Saturday, January 13, 2007

Another delay

While I am close to my brothers, we rarely call just to chat. If the phone rings, there's usually news attached to the other end.

My brother John called the other day. "Why don't you write about me in your blog?" he asked.

"What would I write about?" I asked back.

You see, my brother is in the Army. Special services, Ranger, etc. Much of what he does is sensitive in nature and SHOULDN'T be written about, and on the rare occasions that I HAVE written about him or what he does, he's called and asked for an edit or removal of said post. So I don't write about him as a rule. His private life is his and not mine to share, so other than the fact that he has three wonderful kids by his ex-wife and an interest in opening a dojo someday - there's not much I can tell you about present John.

Past John - well, that's another story. Being the brother right behind me, we grew up together, hated and loved each other and have embarassing pictures of each other (yes, John, I still have the "Phasers on Stun!" picture and the tricycle picture...). But I won't go there today.

No, I'm writing about the phone call. Being me, and knowing John for as long as I have, I hear things in his voice that other people don't always hear. So when he asked me why I didn't blog about him, I could feel an undercurrent of excitement that was, well, unusual. Was he calling to tell me that there was something I COULD blog about? Actually, yes.

I don't know how long John has been in the service exactly. He was there for Desert Storm, and he'd been in a while when that happened, so perhaps that gives you an idea. During this time, he's been promoted at irregular intervals, but this last promotion has been in the works and had so many weird and bureaucratic setbacks that we were beginning to wonder if he would retire at his current rank.

Maybe not. His phone call was to invite me to a ceremony on Wednesday that would elevate him to Lt. Colonel! Oh, great joy and happy dancing commenced! Of course I would be there! I went to work that day and busted ass because, of course, Monday was a holiday and I would have to travel on Tuesday, ceremony on Wednesday and return home Wednesday evening... making this upcoming weekend a 5 DAY WEEKEND in essence - which meant a lot of work for me on a Thursday and Friday.

Yesterday I was at work, slaving over Tuesday's log and working on Wednesday's when my desk phone rang. It was Dad. The trip is off. The promotion has been delayed yet again due to a missed "t" cross or "i" dot in the chaotic bureaucratic world that is the Army.

My boss switched from Army to Air Force for exactly those reasons - screwed up promotions due to bureaucratic errors. I know John won't switch, but I hope he knows that we all love him and sympathize with his predicament. It must be awfully frustrating because, like my boss, John is a man of action and being stymied like this has got to be irritating and frustrating as hell.

Hang in there, John. Your day is coming and I'll be there to see it!

3 comments:

quinn said...

Wow, and yes,,, congratulations JOHN!!

What a nice sister you are too..wish I knew those types of relationships.

I can empathize with the feelings that run with an upcoming promotion that doesn't go as planned.

Years ago, when my hubby was just your average fella working hard in retail. We never saw him due to his 12 hour days because those poor fellas work on commissions and if you don't work those kind of hours you barely get anywhere.

Well, he worked so hard for so long he was about to get a huge promotion to manager of his "own" store!!

This would mean a lot to our young growing family financially and so of course we were excited.

The Thursday prior to the long easter weekend holiday his boss was telling him the paper work was in motion and just required the "OKAY" from another head honcho...and all would be done.

Well, that spring weekend was unusual weather hear ..an early thaw had happened...and we had alot of flooding in the area.

The said,,, " head honcho" was a youngish fella 30's and engaged to be married in the summer...He had his easter weekend planned out..stay with family with his fiance too..do some 4 wheeling in the back 40 so to speak.. and enjoy the wonderful mind weather...

Unfortunately ..there was other things in store...he and his brother went 4 wheeling.. apparently the flooding was severe and somehow his brother ended up being swept into a currant and he jumped in to try to save him...both brothers died.. the family was devestated...

We heard the news the following week and were doubly devestated for the loss of a wonderful man, for the loss to his family..for his fiance whose birthday was that weekend also.....

But then ...how it impacted us...there was no one there to " OKAY' the promotion.. and it never went through...my husband basically started over in the eyes of the NEW head honcho that took over.

Now the silver lining is...he ended up eventually leaving retail..going back to school and retraining..and now has a good job for the royal canadian mounted police .

anyways ..I am happy for your brother and hope that he can find happiness in just knowing that the promotion has been earned ...even if it has not be officially presented...

( I am always so long winded I appologize lol )

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the well wishes, Sayre... the situation is actually not as catastrophic as you may think.

I was selected for promotion. They can't take that away. My effective date of rank (and pay! :))will be December 7, 2006. The problem is that the rank cannot be pinned on until the orders are in hand, and the lazy, shiftless, worthless civilian responsible for processing the orders has been desparately hiding from actually doing her job. I managed to catch her between smike breaks and read her the riot act. You see, we are a large headquarters with national responsibilities. There are eight guys here in the same boat as I am. I gave her an ultimatum. I scheduled my promotion ceremony for next Wednesday, and told her that she would have either the orders in hand by Tuesday or the opportunity to personally explain to the Commanding General why she didn't do her job.

I realized that while exposing this worthless bum in front of God and everyone for the dead weight she is would be very satisfying to me personally, it would also be disrespectful of the staff members who took time and family members who travelled to attend the ceremony.

I am angry, but I am never unprofessional. I made the decision to cancel the ceremony. I did not tell "worthless" this, as I think it will be healthy for her to sweat through the weekend.
If the orders come in on Tuesday, I will reschedule as quickly as I can.

John

Mel said...

Wow! Congrats to your brother John. You must be so proud. :)
And John... that's some remarkable restraint you practiced there... I'm amazed this individual still has the job. They ought to just replace her, shouldn't they?