Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Week In My Life

This past week was a busy one for me.  In addition to my normal duties, I got to participate as a note taker for two days of a senior leadership conference, plus attend two awards ceremonies.  That means my normal 7:30 - 5:30 workday expanded to a 6:45 start time for a couple of days, and 10-11 o'clock end time for a couple of days.  Rather than tell you how tired this made me, I decided I would share some of my thoughts from this week.  Just as soon as I get done taking a nap...

Monday: Not much to tell about this day, except that as much as I hate wearing short sleeve blues, I hate wearing long sleeve blues with a tie even more.

Tuesday - Wednesday: Senior leader's conference.  As a note taker, this was a pretty easy, if slightly long, couple of work days.  I did help build some slides as well.  It's interesting to watch what is supposed to be a collaboration session devolve into a game of trying to guess what the person in charge really wants to hear.  Note to self - If I ever want my peeps to hold a brain storming session, I need to leave the room and have them brief me up on what they come up with after they are done.  The good news is my buddy who is stationed in Georgia was also a note taker, so we got to hang out for a couple of days.

Wed - Thursday: Two awards ceremonies.  On the good side, half of the enlisted guys who work for me were honored with awards this week.  One got an award from the Air Force Association, and the other won Senior NCO of the year for all of 24th Air Force.  That was a pretty big deal, and I was happy to be there to see it, although for some unfathomable reason half of us from the office were seated at tables across the room from the awardee and his family.  At least everyone in the unit got to sit together the second night.

The difference between the two awards ceremonies was stark.  The 24 AF ceremony included an awesome performance by a local high school JROTC drill team, as well as some music by the AF Band of the West.  If you've never seen a band try to rock out some tunes while wearing mess dress, consider yourself lucky.  The men's mess dress uniform, similar to a tuxedo  but blue and with medals, is pretty snazzy, although not what you typically associate with a lead guitarist or drummer.  The women are less lucky.  Their dress is full length but made of a material that is too thick and stiff to properly drape, so it ends up looking like a conical pyramid of polyester.  The lead singer reminded me of a bottle of Mrs. Buttersworth's syrup - trying so hard to be a person and a syrup bottle at the same time, but really only succeeding at pulling off one of them.  At least she had a good voice.

The highlight of the 24 AF awards ceremony, though, was the dancing that accompanied the Band of the West's performances.  Not that I did any dancing - I dance about as fluidly as Stephen Hawkins talks, but watching some of my less self conscious co-workers work the floor was worth the $40 price of admission.  One captain in particular, whose facial expressions and dance moves were somewhere between gleeful and robotic, entertained everyone present.  Even more impressive was his wife, who danced with him the whole time without any show of embarrassment.  That's what I call true love!

The highlight of the AFA awards ceremony, on the other hand, was when we were dismissed.  It ended almost an hour earlier than the event of the previous night, but felt 2 hours longer.  There was no entertainment, unless you count either the singing of the national anthem to kick it off, or listening to the MC try to make stuff up for the couple of people whose units hadn't sent him a copy of the award packages their people won with.  "I'm sorry, I don't have any information on what Ms. Rodriguez did, but I'm sure she did some outstanding things this year...probably won civilian of the quarter...obviously she wouldn't have won if she wasn't really doing great things for her unit!"

Friday: Actually got home before 7:00 today, and lunch with the guys at Jersey Mikes plus the upcoming weekend makes this the highlight of the week, although I'm bummed about the rain and the fact that there's undoubtedly more coming throughout the weekend.  This leads to the following snippet of conversation on the way back from lunch - Me: "Why does it rain every weekend?  All this rain every week is having a serious negative effect on my morale".  Capt Forostoski, without missing a beat: "All of this rain is really having a negative effect on our Morrell".  Thanks, Mike, for making me smile.  Having sunny days all week followed by cold and rain on the weekend still sucks, but I'm glad I like the people I work with.  It really helped make this long week much more endurable.