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Old 08-31-2008   #1
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Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Today is my last day off work for what could be a very long time. Spent most of the day testing out the new motor I put in my Bronco... just easy cruising around in the rain trying to relax some. Took a short video to try and pin point some odd sounds I was hearing, but the motor is loud enough that the camera doesn't pick up the quieter noises.



So we have this fucktard wing commander who's really trying to make General. We've been busting our asses trying to get caught up on work that Space Command has put us on hold for... working 12+ hour days, 6 days a week, which is pretty much pointless. We're short manned, and have triple the work load that we might normally could do with a lot of people. The Air Force doesn't want to allot us any extra people because it will interfere with their efforts to reduce man power in the nuclear weapons career field. People are dropping out like flies right now because of stress, fatigue, and general disgust with the way we're being treated.

This commander thinks that we're lazy and unmotivated... just because we're trying to keep the mission going by working on the weapons, instead of stopping to baby sit him and make stupid ass checklists. These checklists he wants are nothing more than an instruction guide of how to do our jobs, and what rules and regulations tell us what to do. Basically, our jobs can't be performed without following these rules and regulations every day. We live, breath, eat, and shit according to these "books" and tech data. But he wants "cheat sheets" that refer us to these books that we use everyday. He's that damn stupid.

Now because we've already been working 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week, and we're still being lazy... he has made it mandatory for us to work 16 hour days, 7 days a week. Our regulations say in black and white that we are not allowed to work more than 12 hours on weapons, and that we must have an opportunity for 8 hours of uninterrupted rest. The way he interrprets that is that we will work on weapons for 12 hours, then we will make these check lists for 4 hours. That leaves us with 8 hours a day left for our "opportunity" to get sleep... not factoring in time spent driving to and from work, time to get ready in the mornings, etc... God help us.

Luckily I have today off... only because my flight commander has a set of balls the size of the state of Montana and said since the commander wasn't going to be in the state today, he wouldn't know if we worked or not. While all of you are enjoying your Labor Day, I'll be working 16 hours, from 6 am to 10 pm. My leave I had planned to go home and visit my family with has been cancelled... again. When my divorce papers FINALLY make it back to me from the whore wife, I won't even have time to go file them... much less appear in court for the divorce hearing. My monthly expenses will increase due to grabbing fast food on the way home and to work, since I won't have time to go buy food to cook, much less have time to cook it. I won't even be able to keep in contact with family back home, because I'll either be working or sleeping.

You may say "you shouldn't be complaining because you chose to do this, plus you have all kinds of government priveleges and bonuses." We really don't. My monthly gross income is around 3,000. The average amount of "work days" in any given month is about 23. Most people assume we work 8 hours a day unless deployed... which comes out to around 16.5 an hour. Not bad right?? Only issue is, no one works only 8 hours a day in the military... my normal work day is usually around 10 hours. That comes out to around 13.25 an hour. Since my pay never increases for increased hours worked... a 12 hour shift, 6 days a week drops my hourly wage to around 9.45. Now that we've been told we're working 16 hour shifts, 7 days a week... I now make a pathetic 6.35 an hour average. I made more than that working part time at McDonald's back home after 3 years. I've been in for almost 5 years now.

Most people will work an average of 40 hours a week, generally with time and a half paid per hour for anything over 40 hours. Per month, you're looking at a minimum of 184 hours worked, and compensation for anything over that. I work 230 hours per month average without compensation. Now... 480+ hours a month... with absolutely NO compensation. My highest paying job I had before joining the Air Force paid me 7.75 an hour, for an 8 hour work day, and time and a half for any over time ( 11.63 an hour for overtime). Gross income without over time was around 1,430 per month. If I had worked the amount of hours I will be working, I'd be raking in an extra 3,443 per month gross income.... that's 4,873 per month! But nope... I'll still be grossing around 3,000 a month.

And people bitch and complain when they hear a military member saying they're not getting paid enough. It's easy to say we get paid TOO much when your hourly wage doesn't drop for working extra hours. And to think, troops overseas fighting in the war work 16+ hour days, and they could die. Sad that a life is valued at under 7 bucks an hour while risking death.

I think I'm done venting for now. Take care AS... I'll be back eventually.
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Old 08-31-2008   #2
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Aw I'm sorry.

I hope you enjoyed your day off.
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Old 08-31-2008   #3
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

I tried to. It's supposed to rain until tuesday. I really wanted to go fishing a few hours out of town, or head to the mountains and camp. Spent most of the day couped up in the house... doing some cleaning and listening to the property managers beating on things as they start remodeling the place next to me.

I can't wait until I'm out of the air force and back home in Oklahoma. Just a hair over a year... or possibly sooner... if things don't start improving at work. I hate to leave my guys in a tight spot... but I've spent enough time looking out for others, and not enough time looking out for myself.
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Old 08-31-2008   #4
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

You gotta do what you gotta do, and I'm sure that they'll understand. If you're not being justly compensated for the time you put in, why continue? Especially if there are other jobs out there that will pay you more.
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Old 08-31-2008   #5
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Because there's only one "good" way out of my enlistment at this point, and by joining the reserve or guard, which I'd have to do for 3 years minimum. That's my life raft if I choose to jump ship early.

