Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Morrellian Empire

Because the Lt Colonel I work for is deployed to Afghanistan, I get the privilege of doing a Lt Col's job for 10 months for a Major's pay.  Not that I'm complaining.  For one thing, it's kind of rewarding to actually do what I always envisioned officer's doing, and besides, at times I feel a bit overpaid, so at least I'm earning my pay for a while.

A few weeks ago the Colonel in charge of my directorate let me know he was moving some additional folks into the division I'm temporarily running.  At the staff meeting that day when he made the announcement of their relocation, he noted that only one other division was larger than mine, and that only by one person.  A couple of minutes later, one of the folks from that division piped up that he should probably move over as well, since his primary duties better aligned with the other folks who were migrating.  The Col gave his assent, paused, and said "Now Brad has the biggest division.  I guess he's empire building over there."

This soon led to jokes about the "Morrellian Empire".  I take some solace in the fact that the boss wouldn't be joking about it if he really felt I was an "empire builder", and the subject has led to some good laughs.  The Col has a "to-do" board in his office, and one morning we discovered that someone put at the top of his list of future actions "Overthrow the Morrellian Empire".  Then there was the day I arrived a few minutes late to our staff meeting.  When my turn to update the boss came I started with a short apology for coming in late, which he dismissed with a wave of his hand and by saying "don't worry about it, you have an empire to run".

Apparently the joke is gaining legs.  Yesterday, after another long day at the office, I was headed to the parking lot after depositing my garbage at the dumpster (yes, the emperor still has to take out his own trash), and as a car was pulling out of the parking lot I noticed it was a new Lt Colonel who arrived here a couple of weeks ago.  As he drove up he rolled his window down and with a straight face proclaimed out the window "Long live the Empire!" then rolled his window up and drove away.  I couldn't help but laugh as I continued the trek to my car.  I just hope the empire doesn't collapse before my boss gets back from downrange to resume possession of his kingdom.