Thursday, March 09, 2006

Military Entrance Prevention Station Revisited

Yesterday was a uniquely sucky day.

Last week I'd been amazed that the Guidance Shop and MEPS had managed to accomplish the very simple task of approving a person to take the physical. On their SOP it says a 72 hour turn around. It only took 43 days. But I'm digressing. Last week she went downtown, took the physical, passed with flying colors, and was ready to join. I was actually surprised she'd passed the physical. I don't have a lot of confidence in older folks getting through the phys. Too much can go wrong. Hearing goes, eyesight goes, blood pressure goes up. All sorts of things that happen as we age will prevent someone from passing the physical. But she did. Rejoice.

The applicant, Ms Chef, had about 8 years in the Army and got out back in the early 90s as part of the drawndown. I've been working with her for about 4 months now. She spent about a month toying with the idea of going AF, but since they're not offering PS bonuses, and it's the Air Force, she decided to stop toying with my emotions and join the Reserve. It's been nothing but pain since.

The whole fiasco with a 43 day med read. Lost 2807s and 214s. 680s being misplaced. Wrong social security numbers (totally my fault). Through it all she managed to remain interested and committed. Granted, sometimes it took some work on my part, but I've found that a little self-depriciting humor can go a long way to helping someone through a rough spot w/ the Army's system.

Yesterday broke the camel's back though.

All of the projections I've submitted. All of the actions I'd done through Guidance and Med. No one noticed that she didn't have any test scores in the system. I'm guilty of the grave crime of assumption. I've worked a lot of prior service applicants, and every one of them have had a test score on the system. You have that happen every time for a year you start to assume that someone who has prior service will have test scores. I did. My bad. I'm not the only link in this chain though.

A person is not supposed to be allowed to take the physical if they don't have test results. She was projected for the physical, reported for the physical, went through the physical, and completed the physical, all with no one noticing that the "ASVAB Results" portion of her 680 was blank. She was projected to join with no test results. She reported to Guidance with no test results.

Things got ugly.

She had to take the ASVAB. She was willing to take the ASVAB. ASVAB starts at 1400, or at least it always had before. If she is able to take and complete the ASVAB by about 1530 she will be able to join that day still. Granted, she had only taken the morning off from work to do this, so losing the whole day was bad, but if she joined it would have been worth it to her.

She doesn't sit at the testing computer until 1500. She stood in a line from 1330 until 1500 waiting to take the ASVAB. This woman had been downtown ALL DAY waiting to take the ASVAB, and testing can't get her onto a computer unitl 1500. Granted, even if she'd sat down at 1400 it was no guarantee that she'd have finished the test in time. But by taking their sweet time to get her started the guaranteed she wouldn't make it. And she didn't

She's pissed now. I don't blame her. I'll take the brunt of her anger. I'll tell her it's all my fault. I want her to blame me, and not the Army. But honestly, this was bullshit. This was something that should have been caught by any number of people (myself included), and it wasn't. How the hell could she have been allowed to phys w/o test scores. How did this not get caught until yesterday?

She is supposed to join on Saturday now. I hope she does. I wouldn't actually blame her for being a bit disenchanted and bitter. She'd been jerked around a lot by the system.

It was a very bad, bad day. One that makes me question my sanity. I think Shiner is on the menu tonight.


Post a Comment