Tired & Enlisted (29Jun18)

What do you get when 300 soldiers come into the terminal and basically make it theirs? A temperature increase and nausea from all the bad fucking breath. Yet another troop movement, and yet another 24 hour delay; for once, I’m not going to jinx today by saying, “oh boy, I don’t see how it could get any worse than today”, because you get the point. I’m not entirely sure what it is about seeing all of them bunched together in the terminal seating area, but something about it seems a bit unsettling. Aside from how much warmer it became as soon as they arrived, I feel them bringing me down further than I already am with simply being in the terminal. As a matter of fact, that’s how I seem to feel in general on base here. Bogged down, tired, not in the mood to speak to (let alone look at) anyone… You know, the usual stuff. The only solace I can find from today is that it’s currently my “Thursday” of my work week. One more day after this, and I can be myself for a little bit.

It always goes back to my only escape being in my room, adding hours to my game time online. The damn bitch work is catching back up to the shop, and with all the extra time in the world, it’s never-ending. Moving chairs to the gate, cleaning detail, hiding from upper-management before one of us gets told to have the entire shift do something else after one detail is finished… Once again, what’s new? It’s getting worse, to the point where the extra shit we do on downtime is as tiring and mentally draining than our actual AFSC; I am barely capable of making time for Marie, and now that we’re technically working 14s, sleep is the next thing we’re all sacrificing. The lack of working during that decent amount of time on shift is my main problem personally; that is time we are wasting in the most literal sense of the phrase while lingering about. 8 hours minimum to be away from work, and now even that’s a distant memory that even hope cannot hope to have back anytime soon. I feel as though these grievances are just and reasonable, which is why I feel the need to vent through another entry.

Over the course of the past 3 months, I’ve seen an entire facility transform from one of the most laid-back and enjoyable work environments to THE MOST depressing positions I’ve experienced thus far in my working life. Constant berating for things Ramstein WISHES would be the only problems we had, nothing with shift hours/times to be in or where we work and days of being set in stone and final (along with being entirely too inconsistent), redundant in-house work procedures and practices, and a fuck-ton of other things that makes me really want to consider going insane.

UsE YouR ChAiN oF coMmaND tO VOIcE CoMpLAiNts OR cONcERNs, they briefed. We are constantly briefed from BMT to the present day to go to the lowest level possible to resolve issues, but guess what? We utilized it and gained nothing, which is honestly worse than being shat on. No one high enough listened, no one cared, no one was willing to stop being hard asses and fucking give us a chance to fix our mistakes before going full-on Roosevelt “big stick” on our sorry behinds: So we were ready to take actual action against the changes we saw forming.

All of what is pressing on us younger Airmen stems from the schedule change. Aside from already pointing out how redundant the hours are (because we really need 8-22 people on shift with this port’s workload), the amount of time spent idling makes me sick, and it more than qualifies as waste and abuse of our energy and manpower as a flight. I simply don’t want to hear anyone read this entry and try and say, “well, cleaning and getting whatever you’re handed from people higher ranked than you to do is part of being an Airman”, because you are right. That is fair and honestly what I believe. If the mission and time permits, you should be expected to accomplish tasks around your job facility. You should clean, rake leaves, wash dishes in the break room, sweep and mop around the dorm building: But it shouldn’t be useless tasks to keep an entire shift *cough* “busy” the entire 12-14 hours we’re here. That’s an obvious and futile attempt to justify the scheduled shift hours. I do not mind picking up trash around the terminal at all, but what do you expect us younger airmen to think of washing vehicles that don’t need to be washed, or wax vehicles that according to the regulation, does not require any form of waxing? I do not mind doing walk-arounds of the inside of the terminal for trash or mounting new televisions in the gate area or anything that either creates/upgrades/improves a work process. I do not mind, because that is exactly what the fuck I signed up for. What I did not sign up for was to have my co-workers and I be punished with increased work hours, which turns to more extra duty, which turns to less time with my partner or away from the job site, which turns to morale being drained of all semblance of a pulse: For an unknown reason to us.

Punishment is an effective course of action against a person or a group of people that are guilty of disobedient behavior, insubordination or things similar to said actions. Punishment, however, is all about perspective and needs to be both concise, sharp to the sting, and above all else: it is required to teach a lesson. Effective punishments prevent further failures/negative actions, or at least negates an increase of it. The lesson usually can simply be “don’t do this thing because it’s wrong or goes against policy”. Easy, right? Well, it would be if it hadn’t been for a mistake that I believe caused the terminal as an entity to suffer through the disciplinary period we faced a whole lot harder than we needed to. We were never told what we did wrong. We were never talked to like the grown fucking adults we are and told where we messed up, or how to fix the mistake(s). We were being punished, and none of the younger Airmen knew why: because no one would tell us.

I’d like to retort to my previous statement. We were told why we were being punished, but not the entire reason. Vehicles weren’t being checked out correctly was all that I fucking heard, but of course, why else would you keep the whole truth from someone other than to spare someone the embarrassment or the trouble? It was a multitude of reasons that collected; over time, it was pushed into a corner until the problems became too big to ignore. BULLSHIT, tell us the goddamned reason!
To my understanding, a civilian got his feelings hurt because an Airman did not answer his question in the way he liked, and he felt that his position as ~insert important position here because I never understood what the hell he actually did around the port ~ was being challenged by one of his underlings. He complained, and had us punished for it.

Pretty slimy, if you ask me. If that’s genuinely even a PART of the reason why we’re treading on mounds of dog shit at the current moment, I’m ashamed to wear this uniform. But, I digress…

I for one am fucking sick of being coddled and carried around like a baby, as if I wasn’t living on my own, going to college, working a job and supporting myself in the real world before the military was even a twinkle in my damn eye. If we’re being punished, it would be helpful to know what we’re being punished for. I feel my anger boiling now as I type, because I have to say this about the fucking military. The occupation that has so much rich history of valor, discipline and honor: what I saw most of my family be involved in and being awestruck over. This is why the military is not for me personally, because of baby ass shit like this. Being told what you’re being punished for, not having the entire group suffer for the sins of one, being given responsibilities AND treated like a grown fucking man: These are things you will never find behind this camouflaged monkey suit. If you have low rank, your opinions and words do not matter, you yourself don’t matter, you are small, and you are not worth the time of day to be heard or taken seriously. You are only seen when the mission comes or when there is a useless detail to be done.

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