Tuesday, January 17, 2006

If it could go bad today, it did.

It wasn’t that bad of a day. It’s just that we had so many problems, none coming from T-Rex and myself, Thank God. We’re working well together as a team. It all began this late morning/afternoon when we were supposed to link up to leave. We were at our departure site but the other half of our team wasn’t. The problem is that there was a break down in communication. The link-up time was put out as 1130 hours. Supposedly, the other team thought the link up was supposed to be at 1230 hours. So there we were, waiting on our other half to get to the link-up site for over an hour. It totally sucked but it’s mainly because there was miscommunication between the leadership. I’m just glad that I had my book Rainbow Six to read while passing the time. It made the agony of the wait painless. In fact, I was so intrigued by the story that I was reading that I didn’t mind waiting as much. They could take their time for all I care. The only reason I did care was because the frustration of everyone else was aggravating. All the leaders were getting pissed off and upset that the other half wasn’t there at the right time. I sort of think that they should blame themselves for not making sure that the other half knew the link-up time. That’s the problem with communication. You have to make sure the other half understands and knows what you want. Sometimes these guys don’t make it clear. And another thing is that they go on assuming that the other half knows when it actually doesn’t. It’s frustrating for me too because I have to watch this happen but it’s a failure in leadership. They have to learn how to communicate better.

There’s also a lot of resentment going around the leadership due to the lack of competence. These guys get frustrated over little things when the issues are pretty simple. But, a big part of the problem is communication. If everyone knew what everyone else was doing, there wouldn’t be that many problems. We’d all be working on the same sheet of music. I make it a point to make sure that if I give a Joe an instruction or if I’m asking a question to another Joe that I make it clear and to the point. Also, I’ll use a lot of body language like mouth and hand signals to get my point across. I’ll know that if they can’t hear what I’m saying that maybe my visual signals will help. With the vehicles running, it helps when we’re about 25 to 50 meters away from each other.

The other issued we had today happened in the evening. This time T-Rex came through to save the day. One of the trucks that was with us had broken down. It wasn’t smaller then a Humvee so we couldn’t tow it with the truck that we had. We needed something bigger. This was like a semi-sized truck. The major problem at the time wasn’t that it broke down but that it broke down in the pathway and there was no way for the other trucks to get around. It was totally blocking traffic. This truck wouldn’t start and we had to get it out of the way immediately. So, T-Rex jumped on the case. He’s a mechanic in his other life so he’s a total asset to the team. It’s good to have someone with some maintenance experience. A person like that comes in very handy in the Army. It makes me wish I were more of a mechanic myself. Note to self, get some more vehicle maintenance experience and knowledge. I should know a lot more than I do, with my Dad being a mechanic himself. I just never made it a point to learn from him. I’m always sorry I never did that. I should’ve hung around him more often when he was working on trucks, around the house, when I was a teenager.

Well, T-Rex checked out the truck. It wouldn’t start. He couldn’t get it to start. So, he decided that we should tow it out of the way. I didn’t think it was a bad idea myself. Just out of the way so it wouldn’t become an obstruction. Another Sergeant thought that it was a bad idea, towing that size of a truck. We weren’t going to move it that far but I started second guessing it myself. Should we try to tow it? We might mess up the engine just trying to pull a bigger truck.  But I believed in T-Rex. I agreed that if we pulled it, it would just roll. It had wheels. It wasn’t like we were dragging it or anything. We just had to move it about 10 feet or so.

So, T-Rex was on the case, hooking it up to our Humvee and getting it out of the way. Mission successful. Now the other trucks were able to move by and carry on with the mission. Way to go T-Rex. Good Job. Way to think on your feet in a time of action. He came through when we needed. With the truck out of the way we could start working on getting it running.

Later, we found out that all it needed was fuel. Can you believe that? Part of the problem was that truck. It has two tanks. The driver used up his left tank and didn’t refuel. He decided to switch over to his right tank. Problem was that the gage might have said that it was pumping fuel from the right tank but the valve didn’t switch over from the left tank. That’s the problem GM had with some of its older trucks, T-Rex tells me.

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