Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Falling to Pieces (Part I)

I have this collage of topics…Trying to provide some sort of marker as to where I am, where I’ve been and what is occupying my time and mind these last few days:

1. Lame-ass subordinates. There is a huge project for which my office is responsible, “non-tactical” vehicle passes. Believe it or not, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200 vehicles that fall into this category (e.g. Polaris ATVs, Ford pickups, Nissan pickups, SUVs), and my office is supposed to be producing all of those passes. We have three Military personnel, one interpreter, and 3 days left. About 500 passes are done. The program was in place BEFORE I left for my break at home; when I returned 100 vehicles had been registered over a period of almost four weeks, due only in part to people not turning in their registration, and more to the fact that my one subordinate sergeant does a lot of flailing and very little production. As an example, I have engaged the help of someone who is proficient with databases to design and implement the product promised me by my sergeant two months ago. Every time this guy who know what he’s doing fixes something that was poorly done, it is messed up just as bad or worse by 24 hours later – because this Sergeant just can’t keep his hands off stuff that he doesn’t know how to use! So not only will he not work, but he won’t get out of the way for someone else to do it either! I’ve been at the office 12-14 hours per day for the last couple days to try to recover the problem, register passes, produce and distribute them.

2. Claiming to know what you don’t. The afore-mentioned subordinate is expert at claiming knowledge in a sundry of computer and network related fields, but the only solutions he seems to find are accidental, home-remedy type solutions that no one else can fix without scrapping the whole project.

3. Network Administrator needs a new line of work. The network in my living area SUCKS! I have tried to create another entry on this blog at least twelve times over the past three days. Nothing. The network administrator is my favorite (afore-mentioned) Sergeant (see number 2).

4. I miss the support of Pat. We have this quirky little Ma/Pa, Good Cop/Bad Cop thing going on that bolsters our confidence with our two headstrong subordinate (mostly intelligent and driven) soldiers. We only had time for a four day hand-off after my return before he left for his two weeks in the States.

5. I’m still fuming about my favorite Sergeant. He’s ruining my network connection. I just paid for an upgrade in speed, and he’s squandering that potential advantage on poorly applied networking “skills.” He changed the IP address on the actual location of the network, but the service providers firewall tells outside elements that we’re at the originally “published” address… mumbo jumbo mumbo jumbo… as if to say, “I’m trying to sound like I know what the heck I’m talking about when I don’t, and I’ll keep doing it just to try to save what little pride I have left…”

That’s all. There’s much more. More from yesterday… more pain, more fear, more ‘O God, please get me out of here!!’ but that I’ll share later.

Still limping along with reading news and such. Trying to get to more commentary. I’m angry. I’m cleanly in my Damn the Man mode with too many words to write at this moment.

I call the photo "2FacedWar." Taken outside the school we're sponsoring on a Civil Affairs status. I see it split in half, a dividing line right down the middle, War v. Innocence, Hope v. Defense, Joy v. Disillusionment. I feel torn like that today.


Updated 23 October 2005

Brash and irrational words of the past have caught up with me over the past few days. I've had strange occasion to consider the fact that these sentiments may fly onto the page quickly and salve my frustration at the time, but that the product remains "forever" -- to be discovered whenever and by whomever from that point forward.

I have noticed that I seldom return to my points of frustration and give updates. I seldom inform this same community who tirelessly ensdures my low points of the high points later on.

I love the liberty of venting into this place, but I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge that I have grown over the months since I started this blog. I don't feel so negatively about the people I work closely with anymore. In fact, each one of them has earned such respect and endearment from me, just by sticking with me through all my crap!

I know I'm not perfect, and I just wanted to finally apologize for negative things I've said. Over all, I know my attitude has improved, and I'm still working on ways to convey that through my writing. Thanks for staying with me through the growth.


At 6/28/2005 10:53 AM, Blogger Mary Godwin said...

Wow, Tommi, that is a great post, and I'm so grateful for the time you took aside from your work demands to write. It brings me right to the place you are, and let's me "see" you again... always a good thing. I particularly like the image you share along with the meaning you've invested in it. Thanks. When you can, stop by Kat's post about an artist named Ferron (06.27.05 at Keep the Coffee Coming): Ferron's song "Testimony" speaks so movingly alongside the writing you've done here and carries a message from my heart to yours. I love you, Daughter ... through and through. -m0m

At 6/28/2005 1:57 PM, Blogger bdg said...

It's good to see you still have spirit and a sense of humor. While it is true that the incompetence you describe is pretty much available everywhere, it must be doubly frustrating in a setting where competence can mean the difference between life and death. It is obvious you have lost none of your own ability. Stay sharp young lady! (And come home soon!!)

At 6/28/2005 2:29 PM, Blogger alice@blogalice.com said...

the fact that you can keep your head enough to write such a witty post in light of reading mary's (pro)claiming age post today shows your inner strength. unbelievable. please stay safe.

At 6/29/2005 1:24 AM, Anonymous Pat said...

I'm sorry Boss! I lost count of how many times I uttered the phrase "This has to be done by 1 July" to you know who. When I left I had the sinking feeling that this would happen. DAMN IT!
In his defense, the product was imperfect. But not that imperfect. It was workable. It could be done! All I can say at this point is Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. Why is a simple vision so hard to communicate? These pieces of paper need to be in all of these windshields by this date. Easy, concise, understandable. Isn't it?
When you have an opportunity, update me on just what our young troublemaker has done to destroy the process. That way I can cool off BEFORE I see him face to face and do something that wouldn't play well on CNN.
BTW I miss you too.


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