Again, my team leader has pissed me off. I’m not too happy. I feel like this marriage is about to end in divorce. Just kidding! But I was angry. Last night I was here in the internet trailer when T-Rex, our driver walks in. He says, “Hey, you have to move that ammo can out of the front.” We had to clear and empty the Humvee since it’s getting an upgrade tomorrow. I had already gone out earlier and grabbed all of my gear and some of the sensitive items. I didn’t know or think that the ammo had to be taken out too. It was just one case. T-Rex had come all the way from the parking lot to tell me about the case of ammo. I was busy on the computer using the internet. The thought had come to my mind of why he just didn’t put it in the back of the Humvee himself. He had to waste his time to come all the way over here to tell me when he could’ve taken care of it himself.
So I told him, “Well, just get that case of ammo and put it in the back.” It’s not that hard to do. Five minutes later The Colonel, my team leader, walks in and says I have to go out there and move that ammo. I was a little upset. He said he wanted me to go out there and move it. So I said ok and I logged off the computer. I left the internet trailer and walked out to the lot to the Humvee. On the way I stopped The Colonel going into his room. I wanted to talk to him again and explain to him why I wanted T-Rex to do it. The Colonel started off by saying that I had an attitude. I told him, “Well, I’m trying to explain myself.” I started to explain to him that it wasn’t hard task for T-Rex to do. It was simply moving the case out of the front and putting it in the trunk of the Humvee. I didn’t see any need for me to log off the computer, go out there when T-Rex was already going out there, and moving a case of ammo. He then said it was my job. I told him that I didn’t know that the case of ammo had to be put away. I was assuming only the 5.56 ammo and not the .50 cal ammo. Besides, there was only one case.
So after getting frustrated and knowing that the conversation was going nowhere I told him alright and thanks. I wasn’t being sarcastic with the remarks. I honestly thanked him for his time but it was of no help. I was pissed off. Then, as I was walking out there, T-Rex starts driving off towards the motor pool. That made me even angrier. Now I had to walk even farther all the way down to the motor pool.
I about had it so I went to talk to the Lieutenant, the Platoon Leader. It was a good talk but it wasn’t too helpful. He listened and understood but when I left I was still frustrated. We really didn’t solve any problems. He said to wait until tomorrow and talk with him after I’ve calmed down. I knew it wouldn’t work but I was willing to give it a try.
Later that night I had a talk with my roommate. We usually have these deep discussions. I wanted to let him know what happened and get his point of view and his opinions. Immediately he said that T-Rex has to be put into check. That I have to have a counseling statement ready for him and counsel him on insubordination. He said that T-Rex knows my weakness and exploits it like a little kid does to try to get his way with things. The way T-Rex does it is when I give him a task, such as this one, he’ll run and cry to The Colonel about it. The Big Man, my roommate, also said that if the ammo is my job then Humvee maintenance and the radios aren’t my job. The Colonel, like last night came to me afterwards. I feel like my authority is being undermined and my rank is being degraded. That’s just the way I feel.
So I went to talk to The Colonel today after lunch. I didn’t want to get upset or angry during our conversation so I figured I’d take care of my stomach first. I went to his room and asked if we could talk. He invited me in and I sat down. I didn’t want to go over what happened last night because he already knew about it. So I expressed the fact that I am not happy and very pissed off. He could like it or not, I don’t care. I think he should know how I feel. When I thought about it I was thinking I sound like a spouse telling my significant other about a marriage. It’s something I guess would be said, “I’m not happy.”
I told him that I felt my authority was being undermined and that my rank was being degraded. He asked how he was undermining my authority and I explained why I thought that. I also told him that if it’s my job to take care of the ammo and the weapon then I’m not going to touch the truck or those radios because they’re not part of my responsibility. He didn’t like that but I told him if we’re going to play this game of whose job is who then I’m just doing the gun and ammo. He told me not to tell him what to do. That was fine. I didn’t know how to explain it to him without offending him. That’s the thing about the Army; they want us to use tact when speaking to superiors. If this were a job I would’ve quit already. Not because of the Army but because of who I have to work with.
So, again, after knowing I was getting nowhere and it was not a productive conversation I told him alright and that I was going to go to the 1st Sergeant. I about had enough and it was time to gripe to him. It was a last resort for me but there was no other choice. I was hoping that we could work out our differences but we couldn’t come to an agreement because he wants it his way. I think decisions should be mutual like in a marriage.
So I went to the TOC to see the 1st Sergeant. I wasn’t going to wait. I already knew beforehand that the conversation with The Colonel wasn’t going to work. Luckily the 1st Sergeant was there. Good! I’m lucky! So I know on his doorway and ask, “Can we chat 1st Sergeant?” “Sure come on in!” He says. I go in he tells me to have a seat and I sit down. We have a conversation that is very productive. I find the opportunity to let out all my gripes that have been accumulating over that past several of months. I let out all of those bad instances that have happened over time. I express my thoughts and opinions on what I thought of past situations. The 1st Sergeant listens to it all and he understands, I think. He took some notes and he came up with some suggestions. I felt better and I’m sure he’ll have a talk with The Colonel. I didn’t expect him to manage our situation, only be aware of our relationship.
It’s great how some of these senior NCOs really know how to talk and listen. I think they should be to handle problems like this. I know I’m not the only one and he told me so as well. It’s about dealing with human relations. It’s everywhere and everyone has to deal with them. Its how we deal with them that determines the outcome.