In December, I applied for a new position being filled at my Guard unit--the company Training NCO. On paper, this is sort of an assistant to the Readiness NCO, who is the main full time guy at the company level that keeps things running in between our one-weekend-a-month drills. In practice, I was given to understand, I would be a minion of the battalion S-3 NCOIC, and only peripherally deal with the company, but it was a foot into the door of the AGR (Active Guard/Reserve) system, meaning a full-time permanent job with the Guard with a regular active duty retirement possible--meaning I wouldn't have to think about finding a new job for oh, at least 15 years or so.

So yeah, a battalion staff puke job, but you know, somebody has to do them, and it might as well be somebody who a) cares deeply about helping out the soldiers of our unit, b) believes strongly in the mission, and c) hates and fears civilians and is probably better off in uniform indefinitely. I fit the bill.

So I applied, which meant a bunch of paperwork and then an interview before a board, which was a less than stellar experience.

I got the job. Sort of.

First, I was told I got the job. Then, there were all sorts of internal politicking things going on where Battalion tried to assert its ownership over my immortal soul by claiming that thereafter I would not only work full time at the battalion office, but would also drill there on weekends--in effect, making me one of those inferior class of people who aren't in B Company.

There was wailing. There was gnashing of teeth. There was the claim that "that had always been the plan," although it certainly hadn't been clear to me and to one of the actual board members. There were meetings and phone calls.

And then there were Changes From Above. Big Changes. The-order-of-the-universe-being-upset kind of changes. Suddenly, our current B Co readiness NCO is desperately needed in his old job back at Battalion. There are meetings and phone calls and e-mails. And on Tuesday, a week before I'm about to start my new job at battalion, I find out that actually my new job is at B Company, and rather than being the minion of the S-3, I am the new readiness NCO of B Co, and I have minions of my own.

This is one of those situations where everybody involved--except, notably, me--walks around patting each other on the back for the clever solution they came up with to the seemingly intractable problem. Meanwhile, I am looking at a massive job that has crushed mightier NCOs than me, and only the repeated assurances by authoritative parties that I'll muddle through just fine have kept me from hopping in a car and driving far, far away. It's not that I don't want this job, but this is a much greater learning curve and set of responsibilities than I applied for in December and interviewed for in January.

(I've never had minions. What happens if they ask me what to do? Can I shoot one to establish dominance? What do I do if they go feral?)

Last week was split between working to document and hand off my work to my luckless successor and trying to get signed up for accounts and systems and things that I will need in my new position. Fortunately for me, I'm not entirely set up for failure--the current readiness NCO is going to be helping me get established and learn what I need to accomplish, although probably for not as long as I might prefer.

It will be interesting. Just how interesting remains to be seen. I'll try to let you know tomorrow.


PS- Also, and probably of more interest and excitement in our household, Siglet is walking now. 6-7 steps at a time, but I think he only stops because we start getting excited and he doesn't want to tip his hand about just how mobile he is. He's cagey, that one.



Best wishes for your first day at the new job! And that Son of yours probably runs all over the place when no one is looking--he's planning a takeover and has the cat working for him.

Muddle Through!

Don't worry about supervising people. If you simply care about making sure they are doing well and doing their jobs well, you'll already be doing much better than 99% of the other military supervisors out there. Trust me.