Status: T Minus Single Digits

I think every soldier or their family has muttered at some point, “Ugh…civilians.”  And it’s not that we dislike them.  I myself am one.  But for working on a military installation only for soldiers and their families, they can at times be really irritating.  It’s the curtness.  The you’re-wasting-my-time attitude.  The apparent lack of understanding for how the military works–when they are there solely to help military personnel.  Can I just get a straight answer to my question please?

Since I am down to single digits, I was finishing up all my calls and preparations for PCS things I started over a month ago.  Yes, they’ve taken that long.  We finally know what day exactly we’re getting to the new base, so I called the temporary living facility (TLF) to make reservations until we get our house.  Not only did the lady on the phone act completely bored with my questions, she told me they were unavailable, and I needed to fill out some mumble-mumble form that I didn’t catch.  Of course I do.  When I asked if there weren’t rooms available for the entire time or just part of the time I got a big pause and a repeat of “you need some mumble-mumble form.”  Since the lady sounded exasperated, I kindly hung up.  So now after a 14 hour drive, I get to look forward to filling out still unknown forms when I get there late at night only to be redirected to another hotel off base.

Next I called storage.  I submitted my extension for storage form a month in advance like the nice (truly) man told me to do back in July.  I called to check on it two weeks later to find out that it had been denied.  They didn’t want to pay.  Well, I don’t want to be without my household goods, but I don’t have a choice in the matter.  I got the form resubmitted and the nice guy told me he’d call me.  He didn’t call.  Do they ever call?  I called him–everyday for two weeks.  Either no one answered the phone or no one could find my file because the nice man was gone.  Sigh.  My storage expired.  I finally got ahold of the nice man today.  After tracking down my file again, he said my storage had been redenied.  Apparently the orders that I submitted with my storage extension form were too small to read.  Silence.  They’re military orders.  They all look the same.  I have no control how they are given to me, what they say, or when I get them.  Wouldn’t civilians who work with such orders everyday know this?  The nice man walked my re-resubmitted extension form up for re-reapproval.  He called me back.  I got until January.  This man should be knighted.

My last call was to housing.  I called months ago to check on the status of a waiting list.  I was told there was a short one, about a week long, and that I should call back about a week before arriving to check.  On my call today, I could get from no one a definitive status of the waiting list.  Housing on base goes by mostly rank, marital status, and number of kids, so there may be a wait list for some ranks and not for others.  I was told they have some keys (what ranks was still kept classified), but that I should fill out an application.  That way I could be called if housing wasn’t available when I show up.  I don’t want to be called.  I want a house, and if I have to wait for one, I want to make that wait as short as possible.  Sigh.  I hung up with an appointment to see a very perky lady once I get down there.  Maybe then the secrets of the wait list will be revealed.

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