I am a LIAR!
I'm going on 36 hours since I promised my dear friend Mary that I would post... show some sign of life... assure 'the world out there' that I'm not dead, that things are indeed still plodding along rhythmically in this hell. I promised that I would post before my tired head hit the pillow. I LIED.
The Apache crash last week crushed me. I'm still trying to figure out why, but that's not why I've been away for so long. Two people died mid-air before any semblance of their bodies hit the ground. The military asserts that it could have been mechanical difficulties -- that we don't really know. I believe they were shot down, shot out of the air -- the mighty warrior Apache -- with the wing-man aircraft at close enough range to witness the mission fail in flaming defiance.
I had part(s) II and III, etc, of craziness with my (least) favorite menace subordinate. I decided to take the reigns, restrict anything and everything he can do on our equipment. I informed my supervisor, asking his guidance, to which he asserted his confidence in my leadership and my ability to have a plan to fill the on-going need of automation assistance. Within 2 hours of having the big conversation with John (the menace), my software was down, and my go-to backup guy was in Baghdad on intel business. Access Badge appointments weren't possible; we were turning away anyone at the window needing to apply for or renew their badge. Bear in mind that these are badges for the entire base, that no other office does what we do and that we see significant traffic every day.
Everything that could go wrong did.
Thinking I was doing well as a leader to keep my soldiers productive while trying to find someone else to trouble shoot the situation, I sent them to fuel and wash our vehicles. The washing station is at our unit's headquarters building, and the deputy commander decided to interrogate them as to why they weren't at their office. Partly out of fear and partly out of gleeful opportunity to expose any faults I may have, John announced to our second-in-command that our software was down. He wants to be indispensable. He wants to be the only one who knows the answers. I know he isn't, but the rest of the unit is suffering under the illusion that he is the guy who has fixed everything in the past. Good for them that they have the liberty of a greater distance from the issue; they don't have to deal with asking the only guy around, only to have the problem worsen.
It's not unusual to have problems for a few hours now and then. I would have told my supervisor. The news just sometimes travels faster than my intention to pass it on myself. In minutes the DC had jumped down John's throat, jumped on my supervisor, and my supervisor had called me to find out what "the problem" is. I was so confused that it took me a minute to get my bearing. He proceeded to direct me to get on the phone with whoever I had to in order to get this fixed, expressing significant doubt at the prudence of cutting John off from the project when he could probably fix it -- IF I WOULD JUST LET HIM.
As I was hanging up, John walked in the door, and I had to have sit-down conversation number two with him, asserting my desire that he have opportunities to learn AND to practice his communication and collaborative skills. (I'm being nice; he has none.)
I'm going FREAKING INSANE -- GOOHH. (Picture Napoleon Dynamite here; it's one of the only things I can laugh at right now.)
Go-to guy gets back from Baghdad. He pulls an all-nighter on the equipment and like a super-star comes through. THE EQUIPMENT WORKS AGAIN!
I pulled all-nighter number two inside of five days. I got a bunch more of the ridiculous vehicle passes done, printed reports, planned my weely slides for my report today... but needless to say, I'm really really really tired.
AND MOM -- I'M SORRY FOR NOT KEEPING MY WORD!
I'm off to work again (this is after a 1.5 hour break to shower, blog, and let my body breathe out of the body armor). I miss home. I miss this place here in the bloggosphere. It feels closer to home. Don't lose me, you guys. I'm still here. I count on you all to be "there." You're all with me everywhere I go in this place. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart -- Thank you.