Very early in my tour in recruiting, even prior to be beginning this blog, I'd enlisted a HS Senior. Well, that senior is now approaching his ship date and hell is unleashing. He dropped out of school and went underground. Family moved, cell phone was cut off, number changed, so on and so on. Kinda figured he was going to be a loss. Although I dislike taking losses, losing a SB doesn't get my panties in a wad like an OCS, 09L, or Alpha loss would. Last week he reestablishes contact with me. He still wants to ship and all that. But of course he hadn't gotten his GED over the past time.
Luckily there is a school in the area who is willing to administer a GED exam to walk-ins and he can get the results back in time to ship. Unluckily to administer the GED he requires two forms of ID, government issued, not a school ID or work ID. Of course he doesn't have a driver's license or ID card. Getting such items isn't difficult though, a trip to the MVD with his birth certificate and he'll get it in about half an hour. Of course he doesn't have his birth certificate anymore. It was lost when they moved. I enter Catch-22 territory when it becomes apparent that he needs to ID to get his birth certificate from Vital Records, and he needs his birth certificate to get his ID. I surrender and finally convince his mom join us at vital records since she can get it. Needless to say this morning sucked.
He's able to get his ID now, but whether he'll be able to take the GED today remains a mystery. If he doesn't get it done today it'll happen tomorrow. Just painful.
It's a triple treat of frustrations. First it's frustrating that he'd dropped out. It wasn't something he even told me about. His counselor had given me a call about a week after the fact because she'd remembered I'd asked for updates on his progress. I'd talked to him a couple times after he'd dropped out, but before I'd found out, and he never mentioned it. This was a while ago so it's something I'd have been able to help with. Secondly it's frustrating because it's a day spent chauffering someone to and from government agencies. That's never fun. Lastly it's frustrating because it reminds me I could have done better. I hate failure.
I accept failure as an inevitible result of trying. When it happens it happens and all someone can do is learn from it to do better. I would like to think I've done a better job with my future Soldiers since this young man. My two current high school future soldiers are frequently calling and coming into the office. It's a good thing. But it took me jacking up with the one kid to learn those lessons. But although I accept failure as inevitable, I don't like it and work to avoid the mistakes that led to failure. This leads, perversly, to my habit of finding new and creative ways to screw things up.
Oh well, it appears that things will work out, but it will be close. He got his birth certificate and his ID and tomorrow he'll take the GED. Two weeks to get the results back will put him right on his ship date. It'll be close but it should work.