Thursday, April 28, 2005

Santiago you are the man!

I have to just shake my head and laugh sometimes, is it that I am just really anal retentive or is it that people are just idiots?

I get a phone call today from a spouse who's a friend of mine. She's upset and talking a mile a minute. Her youngest son is in the hospital, they are preping him for emergency surgery. The poor guy turns 14 and a week later gets his appendix removed. She needs me to get notice to her spouse as soon as possible. Turning into serious mode I ask about a RedCross message, has she started one. She tells me no because they keep making her turn the phone off in the hospital.

So I take some info and start working the phone like a maddog. I call the brother and sister-in-law who are stationed in Germany as well. Then I pull out my handy dany FRG roster and start calling them. First let me point out that the emergency numbers are DSN numbers. There were no conversions to a normal civilian number at all. I was calling from my desk so that wasn't a big deal, I had DSN access. What sucked was that not a single frickin' soldier listed on that phone list answered their phone. Okay okay I called at 12:50 so lets just assume that they were at lunch and wouldn't answer the phone. Now at 13:20 I start again and get nothing. It's not Thursday so I know they are not at SGT's time. This is the rear detachement so where the hell are they? I keep staring at the social roster which has the DSN number to the rear commander who is a LTC. Evil thoughts of dropping a dime hard core start me a smiling - but no I will wait this out and see what I can do. After another attempt at phone calls with no answer I see that the FRG liasion has a cell number attached.

I called her, identify myself and start telling her about the MSG son and that a message needs to go downrange right away. She sighs and tells me that she's not at the office and to call the HHC commander. I snorted and said I've been trying you, the HHC CO and the HHC 1SG for about 30 minutes now. Dead silence at the other end, so SSG I ask - how about the Staff duty number? This number has to be answered 24/7/365 - someone should be able to get a hold of the morons in the unit.

I take the SDO number and make my call. FINALLY! I get someone who is little confused but has such the willingness to try that I give the Capt some credit. Within 10 minutes the SGM for the group had called me back and started to take charge. SGM S is the MAN! We had the best communication, follow ups and everything. I couldnt' have asked for betters assistance than what I got from SGM S.

His surgery went fine and dad got to talk to his son after surgery which was great. Now only if I could get the fools at the Rear D to get it together. What if that was my child? What if I was so freaked and had a complete barnyard because I couldn't get a hold of my husband's father? I know, I know, they are deployed and this is war. I am not saying that he had to come home or that she even needed to talk to him right then in there but to have a whole list of numbers that you are supposed to use in an emergency that aren't even answered during duty hours? The RedCross message would bring him home if something really bad had happened but if you just had someone die and you need help on filling out the Redcross information it would be nice if someone answered the frickin' phone. I so wonder about this FRG and I could be a really good dictator but I don't have the time to do work, grad school and be the FRG dictator (opps, I mean leader). They need to get it together and fast.

So the next FRG meeting coming up you can bet I am going to stand there and ask why the SDO number wasn't on that roster and how lucky they had the calm, pain in the ass versus a upset mother.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Grrr...I am so frustrated at the moment. We prepared well before deployment and had some time to get all of our affairs in order, but I swear some institutions are just sadists!

Of course within a week of leaving the car starts making noises. This car is a total lemon - its on the third catalytic converter and has had at least 9 new tires on the darn thing in just four years. Anyways, while driving in the roundabout I noticed that it makes a 'clunking' noise with hard left turns. Okay no problem I will have the UV joint and CV boots looked at. In the mean time I send an email to the spouse asking if I can go ahead and get the new car we were talking about before he left.

This turns into a nightmare. I call our bank and set up a loan application. They let me know what I need on my power of attorney (POA) to have this a joint loan. No problem I have one at home. I get home and the JAG folks set it up with only one financial institution, our local bank in Germany. I roll my eyes and figure then I will get the loan with the local bank here and have my husband shoot me when he finds out that it will require an allotment when we PCS. Ha! Okay sure.

I am in the bank talking to a loan agent, she looks at the POA and says this won't work. My mouth drops open, the eyebrow raises and I ask why not? This bank wants the VIN, the year, model, maker and dollar value on the POA before I can even apply for the damn loan. How in the fuck am I supposed go to a dealer, work a price, send all this shit downrange so he can get a POA to me? I looked at her and tried a bit more polite of a response, "Uh, Ma'am my spouse is in Afghanistan it will take weeks to get a POA to me." She responds with "Well my husband deployed too and I understand but this must on the POA or we can't help you."

Okay so how is this financial institution which is supposed to be a military service for those that are stationed in Europe supporting the deployed soldier and their family? This is total crap. I flipped my lid. "Ma'am, so you are Air Force right?"
"Yes I am."
"Ma'am, don't compare me to you -ever. Army spouses have been dealing with year long deployments for years before I was even born. A six month deployment is nothing, absolutely nothing - we are not a like. Your bank does not support the military if this is the crap you need and I am taking my business elsewhere."

She looks as me and says that if I change my mind then we can finish the application. I rolled my eyes and left. (sorry to any Air Force personnel but fact of life - AF deployments are MUCH shorter).

This is not the first time I have dealt with the fact that a POA isn't good for anything other than lining a bird's cage. I just wanted to scream after that. POA's are POS!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Green Eyed Monster

Open my email at work and see a new email with T's email address for down range. Oh cool I think to myself if T has it then I guess the Hubby will too! So I quickly email my spouse and hope he gets a chance to respond.

A week later I finally get a call - Sorry honey no I don't have access to an unclassified email address. I can get to your email but only after going to another building down the way and borrowing someone elses computer. I am crestfallen........This blows! What was it that Bart Simpson said? "I didn't think it was physically possible yet this sucks and blows."

How come all these other spouses get to send emails, IM chat and send photos back and forth to their spouse and I get jack crap? It had to be my spouse that ends up in a secure building and can't do a dam thing about it. BUGGAR!

With perspective of course there are guys that have it much worse than me or my spouse. There are those that never get to email and have to send stuff out via snail mail all the time. So it just makes hearing from him that much more fun because it won't be often. Yeah, yeah I know don't sound so calm, it still sucks but I really could have it much worse. There are folks is such a bad place where there is no communication so I will keep the "whine" with the cheese.

Damn, wallys!