Wednesday, August 30, 2006

MEPS Epilogue

Yesterday finally came to an end after 17 hours. I've had longer days, but not for a while. I can't bitch about the length of the day because, well, I'm in Arizona driving a car, not Iraq driving a 5-Ton. However I'm still bitter about the causes I childishly blame for the day. The applicant enlisted though so all is good. He's happy, I'm happy, and the station now has two weeks in which to enlist one Reserve contract with three recruiters to close off the component for the month. With a bit of lucky we might actually make up our quarterly shortfall and cover the AR for the fourth quarter. That would be a good thing.

It is a comfort, although a small one, to see I'm not the only recruiter who's had horrific times with the Prevention Station. I've processed several prior service personnel and they've all come away with the impression that the place at which they originally processed was "better" than this one. I didn't know if I could just attribute that to people's tendancy to only remember the good and not the bad, but after yesterday and Monday, and then the experiences of the other recruiters out there I can't help but think there's something to it.

I know that the guidance counselors have an incredibly hard job, but their job is made infinatly harder when simple errors on their end occur. I've noticed that the guidance shops are very quick to cast blame onto the recruiter (and it's usually correct to do so) but I'm yet to hear one accept responsibility for the problems that occur on the floor which aren't the fault of the recruiter.

I'm an admin guy. I know the frustration that can come when the field, be they recruiters or subordinate units, don't follow guidance. Guidance designed to make their lives easier. I know the temptation to institute draconian rules to limit the frustration that those not following guidance can cause. In the admin world it tends to culminate in things like S1 slips and other useless bits of micromanaging. Micromanaging that does nothing to help the Soldier, or in this case, Future Soldier.

Whatever the solution is I don't know. I'd love to be able to just say "Guidance, deal with it," and be done, but I know that isn't the answer. Maybe a recruiter out there knows of a MEPS that handles things well. Or at least can share some tips that make the life of the recruiter easier when dealing with the fickle entities at the processing station.


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