Thursday, 28 July 2005

Here vs. There

So many people complain about how bad it is here. By that, I mean this base, this command....

I am here to say that this place is great.

Here's why!

Organized PT. Most people would (and do) gripe about organized PT. Three times a week, at 0630, we get together as either a squadron of a flight and do PT. Normal PT consists of light stretching and strength training and a run. We normally do 5K - that's over 3 miles in english. Other days we do a sort of circuit training where we run a 1/4 mile and do push-ups or some other exercise in between more 1/4 mile laps. It's not easy and I have been steadily improving and feeling good about it. Why is this good? Because in other places, like where I just came from, they made you feel bad for wanting to do PT. My old boss was a civilian and, well to say this nicely, HE SUCKED. He was the classic hypocrite - Do as I say, not as I do. That asshole would go for bike rides in the middle of the day for a coupla hours, but you want to leave 30 minutes early to go to the gym? He'd hear you ask, then ignore you, forcing you to ask again. Then he'd get shitty and say, "I heard you." Well why didn't you respond to me, then, HUH? And he'd dilly dally with an answer until it was the end of the day and finally grace you with the, "Oh, uh, did you want to go to the gym? Well go already!" By now, it was time to leave anyway. What a dick. He did this ALL THE TIME. So let's see: Here vs. There. Here wins.

2. Duty hours and responsibilities. Normal Air Force duty hours are 0730 to 1630. Here it's 0700 - 1600. Some people complain that it's too early and all that. But here's the difference: Here, if you need to get something done during the day, medical appointment or anything else, they are totally lenient. Go! Do it! If you want to volunteer to do something, Meals on Wheels, etc., the folks here URGE you to go. There? Same as PT. Total guilt about leaving the office - even for lunch. The looks of discouragement, the crap attitude. You'd have a doctor appointment, but have to tell the Boss right when you got the appointment, then write it on the calendar, then remind him like three times, just so he'd know. If you were even a few minutes later than he thought, he wouldn't necessarily SAY anything to you about it, but he'd make deliberate looks at the clock when you came back, then ask you with this TONE, how it went. Here? You tell your co-workers right before you're going anywhere, sign out on the board, and no one says jack shit to you. In fact, if you come back too quickly, they are concerned that you didn't eat lunch while you were out. I have been trying to get into the swing of things, because I'll rush myself into illness trying to get back to work in a timely manner to avoid any questioning.... Here they trust that you are just getting your crap done, there, they couldn't care less if your husband was in the hospital or your kid was dying - just as long as you were at the office all day so they could go and do what they needed to do.... Here or there? You're right! HERE.

There are hundreds of examples of here or there. What it boils down to is this: I am so grateful to be out of the HELL of my last office. We just had a recall this morning and I literally jumped out of bed and rushed to work. No shower.... I didn't even brush my teeth because THERE, if you weren't teleported instantaneously to where they wanted to you to be, you were an asshole. Here? I was basically the first one here, and everyone else showed up reasonably, but showered and clean. I feel pretty stupid. Here they keep reminding me to relax. There, I had an ulcer - seriously. And it wasn't the command or the unit. It was one amazingly insecure, total little-dick-syndrome-sufferer that made life miserable.

I was fortunate enough to be able to call him a dick and to fuck off before I left. That was wrong, WRONG. But man, did it feel good! And the even funnier part of it was that the higher-ups were told what I had done, and I didn't get reprimanded at all. I was told that I should try to remain professional. HUH? Oh ok. But apparently everyone else thought he was a dick, too.

I feel like a dog that has been rescued from the pound. So does this place suck? It might, but I wouldn't know.

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