Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate
Once again I find myself to be a disliked member of a unit. The last time I found myself in this position, it was completely understandable. This time, well, I really don’t give a damn because the source of dislike is actually really quite stupid.
This unit is slightly different than previous units I’ve been in. It’s not a company or battalion—it’s a group, which is like a battalion, but not. I’m not going to try to get into how it all works out. All you need to know is that there are S-shops, so there’s a staff, and then there’s the company. For the longest time, this meant absolutely nothing to me. I felt like we were all a part of the same organization. Now we’re two months into this, I see now why there is a distinction because they have made the distinction.
The staff is naturally made up of officers, but officers need support. Who does that? NCOs, of course. So all the NCOs that work for the staff are also considered “the staff.” This has led to the Staff vs. Company, or the haves and have-nots. Officers have a tendency to do whatever they want. They don’t really follow any rules, and I’m not mad at them. If you are a battle-weary field grade officer, I feel like you’ve earned the right to do whatever the fuck you want. If you are lucky enough to work for such an individual, well, then you get an opportunity to enjoy the ups and downs.
For me, it has truly been a roller coaster. The disadvantages of my position is that I’m forced to work long hours, I am subject to menial tasks that are beneath my intelligence, and I find myself pulled in two different directions by people who don’t really give a fuck about me. They say they do, but I know what’s up. This ain’t my first rodeo.
Really, I want to be here, and I knew what I was getting into when I signed up. I’m smart enough to put up with the bullshit. Not everyone can handle working for the staff. There has already been one NCO fired from his staff position because he was incapable of following the most basic of orders. And you can’t be sensitive either. These officers say whatever they want. They do whatever they want. They don’t really give a shit about you because they are looking for their next piece of brass and they will run over anyone that gets in their way. I am witnessing this with my own eyes, listening to the things they have to say about one another. It’s a dirty game, and sometimes it can be amusing to watch. Other times, it’s scary because eventually everyone has to take a turn.
While the company level NCOs are complaining that I appear to be in a cake job, let me count the ways on how it’s not. The company has set working hours of 0800 to 1600. They get off every day at 1559. Where am I at 1600? Still in the office, tap dancing on hot rocks, while balancing ginsu knives and hemophiliac babies, to please these people that I work for. On Saturday, the company works 0800 to 1200. Where am I? I’m waiting for these people to get back from their country club lunch. My co-worker has wasted away to nothing, starved to death because no one thought she was important enough to eat lunch.
Whenever Higher decides he doesn’t want to go to a meeting, guess who gets to go? I do. Then I get to feel stupid when GEN COL MAJ looks at me like an insect because I can’t answer his high-level questions. That’s cool, fuck off, GEN COL MAJ. That’s my answer to your question. Oh, Higher wants to get promoted? Let’s take on 15 new tasks to impress GEN COL MAJ. Who gets to work those tasks? Here you go, NCO. I need you to get on these hot tasks right away. I need my OER to look good. Oh, did something get fucked up? Higher was supposed to send those emails. Whose fault is it? My fault. I’m sorry I did not strap you down to your computer and drag your hands all over the keyboard so you could respond to GEN COL MAJ. That’s cool if you tell him that I hacked into your computer and deleted all of your emails. Everything is my fault.
Am I still at work after dark? Did I come back to work after dinner? Did I just stay up all night waiting for Big Boss? Did I still come to work the next day on time? Go to training and go to work and go to all these meetings and write all your emails? That’s cool. I’ll dance that dance. One night I left my bed and drove two hours down the street to pick up some people. I sat in a parking lot for three hours, then drove two hours back to base. We returned to the base at 4AM, and we still had to come to work and work all day long. What response did we get for doing this? “You didn’t help with their bags.”
Anybody that really knows me knows that I don’t do anything for free. There is a reason I’m here busting my ass, and it ain’t so I can drive around off-post in a brand new Escalade. These dumbass mother truckers feel like we get special treatment because we work over here. No, we’re just not idiots. That’s all. If you weren’t dumb as a hat box, this might have been you. The complaint is that they feel like we’re always the ones who get to “do everything,” and by everything, they mean going off post and participating in activities with the staff.
Let’s examine this and really break down why this is an idiotic complaint. First, any Soldier can get off post now they’ve lifted all the restrictions. When we first arrived, all Soldiers did the mandatory paperwork and training necessary to be able to go off post. There were no exceptions. All Soldiers were required to get their in-country license. It took a while to get this done, but now mostly everyone has a license. If you don’t have a license you can get in a vehicle with someone who does. Company policy requires two or more Soldiers to travel. So basically, PFC Doucheface can ask for a vehicle and take his happy little ass to the mall.
Apparently, because we do not go around inviting everyone, we’re assholes. I don’t want to hang around with everyone. My days of going to the mall in a horde ended when I was 17. My days of wasting money in chain restaurants are over. I do not hang out with people who complain about the cost of a cup of coffee. I don’t hang out with loud-talking, rude, uncultured idiots. If you don’t know what fork to use, I don’t have time for you.
If I wouldn’t sit down to dinner with you in the United States, what makes you think I’m prepared to sit down with you in a foreign country where people already look at us like we’re barbarians? It’s really that simple.
If the Staff invites me to dine with them, it’s probably because they might see me on their level. I am not going to speak for them, but since I don’t make an ass of myself that might be why I’m seen as fit company. If you’re not invited, you might want to take a look at yourself and who you’re trying to hang with. Maybe you’re just not a good fit, socially.
I don’t see the Staff as my friends. Because of rank, they’re not my peers. I’m just someone who works in their office. I put up with all their idiosyncrasies. I hold their hands. I baby-sit when required. I do whatever is necessary to get through the day in this office. I’ve been able to go home “on time” maybe two or three times since being here. If the tradeoff is being invited out to dinner, then yeah sure, I guess I’ll take that because I’m not going to get anything else. I might get a half-assed “good job,” followed by a “but really you need to….” I take whatever I can get. If that means one random weekend I get free reign to do whatever the fuck I want, well, that’s just how it is.
I just hate the “it’s not fair” argument. Lots of shit ain’t fair. I don’t feel like it’s fair that I have to attend NCODP and then come to work and make up all the time I missed at training. I don’t feel like it’s fair that I have to sit in the office while Higher is swimming. I don’t feel like it’s fair that I get shit on because of stuff outside of my control. Seriously, no fucks are given for any of these people. I am not shedding a single tear these people have taken a set against us. I didn’t want to hang out with you in the first place. I’m just glad we’ve finally got this cleared up.
It’s never been a secret that I’m ambitious. I do what I need to do to get ahead in life. Believe me, there are far more disadvantages than there are advantages. If you’re a hater, well, keep on hate, hate, hatin’. I’m sorry you picked an MOS that requires you to kick rocks.