Sure there are other ways... but they generally involve jail time, fines, or a bad background that can affect those better jobs later on. I could skate out with a medical discharge (i've been hiding some medical issues that they could discharge me for) but then I'd receive disability pay when I don't really need it. Tax dollars are better spent elsewhere, on people who need them more.
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Old 09-19-2008   #6
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

I'm finally back on shifts under 12 and 16 hours long!!!

Our new squadron commander carries big marbles in his sack. He threatened to turn in the (higher ranking) wing commander for abusing us. Our regs state that we cannot work more than 12 hours a day, and more than 48 hours a week. From my first post, you can see that we've blown that out of the fucking water. This means we have our weekends back, and are back on 9-10 hour days.

This comes a bit late though since we've lost a lot of people due to stress and fatigue, and are barely able to keep a maintenance team together to perform work. Myself and several others are being pulled out of our offices to be re-trained to perform maintenance, until we get more people assigned to us. This means that each of these offices will be short manned, and I won't get to take any leave until new people come in to replace me.

It still sucks... but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not coming from a speeding train.
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Old 09-19-2008   #7
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

HOLY SHIT I THOUGHT YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH WAS 2 WEEKS AGO

What happened anyway? Were you diagnosed with some kind of hidious disease that you can only beat with a samurai sword in the nexus spirit realms? If that's the case then welcome back soldier, your time is back, LIFE WELCOMES YOU wITH opeN arms

Tell us of your travels and the many foes you beat down with shear will power and the need for funk. Did you become the king of all that is to be in the world of all that has to become? Either way, WELCOME BACK YOU SON OF A BITCH, HAHAHAHAHHA *high five*
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Old 09-19-2008   #8
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Uh, yeah... something like that.

My only "foes" were a very high ranking inspection team that tortured us this week. I respectfully heel kicked them in the FACE by promptly answering each of their questions before they even asked them, then kicking them out of my office with a nice "have a good day sir!"
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Old 09-19-2008   #9
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

^ Understands true finesse ;.)
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Old 09-20-2008   #10
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Possibly. Mostly it's the less time they spend in my office, the less time they have to try and find something that's wrong.
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Old 09-20-2008   #11
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

But saying that, doesn't it admit that there are still things screwed up in your office? :B
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Old 09-20-2008   #12
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

You know those people who try to find something wrong no matter how good a job you've done?

Seriously, some inspections are pointless while others actually serve an intended purpose. Sometimes inspectors don't take it seriously enough, while others take it too seriously and enjoy power tripping.

When you know what's coming and prepared for it adequately it's demoralizing, among other things, to be nitpicked about a thing that doesn't require attention. Or when something is exaggerated out of proportion. Like finding dirt on a perfectly swept floor after the inspector(s) tracked it in. That shit actually can happen. Or, nothing might be out of order but something small will be reported anyway because "nothing can be perfect". The OIC of the squadron I was in directed leaving something utterly trivial and obvious that could be reported so more important interests that were as they should be were left alone. Specifically lawn maintenance of our facility, as silly as that sounds.

In order to avoid negative attention you need to have everything perfectly in order ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall, between your ears and be sure that makes it to your mouth and presentation so you don't end up getting tagged for bullshit which ultimately has potential to negatively affect your military record, rank and or pay.

Inspections don't have to be a nightmare, but inspecting a zero tolerance for error type of environment like a nuclear facility is no doubt more stringent than average.

It was probably similar to VA Power in Richmond, Virgnia. I only did tech support there but talking with people who worked in the plants and testing facilities made it clear they operate much the same as the military. In fact, many of them were former military. The smallest potential concerns are proactively followed up and addressed before a problem develops. Then you're ready for whatever. Supposedly.

Honestly, that's just the best that can be done and that has to be good enough.
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Old 09-20-2008   #13
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Quote:
Originally Said by Jabedin View Post
But saying that, doesn't it admit that there are still things screwed up in your office? :B
MDL hit it on the head. They're SUPPOSED to find stuff wrong. They had such a hard time in our office that the only things they could write up was a diagram in a hoist records book (they claimed it wasn't an official diagram and that we could have hand drawn it and added specs that we wanted), some policy letters were outdated (we purposely left them in there so they would write them up), historical records weren't processed in a database (not even our historical records, and the owner's of them don't have access to the database), and we didn't have some data on our visual aid board (which the data is borderline classified... we're not stupid enough to put that up there).

It's how the military works... especially the nuclear career field thanks to the other two bases making national news. Since we're the only nuke base that hasn't made national news in a bad way, we've been the first one to be hit with every single inspection they've come up with as a way to "correct" and "reform" the way business is done. It's not a comforting thing to go through.

They did identify some oversights by some other sections within our flight... but most of them were bogus. One of them has shut down our maintenance completley, and we're having to retrain and wait on equipment to be modified. They claimed our equipment didn't have a modification that that we were directed to perform... yet none of them could find this data that supposedly told us to do so. No data means we can't do it, but they shut us down for it anyway, and got with higher ranking individuals who directed us to perform these modifications, despite not knowing exactly what we're supposed to do. Crooked shit I tell ya.
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Old 09-20-2008   #14
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

That last bit sounds like a cover up, distraction or a power trip between higher ups. Maybe all three
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Old 09-21-2008   #15
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Re: Trying to enjoy my last day off work... for a while.

Definitely.

It's sad... I kept thinking yesterday was Sunday since that's the only day I've had off for a VERY long time. Woke up today at my buddy's house thinking I was late for work. Felt great the rest of the day though... I needed a good night of hard drinking and sleeping in until noon.
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