning the lesson of the squeaky wheel.

The first thing my husband did when we got our cell phones was to go in to Inbound Transportation and give them our phone number. They assured us that they would call us when our household goods arrived. It's been two and a half weeks since then, and we've started getting antsy. Eleven days on an air mattress can do that do you. So my husband went by their office today to see what was going on. Our stuff has been here since 6 June, but "they didn't have our phone number." My husband watched someone write it down on a paper in our file on 2 June, but apparently that paper is lost and no one in Transportation seemed to care that much. And it gets worse: they are so busy that they can't deliver our stuff until 5 July. So we'll live in this city for six months, and our stuff will languish in storage for a month of it because they lost our phone number.

And I knew I had a bad feeling about it. Some of our friends got their stuff two weeks ago, and I knew that our stuff couldn't be this far behind. But I didn't want to be the guns-blazing type who goes into Transportation every day and demands her stuff. I figured that I would give them their space since they assured us they'd call. Silly me.

Two years ago my friend's husband didn't get his reenlistment bonus. He politely pointed this out to Finance three times, each time to no avail, and his bonus came a full year late. My husband joked that he hates when soldiers go straight to IG with asinine complaints, but my friend's husband sure would've gotten service faster if he'd headed straight to the top instead of putting faith in the system. If he'd come in guns blazing, someone would've helped him. The squeaky wheel tactic works.

I want to be an understanding and cooperative family, especially if we're staying in this system for another 16 years. But I am already tired of getting screwed over. There are medical appointments if you bark loud enough. Reenlistment bonuses come when you shout. And your household goods get delivered a month earlier if you pester Transportation.

From now on, I guess I'm squeaky.

Posted by: Sarah at 02:19 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Allow me to regale you with the story of the Transportation Management Office (TMO) @ McClellan AFB circa 1979. I was there to arrange transportation to a Temp. Duty (TDY) assignment. Ahead of me was a crusty old E-7, berating the E-3 behind the counter up one side and down the other. All the while the E-3 just smiled and nodded. When I went up to him I asked why were you able to maintain your demeanor so well. He told me the married E-7's orders were for Rheinmein AFB, and to guess where the household goods were going....... Can you say Tae Gu Korea?? And what is the lesson learned? Never ever piss-off any one in Transportation, or Finance

Posted by: BubbaBoBobBrain at June 20, 2006 08:27 PM (8ruhu)

2 Hey, I work for the Army as a civilian now...and I cringe EVERY time I hear of a new "solution" that government's supposed to "provide" for us. In spite of the new National Security Personnel System, which is supposed to improve the quality of civilian employees within the Department of Defense, I maintain that if the system's broken, it's broken at the top. I've been to just about every leadership/management program available starting with a four year experience at West Point to the Army's equivalent to Command and General Staff College for civilians. They certainly talk a good game and if we could operate at 50% efficiency, I'd say that we'd be making major inroads into solving some of the problems that you've discussed right here. Until the Army decides it's time to get better and start hacking the deadwood at the top of the tree in order to allow the younger, more capable (interested?) employees to move up the chain we're still looking at years of lukewarm efficiency. Hope your stuff arrives in good shape! MajorDad1984

Posted by: MajorDad1984 at June 28, 2006 02:01 AM (j7S/Q)

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