Sunday, August 28, 2005

Kicking and Screaming

The hits just keep on coming. My current "hottest" prospect is going to drive me to wash down Valium with tequila shots.

I had met Mr. Hanging at a Border's bookstore. He had some free time before he went to work so I conducted him there in the coffeeshop. Turns out he'd been seriously considering the Army for a while now. He had even found my phone number from the Army website, but wasn't going to call until the weekend. How lucky for the both of us I had met him.

He's about 28 w/ a daughter who is not in his custody. Good on health but he's got a bugulary charge from when he was 18. Nothing but traffic violations since. He was recently forced to accept a lower paying job at work and he decided that he was bored with where he is in life, he wants to go back to school, etc etc etc. After we talk he decides that the Army will be able to provide him with the change in life that he's seeking short term, as well as the assist with what he wants in the long term.

Friday is Mr. Hanging's day off so I schedule him for the ASVAB. I had wanted to do a Fri/Sat test and phys so I can get the waiver submitted ASAP. I'm yet to hear of a waiver ever being disapproved (why do they make us do the damn things if they are never disapproved?) so the sooner I get it turned in the sooner he can enlist. I spend the remainder of my week going on about my business happy in the knowledge I've secured a tester for Friday.

My first hint of trouble comes Thursday. SSG George has a message for me from Mr. Hanging. Hanging is meeting with a relator so he can sell his house (he'd been planning on selling for a while, it's part of why he wants to join the Army since he won't have a house to maintain while he's gone). The meeting was scheduled to run until noon, at which point he would head to my office and I'd have him taken downtown.

Friday comes and noon rolls around; no word. 1300 rolls around. Still nada. I always give people 15 minutes. At 1316 I'm driving to his house. It's a 30 minutes one-way drive. No one is there. No Mr. Hanging, no cars, no relator, no one. I get back into my car dejected that yet again the Recruiting Gods are laughing it up down there in the 9th circle. I'm halfway to the office when SSG George calls to tell me that Mr. Hanging had to go pick uphis daughter. It seems that the daughter's mom had been asked towork later than planned so she couln't get her from day care. Mr. Hanging did. He, of course, didn't have my card on him so he couldn't call me. And to top it off, when I was calling him, he didn't recognize the number on the caller ID so he didn't answer, or check his messages. Luckily for me I, unlike some ofmy co-workers, won't leave a no-show a ranting, threatening message. Sometimes people just forget, I don't think I should risk burning a bridge for the momentary joy of venting my spleen to a voice mail.

Anyway. Friday is semi-shot. I adjust fire though. I have Mr. Hanging come in to do his 2807 so he can test/phys on Monday. He's all for it. Not a single "Yes"on the 2807. I'm trying hard to restrain my happiness. Even though he's not enlisting I still have him take the ghetto urinalysis.

If forced to go before a judge and state, under oath, whether his test came back negative I would honestly say yes. The cheap-o drug tests we use can detect THC, cocaine, and one other drug I cannot remember. It does so by using two lines (like a pregnancy test). Two lines = no drugs. The darker the line the more negative it is. There were two lines in his THC block. Even two days later there is still a very, very faint line. Enough of a line that my SC asked me, semi-kindly, why I didn't send him down to physical.

I looked at it like this. I wasn't 100% sure that he was going to pass the drug test. He admitted he was there with his brother when his brother was smoking pot, but that he didn't touch the stuff (not that I believe him, I've heard that excuse a lot in 10 years of seeing drug tests come back). If I send him down with his test reading the way it did he's going to pop hot and be DQ'd for 45 days. I figure if I wait a few days, and Mr. Hanging resists toking up, he'll be good-to-go. My old station commander would have thrown a fit, had some sort of sadistic "training" which involved embarassing me and imposing on the other recruiters in the office, sent the kid down anyway after strongly hinting about the existance of a store which sells fool-proof drug maskers, and then counseled me when the kid failed the piss test anyway. My new station commander agreed with my decision and told me to keep in touch with Mr. Hanging to make sure I got him downtown at a time when he'd be good to go.

Anyway, it's Sunday night which means that the suck resumes tomorrow. Hard to believe it's only been 6 months since I loved to go to work in the morning. Oh well... only two years until they tellme they're extending me for another year.


Anonymous said...

Found your blog and I must say, your writing is outstanding.

I did a little HRAP after I finished basic, where in a mere two weeks I dealt with quite a few Mr. Hangings and even more Skipette's over the phone.

To make a long story short, I have a ton of respect for you and would never want your job.

Post a Comment