Things have been awful quiet on the MEPS front. Until today. Today things came to an awful, SFC B crushing head.
Today my applicant and I were witness to a stunning level of processing... I hesitate to say incompetence because that's a serious claim and I lack real proof... cluelessness.
The applicant I'm currently working is a DOS PS (I didn't even know the AR would do a DOS, but if they want to write him as a GA I won't stop them). He was a split-op who didn't go to AIT because of college. Life happens, he doesn't finish college, and he still wants to be in the Army so he comes to SFC B. REDD report shows he's still in the system, but since he hasn't completed AIT he can't be written as a paper contract. I contact the unit and they have his discharge orders. They even gave him an honorable rather than an uncharacterized. Love it.
I have to do several projections on this applicant. First I try and get his test scores and see if his phys was still good, and then I do another projection for him to join on an earlier date but that falls through due to some poor scheduling on my part. I get him nailed down for today unfortunatly transportation is an issue. Apparently budget issues make it difficult to get a shuttle ticket for processors, the budget only allows for tickets for shippers. This means I get to drive to Prescott on Sunday, the day after a 13 hour day manning a rock wall at a monster truck rally.
As long as it results in a contract on Monday it's all worth it.
Needless to say events will prove to not be worth it.
Friday comes and I get a call that sets of the warning klaxon. The current guidance shop clerk calls asking questions about the projection that really should have been answered three days earlier. Questions like: "SFC B, did you know your applicant was still in the service? Do you have a 368?", and "You didn't project him to enlist." I nearly broke the phone when I hung it up after straightening it out. How did I know it was straightened out? I asked and was told everything was fine for Monday.
Drive to Prescott, pick the applicant up, and we have a pleasant talk as we drive back to the valley. Luckily for me my applicant is a good person to talk to, because otherwise this would have sucked. He's on the hotel roster (good sign) and put up for the night. I sleep snug in my bed as visions of Submarine Pay dance in my head.
Monday comes, I report to the office early because days I have people on the floor always make me nervous. No phone calls, everything seems fine. I go get a drink of water around 1000h and I hear from the office "SFC B, guidance shop needs to talk with you."
Talking with the clerk who is, again, asking me questions that really should have been answered before. Told it's not a big deal, that they just had to rebuild him. I ask, I ask, I ask "You're working my guy already? He's through phys? It's not even 10 o'clock yet," and I'm told "Yes."
Lies. Viscious propaganda.
My applicant calls at noon telling me to come pick him up. He has to come back tomorrow. "Why," I ask reasonably. Because they weren't able to do anything with him since he wasn't in the computer. He'd been blown totally off the system when his orders were submitted that removed him from the IRR. It is at this moment that I invent the word "hilpippy" to describe my anger towards the world and the guidance shop. For those who wish to use the newest word in the English language: hilpippy, adj, an intense hatred for an organization who is supposed to support you, but does whatever petty acts it can to make your life miserable.
I wasn't upset that he wasn't in the computer. That was what was supposed to happen. I'd have preferred it happened earlier than the day he was on the floor which I why I'd submitted the paperwork several times over the month, but I know these things happen. What set my hair on end, shot my blood pressure through the roof, and made me invent new words was that at no point did the guidance shop tell anyone there was a problem. This was an easily fixed situation. A situation that was identified at 0630 that morning. I could have submitted a new projection, had his info in the system, and he'd been good to go at 0700. SFC SC2 was at the office that early. My cell phone is never off. Any one of several people in the recruiting side could have been told about this and it could have been fixed. Instead I get a call at 1000 from guidance to get the info they need to rebuild him. Three and a half hours my applicant sat on the floor waiting for something that would have taken fifteen minutes if someone had just called the recruiting station. And during that call no mention is made that there was a problem. I was even told that my applicant was good to go.
This would be enough to make me gray and bald were that process not already in its final stages.
I finally get downtown at 1430 to pick up my applicant and take him home. Insult gets added to injury as the clerk at guidance forgets that I out rank her. You'd think that someone who is the focal point of a senior NCO's frustration would remember a simple military courtsey. You'd be wrong.
It's four minutes of 0200 as I finish this entry. The horror was made complete after I'd gotten home when I got a call from the applicant saying that his ride to the valley for this morning fell through. As always I put the mission first and am going to be his ride. He needs to be downtown by 0600 for check-in. It's going to be a long day. Somewhere SSG Rage is picking himself up off the floor from laughing.